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How to Clear Ice from Your Sidewalk

Published on NewsOK Published: February 14, 2013

How long do you have to clear ice off the sidewalk? New Yorkers have four hours to clear their sidewalks if it snows between 7 AM and 5 PM, and then "The City may issue property owners a summons for a failure to clear the sidewalks within these time frames." In Chicago, you have only three hours to clear the snow off the sidewalk, and folks who don't do it can face fines of $50. You don't want to leave ice and snow on the sidewalk in Ann Arbor, Michigan, though. They issue fines of up to $1000!

Toronto has a nice snow and ice clearing system: "In much of Toronto, the City provides mechanical sidewalk snow clearing." However, their municipality reminds residents that the snow removal service can take up to 72 hours.

True to the way that Canadians seem to do things right, the City of Edmonton explains the freeze-thaw cycle, and even gives out free sand to its residents. "While properly removing snow prevents a build-up of ice over the winter, freeze-thaw weather cycles cause water from melting snow to run on to cleared walks. The water then becomes ice when the temperature drops. You are still required to keep the walks around your property safe during freeze-thaw cycles, either by keeping them ice-free or by spreading sand or gravel to give pedestrians traction. To help you keep your walks safe, the City provides free sand that can be picked up from green boxes outside your nearest Community League," says the city's website.

The best advice comes from the City of Madison, Wisconsin: "The sooner and more completely you shovel, the less likely ice will form."

Chaya Kurtz writes for

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