Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Who's Responsible for Shoveling Chicago Sidewalks

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, January 09, 2014

Throughout the Winter, when you walk through Wicker Park and Bucktown, or all of Chicago for that matter, you're bound to come across city sidewalks that are packed with snow. When the temps warm up and then freeze again, sidewalks can become an icy path to walk on.

Clearing snow from your sidewalks is not only a darned nice thing to do for your neighbors and the community; it's actually required by the City of Chicago.

So who's responsible for clearing the sidewalks? You might be surprised to learn that according to Municipal Codes 4-4 310 and 10-8-180, everyone is responsible for clearing snow in front of their property. Property owners as well as the occupants are responsible for removing snow:

According to the Municipal Code of Chicago, "Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground abutting upon any public way or public space shall remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk..."

That's right. It's actually not just a landlord's responsibility. If you live there, you're responsible as well. According to the City of Chicago website, it's everyone's responsibility to make sure the sidewalks are clear of snow and ice. And there's even a time limit.

If the snow stops falling before 4pm, you only  have 3 hours to clear the snow. (A little tough for people who happen to be at work.) And if the snow stops falling after 4pm, you have until 10am the next morning to get out there and shovel. 

But that's not all. Think that little space the width of a snow shovel is enough? It's not. According to the Municipal Code, the path needs to be 5 feet wide to accommodate strollers, wheel chairs and even your friendly mail people. Not feeling inspired to shovel? You could end up with a fine compliments of the City of Chicago.

For all of the details: Sidewalk Snow Removal City of Chicago

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