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Metro Brief: Clearing sidewalks of snow is the law

Montomgery County

On January 12, 2015

Leggett (right) reminds county residents it is the law and “the right thing to do” to shovel sidewalks after snowfall.
Credit: mymcmedia.org

Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett has announced an initiative designed to remind residents they are required by law to clear sidewalks in front of, and alongside, their properties within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm.

“As winter approaches, county residents should be ready to clear their sidewalks, check in on neighbors in need, and prepare for winter emergencies,” said Leggett. “Clearing your walks is the law, but, even more, it is the right thing to do.” 

Flanked by colorful posters featuring “talking” snow shovels, Leggett talked about the campaign.

All single-family home households in the county will receive a mailer this week from the County Office of Public Information and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The campaign also will include bus signs, library and recreation center posters, in addition to outreach to civic associations and community organizations.

The county has also rolled out a new website: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/safesidewalks and will be conducting outreach via social media.

The website includes the county law on sidewalks, as well as details about the slightly different requirements in some municipalities, and copies of campaign materials. It also includes a “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

“For residents who use public transportation, walk, or bike, access to sidewalks is crucial,” said Councilmember Hans Riemer, who has taken the lead in the council in urging more outreach on the sidewalk-clearing requirement. “After winter storms, we all have a role to play in keeping our neighbors and our community safe by keeping our sidewalks clear of snow and ice. A resilient community can bounce right back from major weather events, and resiliency was my goal in writing the sidewalk snow removal plan legislation.”

The campaign also asks residents to check up on older adults and vulnerable residents who may live nearby, especially those who live alone. It encourages county residents to sign up for Alert Montgomery at https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov to receive winter weather alerts on computers and mobile devices.

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