Many people rely on walking and transit as their primary way to get around, and without a wide, clear path through snow and ice, it is especially difficult for people with disabilities, seniors, and children to walk safely. According to the Municipal Code of Chicago (4-4-310 & 10-8-180), property owners and occupants are responsible for keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice.
Download Sidewalk Snow Removal Guidance for Residents and Businesses (pdf, 1.2mb)
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Mayor's Pedestrian Advisory Council (MPAC) would like to recognize businesses and organizations that do an excellent job of clearing their sidewalks of snow and ice.
The public can nominate locations that show excellence in sidewalk snow removal by calling the
Winter Wonder Nomination line at 312.744.3623 or Online using the 2012-2013 Winter Wonder Nomination form.
At the end of the season, nominated businesses and organiztions will receive a letter of recognition, the "Winter Wonder" award, and special mention on the CDOT website
Businesses and organizations can promote their participation in this program by displaying the Winter Wonder Participation Poster.
Download Winter Wonder Participation Poster (pdf, 2.7mb)
The door hangers are intended as a reminder to shovel the sidewalk and offer assistance to anyone physically unable to clear their own sidewalks. The door hangers emphasize the importance of sidewalk snow removal and safe winter travel.
The door hangers are mailed to aldermanic offices and dozens of businesses and community groups throughout the city, for distribution throughout the neighborhoods.
Download Sidewalk Snow Removal Door Hanger (pdf, 1.3mb)
Chicago Snow Corps is a new program that connects volunteers with residents in need of snow removal - such as seniors and residents with disabilities.
To request a volunteer to shovel your block in case of extreme snowfall, call 311. This is a volunteer-matching service. The City will do its best to match those who have requested assistance.
Report locations that DO NOT clear their sidewalks by making a "Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk" request with
the City of Chicago 311 Service Request Line.
DIAL 311 or Online Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk Request
If calling from outside Chicago, call 312.744.5000
When you make a "Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk" request, please note the following:
- Make sure the problem occurs on the sidewalk.
- DO NOT use this category to report snow on streets, parking lots, or alleys.
- Provide a specific address where the problem occurs.
- Request a reference number from the operator, this will help you track the status and resolution of your request.
According to the Municipal Code of Chicago, "Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground abutting upon any public way or public space shall remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk..."
It is everyone's responsibility to make sure the sidewalks are clear of snow and ice. We are all pedestrians and benefit from having a safe, clear, and continuous path to travel.
If the snow stops falling before 4 p.m. you have three hours to clear except on Sunday.
If the snow stops falling after 4 p.m. or on Sunday, you have to clear before 10 a.m. on the next day.
The Municipal Code of Chicago requires individuals to clear a 5 foot wide path along the sidewalk, where conditions allow.
This width allows pedestrians in wheelchairs, people with children in strollers, students walking to school, and individuals with assistive devices mobility and access.
- Remove snow and ice along ALL sidewalks adjacent to your property
- Move snow to your yard or the parkway adjecent to your property
- Do not push snow from the sidewalk into the street
- Do not cover the crosswalks with snow
- Do not block alley entrances with snow
- Do not pile snow around fire hydrants
Individuals who do not comply with the sidewalk snow removal ordinance can face fines of $50.
Businesses who do not comply with the sidewalk snow removal ordinance can face fines from $250 to $500 per day of violation.