News Flash

City of Idaho Falls News

Posted on: February 3, 2020

Sidewalk Snow Removal - Keeping our Community Accessible

Sidewalk Snow Removal

Clearing snow and ice from all pathways – not just along sidewalks, but also parking lots and curb ramps – is an essential part of keeping our community safe and accessible during the winter.   

There are groups of individuals in our community who rely on sidewalks and crosswalks to be mobile, including children, people with certain disabilities and seniors.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires maintaining ADA-compliant access to pathways year-round, which includes removing snow and ice.

The City does not have the resources available to clear sidewalks and other right-of-ways. This is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner and, according to city code, must be done within twenty-four hours following the cessation of a precipitation event. Noncompliance would result in an infraction.

“Snow removal is a big job, particularly when Mother Nature repeatedly challenges us with a large amount of snow in a short period of time. Teamwork is essential during weather events that impact our entire city. We are very fortunate to live in a community where it is not uncommon to see individuals lend a helping hand to others who may be unable to shovel due to ailments or disabilities,” states Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.Sidewalk Snow Removal Volunteers_Image

There are online resources available such as those offered by Just Serve to assist with organizing volunteer groups to assist with snow removal efforts.

We ask that residents move snow onto landscaped areas in the yard or the corner of a parking lot rather than onto streets. City Code prohibits placing snow on any public street, sidewalk, easement, right-of-way, or public way, alleyway or sidewalk.

Brian Cardon, Street Superintendent states, “Snowplow operators try to avoid placing snow on sidewalks, but in some instances this may not be possible. The more snow that has fallen, the greater the problem encountered as the snow spills over the top of the blades.”

Blowing, throwing or pushing snow from driveways and walks into the street may create significant traffic hazards.

“Some businesses and residents have pushed large piles of snow into the street, hoping it would melt quickly. Unfortunately, the snow pile is a hazard itself, but the ice created when the melting snow refreezes can make the situation even more dangerous,” adds Cardon.

Residents who have concerns about snow and ice that has not been removed from sidewalks should call (208) 529-1200 which is the non-emergency number for the Dispatch Center. Individuals who have concerns with parked cars on city streets during a snow event, defined as 2-inches or more of snow on the roadway with associated city-wide parking restrictions in place, should also call (208) 529-1200.

Additional Resources:

Snow Removal Information

Snow and Ice Control Policies and Procedures

Interactive Snow Removal Maps

Media Contact: Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon, (208) 612-8122 or khammon@idahofallsidaho.gov

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