City reminds residents to shovel sidewalks via Safe Sidewalks Pledge

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published February 26, 2015

 Snow and ice cover the sidewalk Feb. 20 on Redwood Court. The city recently reminded residents of their responsibility to remove snow and ice within 24 hours of snowfall. Pedestrians created an icy path on city sidewalks after a recent snowfall of approximately 1 foot Feb. 2. City code requires residents to not only clear sidewalks, but also walkways, driveways and parking lots to prevent accidents and injuries.

Snow and ice cover the sidewalk Feb. 20 on Redwood Court. The city recently reminded residents of their responsibility to remove snow and ice within 24 hours of snowfall. Pedestrians created an icy path on city sidewalks after a recent snowfall of approximately 1 foot Feb. 2. City code requires residents to not only clear sidewalks, but also walkways, driveways and parking lots to prevent accidents and injuries.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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SOUTHFIELD — When the snow starts to fly, the first thing many want to do is wrap up in a blanket and sip some hot chocolate, but the city of Southfield is reminding residents to shovel their sidewalks and apply salt after every snowfall.

On Feb. 13, the city launched an effort to remind residents that it’s their responsibility to keep the sidewalks in front of their house free and clear of ice and snow.

While the city is responsible for clearing snow and ice from the roads, it is not responsible for sidewalks and curb cuts in front of homes.

Community Relations Director Michael Manion said the reminder didn’t stem from any issues, but city officials want to ensure residents’ safety.

“We want to remind them we need to keep (sidewalks) clean for the kids walking to school, or the senior citizens walking to the store, or for anybody that could slip and fall,” Manion said.

According to the city code, homeowners and renters are responsible for clearing the snow and ice within 24 hours of snowfall. The code also includes keeping walkways, driveways, parking lots and other common areas free of snow and ice to prevent accidents and injuries.

“Don’t shovel snow from your sidewalks or driveways into the road,” said Justin Beck, Southfield Public Works supervisor. “The city is not responsible for clearing driveway approaches, so it’s the residents’ responsibility to do so. With their back to their house, shovel from left to right. That’s the direction the plows go down. Shovel it to the right to minimize the amount of snow.”

Beck also recommends clearing snow from around fire hydrants to make them more accessible to emergency crews, and not parking on the street if there are more than 4 inches of snow on the ground.

If residents fail to comply with the code, they could be charged with the cost of what it would take for the city to clear the sidewalk.

“We just want to remind folks to be a good neighbor,” Manion said. “Consider helping out a person who might not be physically able or who may be elderly. Good neighbors make great communities.”

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