By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
With another snowstorm predicted for Feb. 12, two Borough Park lawmakers are reminding property owners in their district to clear the sidewalks after the flakes stop falling to the ground.
Councilman David Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) and state Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Borough Park-Midwood) said they want to remind all homeowners and property owners that they are required by law to ensure that the sidewalk in front of their home, store or building is clear of snow and ice within hours of the end of any snowfall or ice storm.
Under Department of Sanitation regulations, the owner or a person designation by the owner must clear the snow or ice from the sidewalk in front of the building within four hours after the snow has stopped falling, or by 11 a.m. if the snow stopped falling after 9 p.m. the night before.
Councilman Greenfield and Senator Felder said they are providing property owners with the warning notice because large portions of local sidewalks remained coated with ice following last week’s storms.
The ice build-up caused a serious safety hazard for pedestrians. The elected officials charged.
And there was another reason for the friendly warning: The Dept. of Sanitation start issuing violations within the next few days.
Fines for failing to adequately clear the sidewalk range from $100 to $150 for the first offense, $150 to $350 for a second offense, and $250 to $350 for third and subsequent offenses. Snow may not be thrown into the street, and rock salt, sand, sawdust or any other suitable material can be used to help break up ice.
“Not only is it the law, but we have a responsibility to clear our sidewalks in order to help keep pedestrians safe. This is especially important in a community like ours with many children, families and elderly citizens who count on being able to safely walk around,” Greenfield said. “I have witnessed several seniors falling due to icy sidewalks and am very concerned about a serious injury occurring."
It’s a serious problem, according to Felder. “My office has been inundated with calls, especially from elderly and frail constituents, who cannot maneuver safely on the icy sidewalks. Emergency rooms have also been flooded with people who have sustained, in some cases, life-threatening injuries as a result of falling on un-shoveled roadways and sidewalks,” he said.
The best thing to do is to take care of any snow and ice accumulation as soon as possible to prevent it from freezing, Greenfield and Felder said.
Those who are physically unable to clear their sidewalk alone should hire a snow plowing business or a neighbor to help, the lawmakers said. In addition, residents can also contact 311 for information about the city’s volunteer snow removal program through NYC Service.
New York City was hit with a dusting of snow Sunday night. That was on top of snow and ice still on the ground from a storm that hit the region last week.
Weather forecasters predicted another snow storm for Thursday.