Worried about ice? You should be!

Watch Your Step - by Mr. Ducke (Creative Commons)

Watch Your Step - Mr. Ducke (Creative Commons)

As I walked to the metro this morning, I realized that I saw a lot of sidewalks in my area that still had the awful combination of snow and ice all over them.  The first thing I thought is “why haven’t they shoveled”?  But I felt better when I realized that Arlington would quickly come down on those who didn’t shovel…

… I shouldn’t have been that hasty.  It turns out that Arlington, like many other counties and cities in the area, don’t require homeowners or businesses to shovel their sidewalks.  So although the streets are clear, the pedestrians are out of luck.

I don’t know about you – but I think that’s just ridiculous.  This isn’t a rural community with no sidewalks.  Plenty of people in the DC metro area have been convinced to give up commuting by car and walk to a bus stop, metro station, or to work.  So why don’t they require business and homeowners to clear their own sidewalks?

Here is a list of the rules I found by searching the web:

  • Washington DC – Snow must be removed within 8 hours.  DC has the most pedestrian friendly rules of all the areas.
  • Alexandria City – requires that snow be removed within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall.  Thanks Alexandria!
  • Arlington County – encourages people to shovel, but does not require it by statute.
  • Fairfax County - encourages people to shovel, but does not require it by statute.
  • Montgomery County – Snow must be removed within 24 hours of the snow fall ending.  Thanks Montgomery!
  • Prince Georges – Snow and ice must be removed within 48 hours.  (Just stay home that first day, I guess.)

What is your experience with snow and ice on sidewalks?  Seen anyone fall down recently?

Jonathan Baker

came to DC, left for San Francisco, and then realized he couldn’t live without a daily fix of politics and came back. When not traveling to crazy locations, he speaks and writes for a major software house in CA.

4 thoughts on “Worried about ice? You should be!

  1. I was out shoveling all week long, though some good Samaritan shoveled all the sidewalks on both sides of our streets on Wednesday afternoon.

  2. The 24 hour rule would cover, that, would it not?

    If the snow is just gone in 24 hours, then you don’t need to shovel. But if you have an area which is in the shade, that ice won’t be gone the next day – or perhaps for several days.

  3. my walk to the Metro in Alexandria City is still pretty treacherous, because it’s not really a residential neighborhood and the warehouse owners don’t seem to care about the pedestrians either, despite what the law says. I think there needs to be a crack-down, or I will end up with a cracked head!