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(My Fox DC)   City says if you don't shovel the snow from your sidewalk they will plow you   (myfoxdc.com) divider line 87
    More: Interesting, trick-or-treating, sidewalks  
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6592 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Jan 2011 at 3:08 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-01-31 12:05:29 PM
The thing is, local DC news did numerous stories last year during our massive snowstorms on how sidewalks the DC Government is responsible for clearing were never cleared. Weeks after the snow fell they still weren't cleared. I guess just another case of "Do as we say, not as we do".
 
2011-01-31 03:09:35 PM
Yeah they've been doing this in my town for two years now, last year an old person had a heart attack so they wouldn't get a ticket.
 
2011-01-31 03:09:52 PM
Student Victoria Rocco isn't quite ready to do that.

"I have to walk down the street every day to get to class and there are still snowy sidewalks and trees down everywhere," Rocco says. "I would like people to take care of the space in front of their homes. It's a small thing we can all do," the 19 year old said.


And how many sidewalks have you shoveled, Ms. Rocco? Oh, right... None. You live in either a dorm or an apartment. STFU.
 
2011-01-31 03:09:57 PM
In other news, Subby's mom refuses to shovel snow.

/I jest
 
2011-01-31 03:12:07 PM
I never heard of a city where you don't get ticketing for shoveling sidewalks.

/lives in MN
 
2011-01-31 03:13:07 PM
Cities want it both ways. It's their sidewalk when they want to use it without my permission. But it's mine when it needs maintenance. F that.
 
2011-01-31 03:13:55 PM

Citrate1007: I never heard of a city where you don't get ticketing for shoveling sidewalks.

/lives in MN


Yeah same here. I thought that was the norm.

I try to shovel my driveway when I wake up & when I get home from work. There's an elementary school down the street and I live on a heavily walked route for commuters catching the train (me included).
 
2011-01-31 03:16:38 PM
My uncle just started spending winters in Florida. Will he still have to shovel in front of his house, even though he's not there?

My solution? Every snow storm anyone on welfare needs to show up at city hall with thier own shovel to be handed shoveling assignments.
 
2011-01-31 03:16:41 PM
Had something like this happen around here (West.Wis)recently. City puts in 5' retaing wall between sidewalk and house. Little old lady now needs to lift snow up 5'(over her head, practicaly) or shovel it onto the street(ticket) or not shovel at all(ticket and fine). To add insult to injury, the same city (E.C) plows the snow off of the street onto the same sidewalk

/CSB
 
2011-01-31 03:17:13 PM
City says if you don't shovel the snow from your sidewalk, contact NASA and see if they can help.
 
2011-01-31 03:17:33 PM

Honest Bender: Cities want it both ways. It's their sidewalk when they want to use it without my permission. But it's mine when it needs maintenance. F that.


Couldn't agree more.

When I start owning the sidewalk, I'll start taking care of it.

/Salted my sidewalk last night...
 
2011-01-31 03:18:22 PM
That's the norm even down here in Raleigh. I shovel the walk leading up to my front porch and homeowners with sidewalks in front of their homes clear them. If someone slips and hurts themself on the sidewalk or walk on your property, you are liable for not keeping it properly maintained.
 
2011-01-31 03:18:30 PM
Sidewalks are socialist. People who walk and not drive are un-American.
 
2011-01-31 03:18:42 PM
Out here in Ames, IA we get 24 hours I think. Our driveway is on the opposite side of a T intersection and the city often plows some of that street right into our driveway- there's nothing like manually shoveling a 4-6 foot deep by 12 foot across pile of snow. I've called to complain twice, but the next time I'm leaving it and I'll fight the commensurate fine.
 
2011-01-31 03:18:52 PM
What if you are out of town on vacation and, you know, not exactly keeping up to date on the weather back home?
 
2011-01-31 03:19:01 PM

Honest Bender: Cities want it both ways. It's their sidewalk when they want to use it without my permission. But it's mine when it needs maintenance. F that.


This.

The segment of sidewalk in front of my house is short, so I do it anyway as a matter of course, since I frequently have guests that have to park on the street and use it. If a cop came to my door to give me a ticket for not shoveling, I'd refuse to sign and request to see a property tax form that indicated that the sidewalk was my property.
 
2011-01-31 03:19:02 PM

Honest Bender: Cities want it both ways. It's their sidewalk when they want to use it without my permission. But it's mine when it needs maintenance. F that.


Exactly. Fascists.

That said, I do shovel my walks. Neighborly thing to do. But, anyone who is surprised by the fact that snow and ice are slippery and dangerous deserves a good braining. Thin out the herd.
 
2011-01-31 03:19:13 PM
 
2011-01-31 03:20:22 PM
www.nogoodforme.com

What a sad plow driver might look like.
 
