TELL US: Is the Newton Snow Shoveling Ordinance Working?

Although Newton hasn't seen a large-scale snowstorm in a while, we want to know if your neighbors and the city are doing a good job shoveling and de-icing sidewalks.

When Newton Patch posted a story yesterday about the Newton aldermen considering an extension to the trial snow shoveling ordinance, we heard a few comments on the site and on Twitter about some, well, lackluster shoveling jobs in the city.

Although last winter was very mild and this winter has been relatively quiet (so far), there have been a few storms since the Newton aldermen passed a trial snow shoveling ordinance in March 2011.

The two-year trial snow shoveling ordinance requires property owners to remove snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property within 30 hours of a storm. 

During the trial, which started on Nov. 1, 2011, the city does not fine property owners for not shoveling, but may issue notices of non-compliance. 

So, has the snow shoveling ordinance worked? Are the sidewalks de-iced or shoveled within the required amount of time? Tell us in the comments section below.

While we're at it -- how has the plowing been in the city? 

Residents can report an unshoveled sidewalk or other snow-related issues through the city's 311 system.

Later this week, the Board of Aldermen's Public Safety and Public Facilities committees will discuss an extension to the two-year "trial" snow shoveling ordinance. According to committee agendas, 15 aldermen have docketed an item that requests a one-year extension to the trial, which is scheduled to expire on Nov. 1, 2013.

The joint Public Safety and Public Facilities committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7:45 p.m. in room 202 at City Hall. 

Barry Wanger January 08, 2013 at 12:09 PM
The ordinance isn't being enforced well. I take my dog for aile walk in the Newton South HS neighborhood off Greenwood and I'd estimate 20 percent of the homes still haven't shoveled the sidewalks in front of their homes.
Shawn Rimer January 08, 2013 at 05:29 PM
I live on the street leading to Mt. Ida college and I would say half of the home owners along this well traveled route have cleared the walk ways. The biggest offender is Mt. Ida itself. They own the property abutting large sections of sidewalks on major streets and intersections that have still not been cleared. I guess my answer is no there appears to be little support for this Ordinance in my area of Newton.
Keith W. Bacon January 08, 2013 at 06:08 PM
It's not working. The JCC for example has a big campus with 30 cars parked along Winchester St with none of the sidewalks surrounding cleared. Why are these cars even allowed to park on the street during the Winter? Further down the street is a park and golf course also with sidewalks not cleared.
Keith W. Bacon January 08, 2013 at 06:11 PM
I saw that as well Shawn. Ordinance or not, it's about safety and doing the right thing for the people of this community.
George Zeliger January 08, 2013 at 08:22 PM
On West St. and Adams St. there is not too much snow. However, whatever remains has converted into ice and is quite slippery. One side of both streets is cleaner than the other because of the sun. The same applies to Watertown St. and Washington St.
George Zeliger January 08, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Keith, My car is not parked there, so I am asking out of pure curiosity - where do you want those cars to be parked? Do the drivers have an alternative?
Mark Dionne January 09, 2013 at 12:13 AM
On Route 9 in front of Shreve Crump and Low, the sidewalk has never been shoveled and is very icy.
Keith W. Bacon January 09, 2013 at 12:57 AM
George, I've never had the opportunity to go to the JCC but perhaps expanding the parking lot? I witness near accidents with cars and people being almost run over daily there. I just wish a solution could be out in place before someone gets hurt.
Kristine Munroe January 09, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Nothing has changed at all. Sidewalks along city properties (by parks, municipal lots) also frequently remain unshoveled.


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