Clear Snow and Ice from Sidewalks

1. Identify yourself: 
I live in Squirrel Hill (near the top of the hill on S. Negley Ave) and do a lot of walking - to work, local businesses, bus stops, or just for recreation.
2. Define the Problem: 
Too many residents do not accept their responsibility for clearing their sidewalks of snow and ice, which creates a hazardous situation for all pedestrians. This especially affects elderly residents, those who are unable to or choose not to drive, and transit users.
3. Select a category that best fits your Problem: 
Public safety
4. Propose a Solution: 
Enforcing the existing ordinance (city code §419.03) would certainly help. If the ordinance is not currently being enforced due to cost, the fines should be increased in order to make it cost effective. An alternative would be for the city to clear sidewalks in violation of the ordinance, billing the cost of snow and ice removal (including administrative costs) to the property owner.
6. Perfect World: 
Keeping sidewalks clear would decrease the incidence of "slip and fall" injuries, and encourage more people to walk around the city - both of which could be measured.


Lead by example. The city must first set an example by cleaning sidewalks it owns. I agree the citizen's neglect of their sidewalks is an issue especially for the elderly and handicapped. The city should first take responsibility to take care of their own property before enforcing their ordinances.

One excellent example of the city failing to clear their sidewalks at the expense of citizens and businesses is the bridge on Negley crossing the east busway. The street is an important corridor connecting residents in the Friendship neighborhood to the Ellsworth Ave. businesses. The city already made the mistake this late summer of doubling the crosswalk wait time at the Negley&Centre intersection and is further hurting businesses by failing to shovel snow along this corridor.

An initiative of The Pittsburgh Foundation
in partnership with the Institute of Politics.