2011-01-31 03:20:38 PM

grinding_journalist: If a cop came to my door to give me a ticket for not shoveling, I'd refuse to sign and request to see a property tax form that indicated that the sidewalk was my property.


... Did you really think that refusing to sign a ticket means you don't have to pay it?
 
2011-01-31 03:21:21 PM

Bendal: If someone slips and hurts themself on the sidewalk or walk on your property, you are liable for not keeping it properly maintained.


Simultaneously if the thin skin of remaining snow melts and re-freezes into ice you could also be liable for a slip and fall because you shoveled since you didn't show due care in clearing the global warming from your sidewalk.

/if only Joseph Heller had written a book on this theme
 
2011-01-31 03:21:46 PM

Honest Bender: Cities want it both ways. It's their sidewalk when they want to use it without my permission. But it's mine when it needs maintenance. F that.


I wouldn't call shoveling the snow "maintenance". Fixing a crack or something like that is maintenance. It's a shame people have to look at it like that anyway. Shoveling your sidewalk is something you do just because it is the decent thing to do.
 
2011-01-31 03:22:03 PM
"If someone falls in front of your house and you didn't shovel , you're liable," Healy says.

If it's too snowy to walk on the sidewalk you would be in the street and getting hit on an icy street is much more lucrative since you can sue the city. Also, it is very hard to slip and fall on a sidewalk with 6 to 8 inches of snow. The snow will cushion the fall.
 
2011-01-31 03:22:10 PM
Can't we get the illegal immigrants to do this? Maybe in exchange for amensty, or full citizenship? I mean, there's very little yard work to do over the wintertime in DC.
 
2011-01-31 03:23:46 PM
In Philly they fine people for not shoveling sidewalks when the city hasn't plowed their streets or picked up their trash.

It's good to be king.
 
2011-01-31 03:24:05 PM
Anybody else tired of shoveling twice?

First you clean the snow that fell on the sidewalk, then you clean the snow the snowplow dumps on the sidewalk. Got real tired of that.

/rents my own apartment
//usually laments lack of equity
///not so much today
 
2011-01-31 03:24:54 PM
Shovel your sidewalks, dicks.

We live in a goddamned community, start acting like it. For once in your life get the fark over yourself for a half second, exert and extra 5 minutes of effort, and shovel your farking walk so people can use them.

Sorry this is one of my pet peeves, holy shiat are some people lazy and selfish.
 
2011-01-31 03:25:20 PM
Yeah they've been doing this in my town for two years now, last year an old person had a heart attack so they wouldn't get a ticket.

And I walked that bare patch of sidewalk two or three times a day. It was just my way of saying "Thanks"
 
2011-01-31 03:25:37 PM
Following up on my own post, inb4 the folks who say "you have to, it's illegal not to"

A quick google and perusal of a few personal liability info sites leads me to believe that, no matter the state, you are MORE likely to get rogered by a pedestrian who falls on your already shoveled/partially shoveled walkway than you are to get a fine for not doing it at all- doing a crappy job legally implies that you are aware of the unsafe condition of the walk, and did an insufficient job of eliminating the unsafe condition. I'd rather eat a $150 fine than a $50,000 ($500,000?) lawsuit cuz someone's kid slipped on the 3x3" square I couldn't scrape off the concrete.
 
2011-01-31 03:25:55 PM

theknuckler_33: Honest Bender: Cities want it both ways. It's their sidewalk when they want to use it without my permission. But it's mine when it needs maintenance. F that.

I wouldn't call shoveling the snow "maintenance". Fixing a crack or something like that is maintenance. It's a shame people have to look at it like that anyway. Shoveling your sidewalk is something you do just because it is the decent thing to do.


I think the biggest complaint is that while everyone else removes snow from their walkways right away, on government property it takes a while. There's a railway crossing with businesses on each side and every part of the sidewalk is clear until you reach the railways part.
 
2011-01-31 03:26:41 PM
Jones tell those kids you'll give them some candy if they shovel your walk.

Damn.
 
2011-01-31 03:28:43 PM
So wait.. when I ask if the hot neighbor needs her driveway scooped, I should say "Would you like me to plow you?"
 
2011-01-31 03:28:59 PM

theknuckler_33: Honest Bender: Cities want it both ways. It's their sidewalk when they want to use it without my permission. But it's mine when it needs maintenance. F that.

I wouldn't call shoveling the snow "maintenance". Fixing a crack or something like that is maintenance. It's a shame people have to look at it like that anyway. Shoveling your sidewalk is something you do just because it is the decent thing to do.


Well, I'd call it maintenance. But what I was really getting at is the fact that if someone slips on your stretch of sidewalk it's your fault. If the sidewalk needs shoveling it's your responsibility. But it's not your property. You can't build on it. You can't keep people off of it.

