It's The Law: Shovel Your Sidewalk By 10 P.M. Or Risk A $500 Fine

It's The Law: Shovel Your Sidewalk By 10 P.M. Or Risk A $500 Fine

As the city braces for a potentially brutal weekend of winter weather, Far North Side aldermen are reminding home and business owners to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice — or pay the $500 price.

Rogers Park Ald. Joe Moore (49th) emailed constituents Thursday asking them to do their neighborly duty of shoveling sidewalks adjacent to their properties, in particular to help keep the residential neighborhood walkable.

"We all need to do our part," Moore said.

Those who don't risk a $500 fine — part of a new ordinance passed by the City Council this year to clarify earlier language in the city's snow-shoveling ordinance. 

The ordinance requires that daytime snowfall be cleared by 10 p.m. and overnight snowfall to be cleared by 10 a.m. Warnings will be issued before tickets are given.

Early last year, hundreds of Chicagoans complained via the city's 311 system that sidewalks weren't properly shoveled, and the city issued dozens of tickets.

Though property owners are required to shovel, the notion that they can be sued if someone slips and falls on the sidewalk afterward is false, legal experts said. 

Moore said those who live in the 49th Ward and want to complain about an unshoveled sidewalk after 24 hours of a snowfall, or are unable to pay someone to shovel, can reach out to his office at 773-338-5796 or

His staff will issue a warning, ticket, or attempt to connect residents who are unable to shovel with volunteers.

Residents 60 and older can use the Snow Corps program, which connects property owners through the city's 311 program with available volunteers.

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