Shoveling snow from sidewalks the law in Springfield, Columbia, Kansas City--most Missouri cities

Missouri media outlets are covering Missouri's snowy sidewalk problem.

OzarksFirst reports:

Shoveling the driveway was a necessity this week if you wanted to leave the house but what about the sidewalk?

A city of Springfield ordinance requires you to clear the sidewalk for pedestrians.

The city's never ticketed violators, but shoveling the sidewalk is the law. It's also a small thing you can do that has a big effect on others.

The Columbia Missourian wrote:

Sidewalks are not the city’s responsibility. According to the sidewalk standards in Columbia’s code of ordinances, residents are required to keep their sidewalks clear and free from snow and ice.

“Any person failing to observe the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor,” according to the code.

Jill Stedem, public information specialist at the Public Works Department, said there’s been some leeway with recent enforcement due to the weather, but people are still asked to take care of their sidewalks and follow the ordinance.

Kansas City's NBC 41 News has been covering this issue throughout the recent storms.  A recent story says:

Many cities have ordinances requiring people shovel their sidewalks within a reasonable amount of time. But few communities hand out tickets.

In Kansas City, residents have a "reasonable amount of time" to clear sidewalks. But Call For Action found no agency willing to enforcing the rule by ticketing. . . . 

Call For Action found only one city, Lawrence, ready and willing to ticket. Regarding snow, the city ordinance states, "removal must be done within 48 hours after the ice forms or snowfall ends." The fine is $20 per day.

Following this latest snowfall, Lawrence has extended the period to clear sidewalks before ticketing due to the blizzard conditions and now the cold. The deadline went from 8 am Friday morning to 5 pm Friday afternoon.

In January, Lawrence handed out 157 citations following two snowfalls.

In fact, shoveling walks is a requirement in most Missouri cities--and of course neighborly wherever you are.

Most cities enforce the sidewalk laws on a complaint basis--which means that if your sidewalk is on an isolated cul-de-sac the city is unlikely to ever bother you about it.  

But if, for instance, you're walking in a busy street in a commercial area because the sidewalk hasn't been cleared, filing a complaint with your local city just might help the situation.

The Active Transportation Alliance (Chicago) has flyers you can print and distribute--thanking property owners who have shoveling and giving a gentle nudge to those who haven't.