For all intents and purposes the sidewalk belongs to the city. Except when they need something done to it. Then you better take care of that TODAY or get a ticket.

If it's my property then I expect to get full usage of that space. I retain my right to deny access to people. And I'll take responsibility for upkeep and maintenance.

If the city wants to take away ANY of those rights, then my property line ends where the sidewalk begins and I take no responsibility for it. The city can hire someone to come out and shovel it.
 
2011-01-31 03:29:24 PM

Theaetetus: grinding_journalist: If a cop came to my door to give me a ticket for not shoveling, I'd refuse to sign and request to see a property tax form that indicated that the sidewalk was my property.

... Did you really think that refusing to sign a ticket means you don't have to pay it?


No, but it would indicate at the lowest level that I felt the fine was unjustified. He leaves after making a note in his little book, and I call my lawyer brother.
 
2011-01-31 03:29:43 PM

grinding_journalist: A quick google and perusal of a few personal liability info sites leads me to believe that, no matter the state, you are MORE likely to get rogered by a pedestrian who falls on your already shoveled/partially shoveled walkway than you are to get a fine for not doing it at all- doing a crappy job legally implies that you are aware of the unsafe condition of the walk, and did an insufficient job of eliminating the unsafe condition. I'd rather eat a $150 fine than a $50,000 ($500,000?) lawsuit cuz someone's kid slipped on the 3x3" square I couldn't scrape off the concrete.


That.

The Homer Tax: We live in a goddamned community, start acting like it. For once in your life get the fark over yourself for a half second, exert and extra 5 minutes of effort, and shovel your farking walk so people can use them.


I'd love to see you clear my 150 feet of frontage and my 100 feet of driveway in five minutes mate, it'd be a sight.
 
2011-01-31 03:31:01 PM

Citrate1007: I never heard of a city where you don't get ticketing for shoveling sidewalks.

/lives in MN


Left my sidewalk snow covered for the whole winter.


/Also from MN
/Suck it city dwellers
 
2011-01-31 03:31:44 PM

knightofargh: I'd love to see you clear my 150 feet of frontage and my 100 feet of driveway in five minutes mate, it'd be a sight.


Stop being a dick and shovel your sidewalk.
 
2011-01-31 03:31:48 PM
Our town has a slight variation: either clear your own sidewalk, or the town will do it for you and send you the bill. Quite a civilized approach, actually, and it doesn't waste police time.
 
2011-01-31 03:34:28 PM

Theaetetus:
And how many sidewalks have you shoveled, Ms. Rocco? Oh, right... None. You live in either a dorm or an apartment. STFU.


Then she is paying someone else to do it for her, just like anyone else could. If you leave town, ask a neighborhood kid to take care of your walk. Or just advertise that you are not home to burglars. Whatever, your choice.

grinding_journalist: Following up on my own post, inb4 the folks who say "you have to, it's illegal not to"

A quick google and perusal of a few personal liability info sites leads me to believe that, no matter the state, you are MORE likely to get rogered by a pedestrian who falls on your already shoveled/partially shoveled walkway than you are to get a fine for not doing it at all- doing a crappy job legally implies that you are aware of the unsafe condition of the walk, and did an insufficient job of eliminating the unsafe condition. I'd rather eat a $150 fine than a $50,000 ($500,000?) lawsuit cuz someone's kid slipped on the 3x3" square I couldn't scrape off the concrete.


To be liable, you have to such a dumbass job that it was obvious that someone would get hurt. A lot of personal liability attorney websites will tell you can sue, but very few of those cases are ever successful. If you live in a city that has a shoveling ordinance, it becomes nearly impossible.

A guy on my sister's block in Chicago has a small tractor (basically a glorified go-kart). He plows the entire block's sidewalk, up the next block to the el, and does the alley. He is awesome, and I am pretty sure he got several hundred dollars worth of gift cards over Christmas. He'll be busy this week.
 
2011-01-31 03:35:18 PM

The Homer Tax: Stop being a dick and shovel your sidewalk.


Why should we? It's not our property. The city has laid claim to it. Let them shovel it.
 
2011-01-31 03:36:45 PM

Tillmaster: Our town has a slight variation: either clear your own sidewalk, or the town will do it for you and send you the bill. Quite a civilized approach, actually, and it doesn't waste police time.


Why this isn't the policy everywhere is beyond me. It's essentially a fine- you know they way overcharge for the clearing, and it motivates people who want to do it themselves. It also protects the homeowner from the "partially shoveled" liability issue. Getting a dude to walk city streets with a snowblower could not possibly cost the city more than the "fees" they'd collect from doing it.
 
