A lot Urban Indy’s content focuses on decisions made by “the man”. You know, the guy/gal/power structure that messes up a lot, doesn’t always get the value of making Indianapolis a live-able city, and can’t seem to listen to our urbanophilic reason? Well, there are also a lot of things, simple things, that you can do to make central Indiana a better place to live and move around in. If you want people to be able to get around the city with ease, I have one recommendation for you today:
Shovel Your Sidewalk!
If you are reading this and you do not have a sidewalk, I am sorry for yelling at you there. I’m also sorry that you don’t have a sidewalk. That’s bunk.
But, if you’re like me, and you have a nice concrete pathway running through your front yard, you’ve probably seen many people using it from time to time. In my neighborhood, the people who are most often on sidewalks are kids headed to their bus stops. Too many children in Indianapolis do not have proper snow attire and, when people don’t shovel, have to trudge through snow in sneakers and cotton socks.Â There are plenty of other folks who use sidewalks, too, and who are put at risk when people fail to shovel. Senior citizens use the sidewalks. People who either cannot afford a car or choose to go car-free use the sidewalks.
Clearing sidewalks demonstrates a concern for these neighbors, which is pretty important. But clearing sidewalks also happens to be a legal requirement of residents. Check out this city ordinance:
Sec. 431-106. Clearing snow and ice from sidewalks.
(a) The occupant of any premises, and the owner of any unoccupied premises, are required to keep the sidewalks in front of or adjacent to such premises cleared, so far as is practicable and reasonable, from snow and ice in order to facilitate pedestrian use of such sidewalks. The word “occupant,” as used in this section, shall be deemed to mean the person occupying for business, residence or other purposes the first floor of any building situated on the premises so occupied; and if the first floor of any building is not occupied, then such premises shall be deemed and held to be unoccupied and the owner or lessee of the entire premises shall be required to keep the sidewalks in front of or adjacent to the premises reasonably cleared from snow and ice.
(b) In case snow or ice has accumulated or fallen on any sidewalk or is continuing to fall after 7:00 p.m., it shall be removed, if practical to do so, or a sufficient path be cleared by the occupant or owner before 9:00 a.m. of the following day. If any snow or ice has fallen or accumulated on any sidewalk after 9:00 a.m., it shall be removed or a path cleared by the occupant or owner by 7:00 p.m. of such day, if the snow has ceased to fall by that time. In either of the foregoing events, the occupant or owner shall be deemed and held to have complied with the provisions of this section.
(c) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section, upon conviction, shall be fined in any sum not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00).
(Code 1975, Â§ 28-14)
The code gives us untilÂ 7 pm tonight to clear any snow, unless it’s still falling. Then, we have until 9 am the next day. That seems like something we can accomplish, right?