The rules of snow shoveling in Chicago…

chicago snow
MyFoxChicago: To shovel or not to shovel? That is the question for people living in the city. You either risk getting hit with a fine, or you risk getting sued.
Chicago winters can be rough for anyone, but even more so for pedestrians like Jake Fruend. “I’ve fallen a couple of times. You know, it’s part of the sport I guess of Chicago in the winter time,” said Fruend.
A simple walk home becomes a greater challenge when sidewalks are not shoveled. “There are times when you’re trying to get from A to B and there’s just some absurd amount of craziness on the sidewalk that you just can’t get past,” added Fruend.
The expected weekend snowfall is forcing the city to remind residents and businesses they need to shovel their sidewalks.
Here’s how it works: 1) If the snow stops falling before 4 p.m., you have three hours to clear except on Sunday. 2) If the snow stops falling after 4 p.m. or on Sunday, you have until 10 a.m. the next day to clear it.
You may have heard this before, but some may think not shoveling their sidewalks will save them from liability if someone slips and falls in front of their home. Personal injury attorneys, like Marvet Sweis Drnovsek, add that just isn’t the case, thanks to Illinois law.
“There is a law out there that protects them when they shovel their driveway and the adjacent sidewalk. We want people to get in and out of their property, of course. So the law recognizes that and protects them,” said Drnovsek.
Drnovsek also said homeowners can only be sued if there is negligence. “Don’t see a patch of ice, cover it up with some snow and leave it and somebody comes and slips. Even as a joke, it’s a bad joke, don’t do it,” she added. “That’s where the law comes in and protects pedestrians.”
The city will ticket residents for not complying with the ordinance, but only after being warned or after neighbors file a complaint. Last year the city saw some of the highest amount of tickets issued, primarily because of the amount of snow we saw.
This winter is much more kind– but for pedestrians, the hope is when it turns ugly, they’ll be able to get around. “I have to walk everywhere all the time, so I’m dealing, I’m dealing with the negligence on a regular basis,” added Fruend.
If you need assistance shoveling call 311 to request the city’s volunteer assistance.
So Illinois law protects citizens but (depending upon the time it snows, mind you): 1) not between 4:00 and 7:00 pm or on a Sunday and 2) not before 10:00 am (and again, not on a Sunday)? Got it.
common sense3
DCG

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0 responses to “The rules of snow shoveling in Chicago…

  1. I must sound like a broken record, but the lack of personal responsibility in this country is just appalling. To be able to sue a homeowner because you fell while walking in front of their house is just insane. These kind of suits need to be thrown out as frivolous and the court should require the plaintiff to pay the legal fees for the guy he tried to sue like they do in England. Btw… aren’t sidewalks considered city property? They are where I live.

     
  2. Reblogged this on On the Patio and commented:
    What’s your point? If it needs to be shoveled shovel it! Not rocket science just a wee bit o sense! I know that is hard to come by nowadays

     
    • The point is the nonsense of government regulations dictating by when you must shovel a city sidewalk (to prevent negligence, unless it snows after 4 or on a Sunday!) or face a fine.

       
  3. Very interesting article. Since we don’t get that much snow here on the West coast–we’ve never been given ultimatums as to when the snow much be shoveled. I always get someone to do it, and I put down rock salt, or a de-icer to prevent anyone from falling. However, as I look around at what my neighbors are doing–in the past 25 years, there are less and less people who take the initiative to shovel their walks. I see a lot of pedestrians who take to walking in the street, since the snow is compacted there. I was glad to see that there are volunteers who can be called on in case the home owner is elderly or in-firmed. That is really a wonderful contribution to those who cannot do for themselves.

     
  4. Where I live,the City mandates you have to have a sidewalk,but YOU have to pay to have it made to their spec’s,and you have to maintain it,but they can fine you if it’s not maintained (including shoveling it). Fortunately,this is WAAAYYY down their list of priorities.

     

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