Central New York, Government, Syracuse

Syracuse Narrows Down Snow Removal Options

Over a foot of snow fell over this past weekend. (C) 2018 Anna Connelly

By Logan Grossman SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News) — Syracuse has received over 100 inches of snow so far this year and now the city is zeroing in on a solution to the removal of snow from sidewalks. According to Syracuse.com, the city has reduced the number of potential solutions to three and hopes to make a final decision this Spring.

The city is weighing complete and total snow removal, paid for by fees, limited snow removal, only in “priority areas” and updating current laws to improve the snow removal process. Current law requires citizens and private businesses to clear their sidewalks of snow by 6 P.M. the day after snowfall. The city is reportedly weighing the possibility of clearing sidewalks for a fee, according to Syracuse.com.

The second option is public clearing of snow only in “priority areas”. This would include public sidewalks near bus stops, schools and any place with high pedestrian traffic. Sidewalks in front of homes and private businesses would still be the responsibility of the property owner under this plan.

The final plan would be to update and further enforce current laws to prohibit plows from burying private residents’ sidewalks in snow. This law is currently loosely enforced, according to the Mayor’s office, and the city government is considering doubling down on this policy and its enforcement.

Mayor Ben Walsh made it clear that snow removal was a top priority for his administration. In January, Walsh released a press release stressing the importance of this issue.

“Snow covered sidewalks are a serious hazard to pedestrians, and illegally parked cars during snow events create safety problems for residents and the DPW,” said Mayor Walsh. “With the city leading the way, it’s time for all of us to pull together and improve our response to dangerous snow conditions. That begins today and will continue from this day forward.”