Boston officials are reminding people that putting snow, slush or ice onto city streets or sidewalks – whether by shoveling, plowing, throwing, or any other means – is banned and can lead to fines.
The city is also reminding property and business owners that, within three hours after a snowstorm ends, adjacent sidewalks and handicap ramps must be cleared by creating paths that are at least 42 inches wide. If a storm ends overnight, paths must be cleared within three hours from sunrise.
Failure to adequately remove snow or ice from a sidewalk costs is subject to fines of: $200 per day for commercial properties; $100 per day for residential properties with more than 16 units; and $50 for residential property with 16 or fewer units.
Illegally putting more than one cubic yard of snow, slush or ice onto a city street or sidewalk is subject to fines of: $200 if the snow or ice is moved from a commercial property; $150 if it is moved from a residential property with more than 16 units; and $100 if it is moved from a residential property with 16 or fewer units.
Illegally putting one cubic yard or less of snow, slush or ice onto a city street or sidewalk is subject to fines of: $150 if the snow or ice is moved from a commercial property; $100 if it is moved from a residential property with more than 16 units; and $50 if it is moved from a residential property with 16 or fewer units.
“Un-shoveled sidewalks and ramps and dumping snow onto the street can create a serious public safety issue for which violators will be subject to fines,” said a statement from the city’s Inspectional Services Department. “ISD also strongly recommends homeowners clear all fire hydrants, storm drains and catch basins.”
“Property owners should ensure roof drains and gutters are maintained and clear of any material that could cause blockage or backups,” the statement added. “Low sloped or flat roofed structures that accumulate a significant amount of snow should be removed by professionals.
The department also reminded property owners that residential dwellings require heat a minimum of 68 degrees between 7 a.m. and 12 a.m. and 64 degrees between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m.
Tenants with heating problems should first try to contact the property owner or management. If they are unresponsive, tenants should contact city officials at 617-635-5300 during business hours or the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at 617-635-4500 after hours and on weekends.
Residents are urged not to use alternative heating sources, like stoves, space heaters, barbeque grills, which can cause fires or the build-up of carbon monoxide gas.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino directed the inspectional services department on Friday to activate its “Cold Weather Response Operation,” which uses adds staffing to the department’s 24-hour on-call roster to help to assist with weather related emergencies that arise during winter storms.
“ISD would like to urge Boston residents to be extremely mindful of the upcoming storm and take all necessary safety precautions,” the city department said in a statement.
Weather forecasts call for Boston and surrounding communities to get heavy amounts of snow -- possibly more than two feet along with blizzard like conditions -- on Friday and Saturday.
For more information, visit http://www.cityofboston.gov/snow/removal/snowremoval.asp.