2011-01-31 03:38:38 PM

Honest Bender: Why should we? It's not our property. The city has laid claim to it. Let them shovel it.


Because it's the nice thing to do, and you live in a community where sometimes we all have to make small sacrifices. That's why.

If you want to be a dick and not shovel your walk, more power to you. But you're not going to convince the rest of us that expend the small amount of additional effort that you are anything more than a lazy, selfish jerk. There's a reason we don't invite you to neighborhood BBQs in the summer.
 
2011-01-31 03:39:10 PM
NYC has this law on the books, but almost never gets enforced, thanks lazy NYPD & DSNY!!!
 
2011-01-31 03:42:46 PM

carrion_luggage: Can't we get the illegal immigrants to do this? .


They already do, here. Since garbage collection is suspended because all the trucks are out plowing the streets, all the II's go around offering to shovel sidewalks fpr money since they dont have any garbage cans to pick through looking for bottles.
 
2011-01-31 03:44:03 PM
Damn, and I thought the 13th amendment fixed that sort of thing.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
 
2011-01-31 03:46:03 PM
I wonder what the overlap is between the "if I have to shovel my sidewalk then I shall get to decide who walks on it" crowd and the "those fascists at Stop and Shop think they have a right to search my bag just because the alarm went off" gang.
 
2011-01-31 03:46:32 PM

Tillmaster: Our town has a slight variation: either clear your own sidewalk, or the town will do it for you and send you the bill. Quite a civilized approach, actually, and it doesn't waste police time.


It also creates a full time (if temp) job and assures the work is done properly. Now you're thinking with portals. The only danger is getting greedy and charging an exorbitant rate.
 
2011-01-31 03:47:34 PM

Honest Bender: The Homer Tax: Stop being a dick and shovel your sidewalk.

Why should we? It's not our property. The city has laid claim to it. Let them shovel it.


Gosh, if only you were aware of this when you chose to purchase the property. Perhaps you would have made a different choice. But if you don't like your responsibility as a property owner, clearly the best route is complain loudly and threaten to bring your Lawyer into it. That will scare people.
 
2011-01-31 03:47:39 PM
People that complain about uncleared walkways are as bad as the people who don't clear them. You chose to live where you do.
 
2011-01-31 03:48:12 PM

bacongood: Theaetetus:
And how many sidewalks have you shoveled, Ms. Rocco? Oh, right... None. You live in either a dorm or an apartment. STFU.

Then she is paying someone else to do it for her, just like anyone else could. If you leave town, ask a neighborhood kid to take care of your walk. Or just advertise that you are not home to burglars. Whatever, your choice.

grinding_journalist: Following up on my own post, inb4 the folks who say "you have to, it's illegal not to"

A quick google and perusal of a few personal liability info sites leads me to believe that, no matter the state, you are MORE likely to get rogered by a pedestrian who falls on your already shoveled/partially shoveled walkway than you are to get a fine for not doing it at all- doing a crappy job legally implies that you are aware of the unsafe condition of the walk, and did an insufficient job of eliminating the unsafe condition. I'd rather eat a $150 fine than a $50,000 ($500,000?) lawsuit cuz someone's kid slipped on the 3x3" square I couldn't scrape off the concrete.

To be liable, you have to such a dumbass job that it was obvious that someone would get hurt. A lot of personal liability attorney websites will tell you can sue, but very few of those cases are ever successful. If you live in a city that has a shoveling ordinance, it becomes nearly impossible.

A guy on my sister's block in Chicago has a small tractor (basically a glorified go-kart). He plows the entire block's sidewalk, up the next block to the el, and does the alley. He is awesome, and I am pretty sure he got several hundred dollars worth of gift cards over Christmas. He'll be busy this week.


Just called my brother to discuss this specifically- I was wondering whether I was obligated to salt my sidewalk given the freezing rain/sleet mix falling from the sky today over the midwest. He said he'd LOVE a "improperly cleared walk" case, as there are ordinances city/countywide that mandate a "safe, passable walkway must be maintained..." etc. Little old lady slips on a spot of near-invisible ice on my diligently-cleared-of-snow sidewalk, falls, breaks something. Open and shut case, I'm liable. Since I'd obviously been diligently clearing, I was aware that the walkway wasn't safe, and therefore I was in clear violation of county ordinance. She gon' get paiiiiid.

Flipside: I do nothing. Snow accumulates up to about 8" on the walk. Freezing rain puts a sheet of ice on top of the snow. I still do nothing. Same little old lady wrecks herself on the walk. Since I DIDN'T DO anything, I'm not liable for improperly clearing- all they can get me for is the $150 fine for not doing it in the first place.

