The first significant snowfall of the winter season has finally arrived and it’s time to remind everyone that city ordinance requires homeowners and business owners to shovel the sidewalks adjacent to their property. Not only is it the neighborly thing to do, but failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $100.
We all need to do our part. As the photos below attest, I was out this morning with my staff assistant clearing the snow in front of the 49th Ward Service Office. I always make sure the walk in front of my home is free of snow, as well.
If you know of a property where the sidewalk is not shoveled within 24 hours after a snowfall ends, contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-338-5796 and provide us with the address of the property and we will issue a warning and subsequently a ticket, if necessary.
Of course, I realize some people are not physically able to shovel snow. If you are 60 years of age or older and/or have a physical disability and lack access to available resources (financial resources or local family/friends), you are eligible to sign up for the Chicago Snow Corps. The Snow Corps is a City referral program that uses 311 to connect volunteers willing to shovel snow with people who are in need of assistance. Simply call 311 and ask to be placed on the program list.
Please note there is no guarantee by requesting volunteer snow shoveling that you will receive assistance. This program is based on the number of volunteers who sign up.
If can afford to pay someone to shovel your walk, my office has a list of people willing to shovel your walk for a reasonable charge. Please reply to this e-mail or call 773-338-5796 and we will provide you with their contact information.
In addition to the Snow Corps program, the City now has a real-time “Plow Tracker” map that allows residents to monitor the progress of the City’s snow plows during major snow cleanup efforts.
Finally, Chicago web and app developers have leveraged Chicago open data to build apps that help people better navigate Chicago this winter. 2inch.es informs and alerts drivers of winter parking bans.WasMyCarTowed.com uses the City’s towed and relocated vehicle data to reconnect owners with their wheels. (These were not developed by the City and the City makes no representations as to the accuracy of the information provided by the apps.)
We’ve been very lucky so far and have managed to avoid any significant snowfall for the first two-thirds of winter. Now that normal winter weather has finally arrived, I urge you to take advantage of these resources.