By: John Blyth
New York City law requires sidewalks to be cleared of snow and ice after a snowstorm. Given the high foot traffic that occurs in our city, it is imperative that property owners keep their sidewalks safe for commuters. This responsibility usually falls on businesses, homeowners, and other parties hired to maintain city sidewalks. Property owners are given 4 hours after the snow has stopped falling to clean or sometimes more depending on what time the snowfall ends. Failure to comply with the law can result in a ticket, which carries fines of $100 to $150 for a first offense, and up to $350 for multiple violations.
This law is very strict and the Sanitation Department has been taking aggressive action this winter against property owners who do not clear their sidewalks after snowstorms. When sidewalks are ignored and/or not cleaned properly after a snowfall, it results in the ice growing thicker and more dangerous for pedestrians to walk on. The city has made it clear that they are not responsible for clearing the snow, and will issue a fine to the property owner who fails to do so.
According to a New York Times analysis of city data, the Sanitation Department has issued more than 10,000 tickets this season alone, and more than 42,000 tickets since 2010. These fines amount to nearly $8.5 million, however, just $2.6 million has been paid.
Despite the strict requirements for sidewalk maintenance, property owners continuously fail to remove snow and ice from their properties. Unfortunately, these dangerous conditions lead to slip and fall accidents, causing people to suffer severe injuries and incur medical expenses.
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