Disclaimer: this information was revealed to me by a licensed lawyer (who doesn't have a GED in Law, unlike me) who was backing his statements up while reviewing the policies in place in my county. Your experience may vary. The view he adopted was of how I would best be able to protect myself in case said hypothetical scenario occurs.
 
2011-01-31 03:48:29 PM
I live in Baltimore and hope that we follow suit and start ticketing the jerks who refuse to shovel. I would go even further, however, and require people dig out from their vehicle to the middle of the road around their cars. It really is still less work than shoveling a normal sized driveway.

Instead of a community effort, every year a group of about 5 of us shovel not only our sidewalks, but also the side streets that lead to the alley we park on and the alley itself. The side streets are never plowed because inevitably, some idiot parks such that a plow truck cannot make the turn down our street. Every time we do this, one of the neighbors who does not pitch in comes outside and yells about how we can't pile snow against their house or some other insane complaint about our snow removal methods.

Even better are the jerks who shovel the snow off of the roof into the freslhly shoveled street and then call the cops because we tresspassed when we had the nerve to shovel out his parking spot. For that guy, the next time it snowed we moved all the snow into a 4 foot berm all along the permiter of his spot, which is technically in my parking pad, his neighbors, and the public alley. As expected, he ran outside like a wildman telling us that the cops were comming. They came, but told him to grab a shovel if he didn't like the new fence.
 
2011-01-31 03:52:56 PM

grinding_journalist: Just called my brother to discuss this specifically- I was wondering whether I was obligated to salt my sidewalk given the freezing rain/sleet mix falling from the sky today over the midwest. He said he'd LOVE a "improperly cleared walk" case, as there are ordinances city/countywide that mandate a "safe, passable walkway must be maintained..." etc. Little old lady slips on a spot of near-invisible ice on my diligently-cleared-of-snow sidewalk, falls, breaks something. Open and shut case, I'm liable. Since I'd obviously been diligently clearing, I was aware that the walkway wasn't safe, and therefore I was in clear violation of county ordinance. She gon' get paiiiiid.

Flipside: I do nothing. Snow accumulates up to about 8" on the walk. Freezing rain puts a sheet of ice on top of the snow. I still do nothing. Same little old lady wrecks herself on the walk. Since I DIDN'T DO anything, I'm not liable for improperly clearing- all they can get me for is the $150 fine for not doing it in the first place.


Either you're full of shiat or your brother is. I don't see anything in that ordinance that stipulates you must be *aware* that the walkway is dangerous. It simply states that you need to maintain one. Ignorance of the law is never a valid excuse. All you're doing by not shoveling your walk is risking someone injuring themselves and suing you *and* you getting a ticket for not clearing your walk.

Also, in a non-legal sense you look like a huge dick to the rest of us.
 
2011-01-31 03:53:33 PM
The town should levy payments from all property owners and clear the walk ways on behalf of the commonwealth.
 
2011-01-31 03:59:30 PM
Taxes, how do they work?

/Still shovel my sidewalk
 
2011-01-31 04:01:24 PM
Solution
dvice.com
/hotlinkedpleasework
 
2011-01-31 04:02:55 PM

bacongood: Honest Bender: The Homer Tax: Stop being a dick and shovel your sidewalk.

Why should we? It's not our property. The city has laid claim to it. Let them shovel it.

Gosh, if only you were aware of this when you chose to purchase the property. Perhaps you would have made a different choice. But if you don't like your responsibility as a property owner, clearly the best route is complain loudly and threaten to bring your Lawyer into it. That will scare people.


Yes. The solution to government encroachment is just to shut up and put up with it. If it's my property I have no problem shoveling it, etc. But that comes with the inclusion that the government doesn't get to tell me what I do with my property (with the obvious exceptions).

If the city wants to step in and force me to allow people on my property, prevent me from building on that part of my property, and all the other restrictions they place on the easement, then it's no longer my property. It's their property with the exception that I'm forced to pay taxes on it and I'm fined if I don't do things like shovel the snow.

I'll repeat myself again for those of you who seem to have a hard time understanding me. If it's my property, I'll shovel it. No problem. But it's not my property. It's the city's. So they should have to shovel it. I'm not saying the sidewalk shouldn't be maintained. I'm simply arguing about who the responsible party is.
 
2011-01-31 04:06:58 PM

Theaetetus: grinding_journalist: If a cop came to my door to give me a ticket for not shoveling, I'd refuse to sign and request to see a property tax form that indicated that the sidewalk was my property.

... Did you really think that refusing to sign a ticket means you don't have to pay it?


Yeah, refusing to sign the ticket, in many locations, means that the cop then proceeds to arrest you and book you downtown. Your signature is an acceptance of either paying the fine or a court hearing date, without bond. Without that, the cop will take it to the next level - arrest.

It's the court where you make your arguments.
 
