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Snow shoveling: How soon is it required?

By Jodi Westrick  |  February 4, 2010; 2:23 PM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It is people like these folks that mean that I am either walking through snowy sidewalks or on iced sidewalks because they can't bother to shovel and salt their walk.

Posted by: Wiggs1 | February 4, 2010 9:09 PM

This is a trick question isn't it? Doesn't it depend on when it stops snowing?

Posted by: rmillerxznu | February 5, 2010 10:14 AM

You want to get out and get rid of the snow before too many people walk on it because once it gets walked upon it freezes up.

Then it gets harder to shovel.

Posted by: RedBird27 | February 5, 2010 11:09 AM

Personally, I shovel anytime there is more than four inches on the ground. But I question why Arlington county "recommends" we shovel our walks at all when they can't be bothered to shovel the county walks. I'm thinking specifically of the stretch on Sycamore Street alongside Tuckahoe regional park. That sidewalk is a major route for commuters walking to the East Falls Church Metro station. It's always a rutted, lumpy patch of ice for days after a storm, often until it melts away. Dangerous for older walkers.

Posted by: cullisongs | February 5, 2010 9:59 PM

If snow stops overnight, it should be shoveled within 2-3 hours after daybreak. If it stops when people are at work, they should be given time to get home at the end of the workday to shovel. I always shovel and salt, but I also remember a time or two when I did so and wind blew the snow right back over. Luckily, that rarely happens here. There may be mitigating factors for some homeowners. One hopes that the elderly and infirm have neighbors who help out (we do in our neighborhood), but some neighborhoods aren't so friendly. What gets my goat are neighbors who *never* shovel. We have a few able-bodied and/or well-off repeat offenders whom you never see lift a finger or hire someone to shovel their sidewalks.

Posted by: 1950snoopy | February 5, 2010 11:41 PM

With this much snow and considering the forecast for the next couple of days, it would have been best to be shoveling periodically during the storm.

Posted by: grobinette | February 6, 2010 7:20 AM

I was out shoveling my sidewalk at 7:00 this morning -- while it was still snowing. Sure, I'll have to do it again when/if it ever stops but at least the first foot-and-a-half is out of the way and I have some idea where my sidewalk is actually located.

Posted by: NYFanfromBirth | February 6, 2010 11:05 AM

Some of us property owners live on a corner property and have miles of sidewalk to clear. In order to be prepared, we must invest in heavy machinery and expensive salt formulations. Government is well organized to clear public roads, but not public sidewalks. I'd enjoy being responsible for the average length of sidewalk, not the entire thing. But entire thing it is.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | February 6, 2010 4:00 PM

I believe Montgomery County code requires property owners to shovel within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall (though I am not aware of anyone ever getting cited for failure to do so).

I took the advice from various media to shovel several times during this monster, and am glad I did, as I have been shovelling areas of my lot that I did not touch earlier and goodness, what a lot of snow! The front walk and sidewalk got shovelled a few times yesterday evening and night, and twice again today. Only a little bit needed now to clear them to the concrete and put down salt.

Posted by: paulhume | February 6, 2010 5:40 PM

Out where I live [Brunswick MD], I am someone who enjoys walking all the time, in all weather. I always make a point to shovel as soon as it stops snowing. That is when the snow is its lightest. I clear my sidewalk as well as my neighbors' walkways. I enjoy it. I am amazed at how many people don't shovel their sidewalks. This was true where i grew up, in Arlington Va, where I used to live in Baltimore city, and now in Brunswick. I have to say Brunswick is the first place I have ever lived where they have actually cited property owners for NOT shovelling. I think that is great!

Posted by: matthenry1 | February 6, 2010 7:49 PM

In Arlington there is NO ordinance to shovel your sidewalk therefore, you don't have to do it.

Posted by: lydia15 | February 18, 2010 11:38 AM

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