WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Should Montgomery County Be Stricter On Shoveling Sidewalks?

Play associated audio
Montgomery County residents current have 24 hours to clear their sidewalks after a snowstorm.
Elvert Barnes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/95413346@N00/12123936785
Montgomery County residents current have 24 hours to clear their sidewalks after a snowstorm.

Almost two weeks after it fell, increasingly small piles of frozen dirty snow remain throughout the area. One Montgomery County council member wants to look at changing laws regarding how quickly residents and businesses must have their sidewalks cleared.

Councilman Hans Riemer says the current law, which mandates that 24 hours after the end of a snow storm sidewalks must be cleared, isn't anywhere near strong enough. He wrote a letter announcing his intention to draft a bill that would create a "Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan."

In the letter, Riemer listed several examples of residents — some with strollers and others using motorized wheelchairs — having to walk on major roads with heavy traffic buzzing by because sidewalks were not cleared days after the storm.

Council president Craig Rice believes new laws are not needed.

"If this most recent snow storm hadn't happened, folks hadn't said that there was a problem with our system," Rice says. "Understanding that this was an anomaly storm, and not the norm, then why would we be reacting to something that was an anomaly and not the norm?"

Rice says better education about the current 24-hour law is needed. But Riemer wants stronger enforcement, meaning more fines for property owners who don't clear their walks. 

If both men agree on anything, it's that resources for such enforcement would be tough to find.  For Rice, there's something else that worries him about tougher enforcement.

"If we're really going to start fining the grandmother who's in her house because she can't shovel her walkway and nobody wants to step up and help her do that, then we're really going down the wrong road," he says.

The council will hold a hearing on the response to the storm in the coming weeks, but it has yet to be scheduled, giving Riemer more time to craft his bill.

NPR

Barbershop: UofL Basketball Ban, Football Concussions And The NFL Women's Summit

ESPN contributor Kevin Blackistone, Bloomberg View's Kavitha Davidson and The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery talk about the UofL basketball team, public opinion of the NFL, and women in sports.
NPR

After Introducing Changes, Keurig Sales Continue To Fall

Despite America's high coffee consumption, Keurig reported disappointing sales this week. Even during its popular holiday selling period, the numbers haven't perked up in recent years.
NPR

On The Clock: Who's Getting The Most Talking Time In Tonight's Debate

It's the last debate before the New Hampshire primary and Donald Trump is back onstage. Which GOP candidate will end up with the most talking time?
NPR

How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract From Kids' Education

Smartphones are often credited with helping bridge the "digital divide" between people who do and don't have Internet access at home. But is mobile Internet enough for a family with a kid in school?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.