2011-01-31 04:09:02 PM

The Homer Tax: Shovel your sidewalks, dicks.

We live in a goddamned community, start acting like it. For once in your life get the fark over yourself for a half second, exert and extra 5 minutes of effort, and shovel your farking walk so people can use them.

Sorry this is one of my pet peeves, holy shiat are some people lazy and selfish.


easy when you live in black and white land......i live in gray land where the idiot plow drivers push three feet of snow onto the sidewalk evey time they plow......not my problem.
 
2011-01-31 04:09:54 PM

The Homer Tax: grinding_journalist: Just called my brother to discuss this specifically- I was wondering whether I was obligated to salt my sidewalk given the freezing rain/sleet mix falling from the sky today over the midwest. He said he'd LOVE a "improperly cleared walk" case, as there are ordinances city/countywide that mandate a "safe, passable walkway must be maintained..." etc. Little old lady slips on a spot of near-invisible ice on my diligently-cleared-of-snow sidewalk, falls, breaks something. Open and shut case, I'm liable. Since I'd obviously been diligently clearing, I was aware that the walkway wasn't safe, and therefore I was in clear violation of county ordinance. She gon' get paiiiiid.

Flipside: I do nothing. Snow accumulates up to about 8" on the walk. Freezing rain puts a sheet of ice on top of the snow. I still do nothing. Same little old lady wrecks herself on the walk. Since I DIDN'T DO anything, I'm not liable for improperly clearing- all they can get me for is the $150 fine for not doing it in the first place.

Either you're full of shiat or your brother is. I don't see anything in that ordinance that stipulates you must be *aware* that the walkway is dangerous. It simply states that you need to maintain one. Ignorance of the law is never a valid excuse. All you're doing by not shoveling your walk is risking someone injuring themselves and suing you *and* you getting a ticket for not clearing your walk.

Also, in a non-legal sense you look like a huge dick to the rest of us.


You must have missed the part where I explained "I do this anyway for my guests as a matter of course".

I, as an American, white, male, property owner, have to be very very aware of who can potentially come after me and for what. Because they will if they can. And they'll win. Because I'm a white male property owner (read: has money).

You must have also missed the part where I explained that this was a purely hypothetical situation, specifically created to generate what could be perceived as the maximum amount of potential liability for myself. That was the way I framed the scenario to my brother, and admittedly I simplified, rather than transcribed, our phone conversation. Again, the way he explained it to me, (remember, I have a GED in Law) was that if I do a crappy job of shoveling the walk, I am MORE liable than if I did nothing in the first place. My apologies if the way I wrote it confused you, it made sense to me when I reread it; but then again I had the conversation in the first place.

/I should only look like a dick to people who skimmed, rather than read, my wall of text.
 
2011-01-31 04:12:08 PM

Firethorn: Theaetetus: grinding_journalist: If a cop came to my door to give me a ticket for not shoveling, I'd refuse to sign and request to see a property tax form that indicated that the sidewalk was my property.

... Did you really think that refusing to sign a ticket means you don't have to pay it?

Yeah, refusing to sign the ticket, in many locations, means that the cop then proceeds to arrest you and book you downtown. Your signature is an acceptance of either paying the fine or a court hearing date, without bond. Without that, the cop will take it to the next level - arrest.

It's the court where you make your arguments.


Just checked that too; and it's a moot point. The "not shoveling" ticket gets handed out the same way traffic fines do, with a little computer printer thing- no signature required anymore. So I guess revise my response to eliminate steps 1 and 2 and skip straight to "call lawyer".
 
2011-01-31 04:12:52 PM
The Homer Tax:
Also, in a non-legal sense you look like a huge dick to the rest of us.

I'd say you are the ignorant prick
 
2011-01-31 04:19:36 PM

grinding_journalist: Following up on my own post, inb4 the folks who say "you have to, it's illegal not to"

A quick google and perusal of a few personal liability info sites leads me to believe that, no matter the state, you are MORE likely to get rogered by a pedestrian who falls on your already shoveled/partially shoveled walkway than you are to get a fine for not doing it at all- doing a crappy job legally implies that you are aware of the unsafe condition of the walk, and did an insufficient job of eliminating the unsafe condition. I'd rather eat a $150 fine than a $50,000 ($500,000?) lawsuit cuz someone's kid slipped on the 3x3" square I couldn't scrape off the concrete.


Yeah, but if you put up signs in triplicate then you're covered.
 
2011-01-31 04:20:53 PM

Danger Mouse: The town should levy payments from all property owners and clear the walk ways on behalf of the commonwealth.


Burlington, VT does that. They have a little fleet of bobcats with snowblowers. a few hours after the snow stops falling, they drive them down the sidewalks. Heads off this whole my responsibility/your responsibility argument, it's awesome.
 
2011-01-31 04:23:35 PM

Honest Bender: The Homer Tax: Stop being a dick and shovel your sidewalk.

Why should we? It's not our property. The city has laid claim to it. Let them shovel it.


Enjoy the property tax hike as the city now has to pay hundreds of people to clear the walks.
 
2011-01-31 04:23:59 PM
The simplest solution is for all pedestrians to walk around with shovels. That way if they encounter an unshoveled sidewalk they can shovel it themselves and avoid injury. In fact, the city should pass an ordinance requiring pedestrians to carry shovels for their own safety. Those caught walking around without shovels after a snowstorm could be ticketed and required to pay a fine. After all, we're a community, right?
 
2011-01-31 04:26:12 PM
There's a special place in hell for the people that meticulously clear every square inch of their driveway, but leave their sidewalk completely unshoveled.
 
2011-01-31 04:26:26 PM
I actually had a friend that fell and broke his ankle in 3 places in a plowed but still icy parking lot of an apartment complex. Not a single lawyer would take the case and said that the complex was not liable because it fell within the bounds of reasonable attempt to clear even though it was still icy (as you can never get it all). But the law probably varies from city to city.

If my friend wasn't such a wuss though and didn't have bones made with sugar he would have been just fine.
 
2011-01-31 04:29:44 PM

Hebalo: Honest Bender: The Homer Tax: Stop being a dick and shovel your sidewalk.

Why should we? It's not our property. The city has laid claim to it. Let them shovel it.

Enjoy the property tax hike as the city now has to pay hundreds of people to clear the walks.


We covered this upthread. You either do it yourself or pay an after-the-fact "fee" for them to do it for you. It would actually be a revenue generator for the city.
 
2011-01-31 04:35:12 PM
And this is why the people in DC are walking down the street instead of the sidewalk - screwing up traffic worse and getting hit too.

I can't understand how the Mid-Atlantic region is constantly surprised by the existence of snow. It happens every year, and usually at least once a significant amount. Yet every year it's a quizical "what's this white stuff?" look on everyone's face, and nobody has a shovel or snow boots.

In every place I've ever lived it is YOUR responsibility to clear the sidewalk, and if you don't you'll get fined. If you are out of town, call a neighbor and get them to pay someone to do it. If you're old, get your kids to do it or pay for someone to do it. There is NO excuse not to, and it's unacceptable and dickish to pretend you didn't know. But people around here are experts at denying responsibility and blaming everything on the government that they don't want to pay taxes to.
 
2011-01-31 04:39:54 PM
Fark everyone. I don't shovel jack.
Cocksuckers always dropping beer bottles and trash in my yard, I pray for the day the sidewalk in front of my house is inaccessible.
Call me a "dick" all you want. I hope the next person that drops an Old Milwaukee can in my yard slips and dies.

And why did the reporter quote some 19 yr old college kid? As if give a fark what that child has to say. Might as well have asked Mrs Wilson's kindergarten class what their opinion was while they were at it. Hey Princess Victoria, blow me.
 
2011-01-31 04:45:17 PM
Responsibility of Property Ownership.

If people would just do the right thing, we wouldn't need laws like this requiring you to do so.

Also, the fellow upthread who said his brother in law the lawyer said that he's not responsible to someone who slips, falls and hurts themself on his unshoveled sidewalk.

Think again dude. Perhaps you shouldn't believe everything you're told.

Lastly, too many of you think that every slip and fall lawsuit is a naked money grab; far too many are but most are against people or business abrogating their responsibility of care to others. If you own (or sometimes lease) property with a public sidewalk in front of it, it's your responsibility to clear it of snow.
 
2011-01-31 04:49:23 PM
Why does a sidewalk easement not seem to qualify as "private property be[ing] taken for public use without just compensation"?

/not trolling; genuinely curious
//they didn't cover this in my GED law program
 
2011-01-31 04:52:21 PM

Honest Bender: theknuckler_33: Honest Bender: Cities want it both ways. It's their sidewalk when they want to use it without my permission. But it's mine when it needs maintenance. F that.

I wouldn't call shoveling the snow "maintenance". Fixing a crack or something like that is maintenance. It's a shame people have to look at it like that anyway. Shoveling your sidewalk is something you do just because it is the decent thing to do.

Well, I'd call it maintenance. But what I was really getting at is the fact that if someone slips on your stretch of sidewalk it's your fault. If the sidewalk needs shoveling it's your responsibility. But it's not your property. You can't build on it. You can't keep people off of it.

For all intents and purposes the sidewalk belongs to the city. Except when they need something done to it. Then you better take care of that TODAY or get a ticket.

If it's my property then I expect to get full usage of that space. I retain my right to deny access to people. And I'll take responsibility for upkeep and maintenance.

