Greenfield and Felder Urge Property Owners to Clear Sidewalks of Ice Before Impending Crackdown


snow-shovelBrooklyn – Councilman David G. Greenfield and State Senator Simcha Felder are reminding all homeowners and property owners that they are required by law to ensure that the sidewalk in front of their home, store or building is clear of snow and ice within hours of the end of any snowfall or ice storm. Councilman Greenfield and Senator Felder are providing this notice to the community in light of the fact that many portions of sidewalk remain coated with ice following last week’s storms, causing a serious safety hazard for pedestrians and leading to falls and injuries around the area. The city Department of Sanitation will be issuing violations in the coming days to homeowners and property owners who have yet to clear their sidewalk, so Councilman Greenfield and Senator Felder want to provide fair warning to the community about this impending enforcement crackdown.

Under city law, owners must clear sidewalks within four hours in cases when the snow ends between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. If the snow ends between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m., the sidewalk must be cleared by 11 a.m. Fines for failing to adequately clear your sidewalk are $100 to $150 for the first offense, $150 to $350 for a second offense, and $250 to $350 for third and subsequent offenses. Snow may not be thrown into the street, and rock salt, sand, sawdust or any other suitable material can be used to help break up ice.

“Not only is it the law, but we have a responsibility to clear our sidewalks in order to help keep pedestrians safe. This is especially important in a community like ours with many children, families and elderly citizens who count on being able to safely walk around. I have witnessed several seniors falling due to icy sidewalks and am very concerned about a serious injury occurring. There is no excuse for not clearing your sidewalk nearly a week after the last major snowfall, so this is fair warning to all property owners that the city will be issuing fines to those who continue to flout this law and place their neighbors in danger,” said Councilman Greenfield.

“The city is aggressively enforcing the law by issuing summonses for failure to clear sidewalks after a snowfall. It is, therefore, very important for all property owners or renters to salt and shovel their sidewalks in a timely manner. My office has been inundated with calls, especially from elderly and frail constituents, who cannot maneuver safely on the icy sidewalks. Emergency rooms have also been flooded with people who have sustained, in some cases, life-threatening injuries as a result of falling on unshoveled roadways and sidewalks. The city must also ensure that overpasses throughout Brooklyn along the former LIRR tracks are cleared for safe passage by pedestrians,” said Senator Felder (D-Brooklyn).

Councilman Greenfield and Senator Felder suggest taking care of any snow and ice accumulation as soon as possible to prevent it from freezing. Those who are physically unable to clear their sidewalk alone should hire a snow plowing business or a neighbor to help. In addition, residents can also contact 311 for information about the city’s volunteer snow removal program through NYC Service. Residents are urged to take basic safety precautions while shoveling, including taking frequent breaks, stopping and going inside if you become overheated and drinking plenty of fluids.

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  1. Can anybody please clarify!
    HOW WIDE IS THE OBLIGATION TO CLEAR; is it the entire sidewalk until the street? Is it the four feet of the sidewalk or can a path suffice? And if so, how wide must the pathway be?

  2. N.Y. ADC. LAW § 16-123 : NY Code – Section 16-123: Removal of snow, ice and dirt from sidewalks; property owners’ duties
    Search N.Y. ADC. LAW § 16-123 : NY Code – Section 16-123: Removal of snow, ice and dirt from sidewalks; property owners’ duties
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    18 4927
    a. Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person, having charge of any building or lot of ground in the city, abutting upon any street where the sidewalk is paved, shall, within four hours after the snow ceases to fall, or after the deposit of any dirt or other material upon such sidewalk, remove the snow or ice, dirt, or other material from the sidewalk and gutter, the time between nine post meridian and seven ante meridian not being included in the above period of four hours. Such removal shall be made before the removal of snow or ice from the roadway by the commissioner or subject to the regulations of such commissioner. In the boroughs of Queens and Staten Island, any owner, lessee, tenant or occupant or other person who has charge of any ground abutting upon any paved street or public place, for a linear distance of five hundred feet or more, shall be considered to have complied with this section, if such person shall have begun to remove the snow or ice from the sidewalk and gutter before the expiration of such four hours and shall continue and complete such removal within a reasonable time. b. In case the snow and ice on the sidewalk shall be frozen so hard that it cannot be removed without injury to the pavement, the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground as aforesaid, may, within the time specified in the preceding subdivision, cause the sidewalk abutting on such premises to be strewed with ashes, sand, sawdust, or some similar suitable material, and shall, as soon thereafter as the weather shall permit, thoroughly clean such sidewalks. c. Any person violating any provision of, or regulation adopted pursuant to, subdivisions a and b of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred fifty dollars, imprisonment for not more than ten days, or both. d. Whenever any owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground, abutting upon any street or public place where the sidewalk is paved, shall fail to comply with the provisions of this section, the commissioner may cause such removal to be made. e. The expense of such removal as to each particular lot of ground shall be ascertained and certified by the commissioner to the comptroller, who shall pay the same in the same manner as the expense of removing snow from the streets is paid. Upon the payment of such expense, the comptroller shall deliver a certificate thereof to the council and the amount of such expense shall be added to and made to form a part of the annual taxes of the next ensuing fiscal year against such property, and the same shall be collected in and with and as part of the annual taxes for such fiscal year. The corporation counsel is

  3. Is there any city law that stipulates how long after the snowstorm ends, the city/sanitation department must clear your street?
    Just asking, as they haven’t plowed or salted my street since the last storm despite numerous calls.

  4. What is completely outrageous, is, these idiots who shovel only a bike path and think they are yotzie zein! People who don’t shovel their walkway shouldn’t just be fined. They should be thrown in prison as well. I can only hope these people slip on their own unshoveled sidewalk! That would be the sweetest of sweet lessons!

  5. There SHOULD be a crackdown. It’s ridiculous how so many people have not bothered to clear even a small path in front of their houses. Completely inconsiderate and extremely dangerous!! Even many of the stores on Avenue M have sidewalks that are covered in ice. I hope the city passes out hefty fines.

  6. I moved to Pennsylvania greatly because New York and New Jersey are becoming more and more police states and very expensive to live in. How long can they keep this oppression going? plans were made even to prohibit coke…..