Supporting Information Facts

Department:

City Services

Sidewalk Snow Removal

Your responsibility in removing snow and ice from the sidewalks

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)

 

Increase awareness of sidewalk snow removal laws

Nominate businesses and organizations for a "Winter Wonder" Award

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 312.744.5819 or Online using the  2013-2014 Winter Wonder Nomination form.

At the end of the season, nominated businesses and organizations 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, 8.7mb)

Sidewalk Snow Removal Door Hangers

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)

 

Request a Snow Corp Volunteer

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.

Visit the City of Chicago Snow Corps website

 

Report locations that DO NOT clear sidewalks to 311

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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sidewalk Snow Removal

Who is responsible for clearing the snow and ice from sidewalks?

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.

How long do I have to clear the sidewalks?

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.

How much snow do I need to clear to comply with the ordinance?

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.

What is the best way to remove snow from the sidewalk?

- Remove snow and ice along ALL sidewalks adjacent to your property
- Move snow to your yard or the parkway adjacent 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

What happens if I don't clear my sidewalk?

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.