Shoveling is required by law to ensure accessibility --RSS Feed

By Brian Peters, Community Access & Policy Specialist

Every winter, it seems like people with disabilities and advocates in the disability community have to educate the public about snow removal laws.
First of all, it’s each property owner’s responsibility to ensure that snow is removed in a timely manner from the public sidewalks. Each community has an ordinance determining when this has to happen, usually within 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling. Please understand that this means the public sidewalks, including corner curb cuts and mid-block crosswalk curb cuts.
If someone is an older adult or a person with a disability and has nobody else in the household who can help clear the snow, the City of Milwaukee has a program to assist them (if more than 4 inches of snow), for a $30 fee added to the property tax bill.

Let’s see how the public sidewalks in front of some residential properties in one suburban community looked a few days after the last snowfall.
Shoveled sidewalk path that doesn't go all the way to the street, stopping around 10-15 feet before the street.
Geez! This one didn’t even make it all
the way to the corner! It just dead-ends


uncleared midblock crossing Blocked end of sidewalk
This is a mid-block crossing (left). The property owner didn’t bother clearing
it, and the corner curb cut across the street is blocked as well (right).


uncleared curb cut direction
Here, the property owner did a beautiful job
removing the snow. Unfortunately, they only
cleared the curb cut in one direction, ignoring
the other crosswalk curb cut.

sidewalk with snow and ice in the middle sidewalk with chunk of snow in middle
Here, we see that the property owner did clear the sidewalk, but this would
be better if the snow and ice blocking portions of the sidewalk were cleared.
Snow and ice in the middle of the sidewalk cause difficulties for people using
mobility devices like walkers and wheelchairs. 


Now, you’re only responsible for the public sidewalk including curb cuts. But often it’ll just take a little extra effort to clear the snow on the street in the crosswalk as well, and it’d be of so much help to people with mobility disabilities. 

If you have questions, please call us at 414-291-7520 V/Relay.

| Friday, 1/26/2018 - 2:18 PM | 0 comments
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