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Who's responsible for clearing sidewalks of snow? All of us! [PHOTO: gam9551, Flickr]
Posted by: Brenda Massie, Board Member and Secretary, Reconnect Rochester.

Getting around during winter in Rochester is challenging — no matter what mode of transportation you choose. Subzero temperatures, snowy sidewalks, and dangerous street conditions become part of everyday life. As a pedestrian, it is especially hairy…

Who's responsible for clearing sidewalks of snow? All of us! [PHOTO: Nearsoft Inc, Flickr]We often will hear complaints about the level of service the City provides for sidewalk plowing. But, as a recent Democrat & Chronicle article external link highlights, if you own property in the City OR are leasing the first floor of a City property, according to City Code, it is YOUR responsibility to shovel those sidewalks in front of your home or business.

The City provides supplemental sidewalk plowing (and that expense is covered in your tax bill) but, supplementary means just that. So, it’s time to embrace winter and the extra responsibility it brings!

Reconnect followers, I challenge you to do your part and literally reconnect your sidewalk to your neighbor’s. Any amount of snow is worthy of clearing as it will melt and become icy. If you are prone to overachieve, need some extra physical activity, or simply love shoveling, shovel beyond your sidewalk and into your neighbor’s terrain. If they thank you, you can kindly tell them what you’ve learned.

And don’t forget to clear that bus stop or fire hydrant that may be in front of your place. Yes, those are your responsibility too.

Who's responsible for clearing sidewalks of snow? All of us! [PHOTO: George Cheatle, Flickr]
Don’t like the sound of shoveling or maybe you can’t shovel? Think creatively. Perhaps you have a neighbor with a snow blower that would help or maybe a young entrepreneur would do it for a small fee. Bring up this issue at your next Neighborhood Association meeting- maybe the problem can be solved as a group!

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UPDATE: You can report sidewalks that need to be cleared of snow or obstructions to your local Neighborhood Service Center (see numbers below), or after the normal business hours of 8am – 5pm, call 311.

Southeast NSC – 428-7640
Northeast NSC – 428-7660
Northwest NSC – 428-7620
Southwest NSC – 428-7630

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