Dear Mayor: When was the last time someone was ticketed for not shoveling?

Dear Mayor: When was the last time someone was ticketed for not shoveling?

This article was scraped from Rochester Subway. This is a blog about Rochester history and urbanism has not been published since 2017. The current owners are now publishing link spam which made me want to preserve this history.. The original article was published February 10, 2015 and can be found here.

Sidewalk snow removal is a safety issue that requires action from all of us. [PHOTO: Nearsoft Inc, Flickr]

     The following is a guest post submitted by       Joseph Crescente      .
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To the office of Mayor Warren,

I wrote you back in December about the issue of sidewalks not being shoveled. After every snow storm there are large areas of sidewalks that are not shoveled throughout the city. I think it's great that the City of Rochester provides supplemental sidewalk plowing. However, I think many people think it's now the city's job to shovel...

When sidewalks aren't shoveled, conditions become unsafe for everyone. [PHOTO: Knight725, Flickr]

   If I don't shovel my sidewalk in front of my apartment building, nobody will. I've done tests: people will let it just go. No matter how high it gets they won't grab the shovel provided by the landlord. By the way, my landlord owns numerous commercial buildings and they don't shovel their sidewalks either.

What this means is people have to walk in the street. This is obviously extremely dangerous. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen both for the city and individual property owners.

Of course, those with disabilities and the elderly have it the worst and have very limited options for mobility during the winter.

I walked home from downtown to the South Wedge via Alexander today (alternate routes are impossible right now). About half of the sidewalk on Alexander between East and Monroe was covered in two feet of snow. This means that these property owners haven't shoveled in weeks and for several storms. The tenants included corporate businesses, apartment buildings, bars and restaurants, and individual homes.

   Last week, days after a storm I had to walk in the street on Monroe Ave in front of James Monroe High School. I was completely in shock: in a place where many kids have to walk on one of the city's main thoroughfares, the sidewalks were covered with feet of snow. If kids want to walk on that side of the high school they will do so in the street.

And although sometimes people may think so, not everybody in Rochester has a car. Actually there are only 19 cities with a population over 100,000 that have a lower penetration of car ownership in the whole country according to the 2000 Census. Approximately 25.32 percent of households in Rochester do not have a car.

According to the     City's own website

external link

:    The Code of the City of Rochester, New York specifically states that property owners (in the case of commercial properties, first floor tenants) have a legal obligation to clear sidewalks adjacent to their properties of obstructions including snow, ice, and snowplow residue.

When was the last time someone was ticketed for not shoveling? This is a quality of life issue. This is a safety issue. This is a     people    issue - and it requires action.

Joseph Crescente
   Rochester, NY

UPDATE:    Gary Kirkmire, the City's director of inspection and compliance services, says:

Issues involving the need to maintain the sidewalk free of snow and other obstructions can be reported to your local Neighborhood Service Center, see below, or after the normal business hours of 8am - 5pm, call 311.

Southeast NSC - 428-7640
   Northeast NSC - 428-7660
   Northwest NSC - 428-7620
   Southwest NSC - 428-7630

Chris Gemignani

Chris Gemignani

Rochester, NY, USA