It’s a usual wintertime complaint in the District — snow falls, residents and business-owners alike fail to properly shovel and pedestrians are left to navigate treacherous sidewalks.
But a bill making its way through the D.C. Council would finally update a 90-year-old law and more forcefully require residents and business to shovel their walks after any significant amount of snow.
The bill, originally introduced in January by Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), would increase fines imposed against residents and businesses that don’t shovel their walks within the first eight daylight hours after a storm. More important, though, it would create a more efficient enforcement mechanism, allowing the city to actually collect those fines and impress upon nonshoveling scofflaws the errors of their ways.
As we learned earlier this year, the District’s existing shoveling law dates to 1922 and imposes a $25 fine for not clearing a sidewalk when there’s snow on it. But it also sports an enforcement mechanism that isn’t terribly easy to employ — essentially, the District has to clear the snow and then sue a resident or business to get the fines. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t particularly effective.
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]