If the city wants to take away ANY of those rights, then my property line ends where the sidewalk begins and I take no responsibility for it. The city can hire someone to come out and shovel it.


*walks on Honest Bender's little swath of grass in between sidewalk and street every day for 3 years, making a mudhole. whistles*
 
2011-01-31 04:54:32 PM

susler: Responsibility of Property Ownership.

If people would just do the right thing, we wouldn't need laws like this requiring you to do so.

Also, the fellow upthread who said his brother in law the lawyer said that he's not responsible to someone who slips, falls and hurts themself on his unshoveled sidewalk.

Think again dude. Perhaps you shouldn't believe everything you're told.

Lastly, too many of you think that every slip and fall lawsuit is a naked money grab; far too many are but most are against people or business abrogating their responsibility of care to others. If you own (or sometimes lease) property with a public sidewalk in front of it, it's your responsibility to clear it of snow.


I didn't say I wasn't liable, I said I was less likely to be on the hook for it if I didn't bother. If I attempt to clear the walk, do so in an unsatisfactory manner, and someone gets hurt, I'm MORE likely to get screwed as a result, as opposed to doing nothing at all. The lady can still sue if she gets hurt on my unshoveled walk, but will have a harder time of it.
 
2011-01-31 05:23:10 PM
But I don't have a sidewalk .... or a snow shovel.
 
2011-01-31 05:29:08 PM
13th amendment

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

forcing me to maintain city property without being paid when I have not been convicted of a crime is a violation of the 13th amendment. It is modern day slavery
 
2011-01-31 06:03:24 PM
What about all the bank owned foreclosures? A city/cop could take in a LOT of fines from these "negligent" homeowners.
 
2011-01-31 06:46:37 PM

Hebalo: Enjoy the property tax hike as the city now has to pay hundreds of people to clear the walks.


I might consider it a good deal Why? Sure, shoveling might take me 15 minutes, but a guy on a bobcat style plow/blower could blaze through in under a minute. He'd be five blocks away before I could do my sidewalk by hand.

I value my time at around $20/hour anymore, especially for work like this. I don't have enough driveway/sidewalk to justify buying a snowblower that I'd then have to spend time keeping up.

Meanwhile the city can afford machines that might cost 10X to do 100X the work. Employing a dude to blaze through the sidewalks for a few hundred/thousand homes becomes money efficient, assuming he's going through all of them.

It's the same deal for grass cutting services - they'll cut a SUBSTANTIAL discount if a whole block signs up with them, because loading/moving/unloading is one of their biggest time expenses. If they can get the whole block, they'll bring in an even bigger mower and get the whole lot mowed quicker than most people take to mow just theirs.
 
2011-01-31 06:49:13 PM
And this is why I bought a house on one of the few streets that *don't* have a sidewalk.
 
2011-01-31 07:00:26 PM
Instead of shovelling my sidewalk, I shovelled a huge maze in my front yard. People who want to walk through my yard better keep an eye out for the minotaur.
 
2011-01-31 07:34:37 PM
It takes like 5 minutes to shovel the sidewalk in front of your house. Get off your fat asses
 
2011-01-31 08:31:09 PM
Really? It's winter ... wear boots. Ice formation typically is reduced by not plowing and compacted snow isn't that slick.

I spent 15 years in Alaska, never shoveled a walk - never fell. Moved to the midwest now and shovel my drive + 600 feet of frontage. Takes about an hour and I routinely fall on my arse after a rain/freeze over dry pavement.
 
2011-01-31 08:35:55 PM

jimpoz: easement


Because it's like all other easments, that's what an easment is.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easement
 
2011-01-31 08:39:51 PM

Flashlight: 13th amendment

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

forcing me to maintain city property without being paid when I have not been convicted of a crime is a violation of the 13th amendment. It is modern day slavery


No, that's a property code ... just like mowing your lawn - not having 1000 chickens roaming around, etc. Since your work is on private property (sorry but in most places the sidewalk is within your property line, but with an easment given to the city) the provision of maintenance does not apply as forced labor on public lands.
 
2011-01-31 09:04:52 PM
I live in a cul de sac with no public sidewalk adjacent to my property, so I'm getting a kick out of all you whiners.

The city should be responsible for its own easements. Suck it, fools!
 
2011-01-31 11:40:28 PM
The sidewalk isn't normally maintained by the residents, is it? IOW they don't normally pave it, blacktop it, whatever? So why the fark should they have to shovel it? The sidewalks belong to the municipality.

Thankfully I live in a town with enough brains and common sense to take care of this problem, because it's, y'know...THEIR problem.
 
2011-01-31 11:44:48 PM
Reminds me of this thread from a couple+ years ago. Link (new window)
 
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