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DC Government Reminds You to Do the Right Thing and Clear Your Sidewalks

When a big snow storm hits the District, we all need to pitch in and do our part so everyone can get around safely.

Who is responsible for clearing sidewalks?

District law requires property owners to clear snow and ice from sidewalks, handicap ramps and steps abutting their property within the first 8 daylight hours after snow, sleet or ice stop falling. (DC Code, 2001 Ed., § 9-601.)

This applies to all property owners – residential, commercial, federal, and municipal. If ice cannot be cleared without damaging the sidewalk, then property owners may spread sand or salt to make the sidewalks safe. (DC Code, 2001 Ed., § 9-604.)

Property owners must also clear snow from the ADA-curb ramps. These are part of the sidewalk. Property owners are also asked to clear snow from catch basins and storm drains to prevent flooding during snow melt.

If you rent a single-family home or your lease states that you, not your landlord, are responsible for clearing the snow, then you can be cited as well. Be sure to call your landlord or review your lease terms if you are not sure.

Is there a fine for not clearing the sidewalk?

Yes. According to DC municipal Code, if property owners fail to comply, and if the District must clear their sidewalk (DC Code, 2001 Ed., § 9-605) the property owners will be sued for the cost of clearing the snow or ice plus a $25 fine (DC Code, 2001 Ed., § 9-606).

-This public safety message is provided by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT)

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