Mayor: Shovel your sidewalks

Posted at 11:40 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 06:17:30-05

Baltimore City's mayor says on Wednesday some residents and businesses that have not shoveled snow off the sidewalk in front of their property can be fined.

Normally, sidewalks must be cleared six hours after the snow ends.  This past weekend’s storm dumped more snow on Baltimore City than any in its history, so fines were not given out right away.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that will change on Wednesday:  “I understand that it is not an easy thing that I'm asking, but we are not living in easy times. We got hit with a huge blizzard and it really is going to require us all to do a little more,” she said.

The fine for businesses that don’t clear snow from the sidewalk in front of their property is $100.  For residents, it’s $50.

In a news conference Tuesday morning, the mayor said all residents could be targeted for fines.  Tuesday afternoon she appeared to back off from that somewhat.

“Starting tomorrow we will begin focusing our attention on the sidewalks in the business districts and the gateway corridors,” she said.  Gateway corridors are large streets through long sections of the city, such as North Avenue, and Charles Street.

That could mean that people who live on smaller, side streets would not be targeted.  Some of those streets still have not been plowed, more than three days after the storm hit.
Council President Bernard "Jack" Young said he's heard that only businesses will be targeted.

“Personally I would hope and I got the assurance from one of the mayor's staff members that the citizens of Baltimore will not be fined for not having the sidewalks clear. But businesses will be,” he said.

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