Supplemental Sidewalk Snow Removal Pilot

What City Residents Need to Know About the Supplemental Sidewalk Snow Removal Project

The City of Syracuse, at no additional cost to taxpayers, will run a small-scale test or “pilot” of municipal removal of snow from certain sidewalks for the remainder of winter 2019. The pilot will cover sidewalks on approximately 20 miles of streets located in each quadrant of the city. This represents less than 5% of sidewalks in the city. A map and list of the covered streets is attached to this information sheet. This is a supplemental program, which means property owners are still responsible for clearing and maintaining their sidewalks.

The purpose of the pilot is to improve public safety and walkability in Syracuse. The purpose is also to help the city understand if and how it should conduct municipal sidewalk snow removal in the future. The Department of Public Works will oversee a local contractor to complete the pilot. Based on what we learn, the city can determine how to best approach this work in the future.

-February, March and April 2019

-Sidewalks on 20 miles of streets in the city (both sides will be cleared)
-Streets with the highest pedestrian and vehicle counts, according to traffic studies
-Near schools, shopping areas, and other places people frequently walk

– JSK Snow Services
-Trained employees using tractors and snow blowers

– No additional cost to taxpayers
– Funded under the current Department of Public Works budget

Resident Responsibilities
If you live on a street covered by the pilot
– You maintain responsibility for the clearance of snow and ice from sidewalks
– A private contractor paid for by the city will clear the sidewalks when accumulations reach 3-6 inches
If you don’t live on a street covered by the pilot
– You maintain responsibility for the clearance of snow and ice from sidewalks
– Your street may be included if the supplemental sidewalk snow program is expanded in the future

Questions and Answers
Q. How were the streets in the pilot area selected?
A. They are where there are the most cars and walkers, according to data from the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council. Danger to drivers and pedestrians would be higher in these areas.

Q. Why use a private contractor?
A. The primary winter responsibility of our DPW is snow removal from roads. Using a private contractor for the sidewalk pilot will ensure our DPW crews and capital resources are not diverted from their priority focus on roads. The selected contractor also has specific experience in removing snow from sidewalks.

Q. Why do property owners have to clear snow from the sidewalks?
Under the City Charter, property owners are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks on their properties, including snow and ice removal (Chapter 24, Article 2, Sec. 24-3).

Q. Why doesn’t the city enforce this law?
A. The ordinance does not include a fine or penalty for violation. Previous attempts to enact a fine or penalty have not been successful. Instead of attempting to institute and collect fines citywide, the city wants to test municipal snow clearance in a small area to determine if the service could be implemented in a larger area.

More information about sidewalks and property owner responsibilities: