Worcester, Mass. Officials Look to Crack Down on Snowy Sidewalks - NECN

Worcester, Mass. Officials Look to Crack Down on Snowy Sidewalks



    Worcester, Mass. officials look to crack down on snowy sidewalks

    Police say city residents need to have snow off their sidewalks 10 hours after a storm (Published Tuesday, March 18, 2014)

    (NECN: Kristen Carosa) - Worcester, Mass. City Councilor Kate Toomey is getting calls and emails about unsafe sidewalks around the city.

    "If you're not capable of doing it yourself, there are ways to get it done," she said.

    The city's policy requires all property owners to clear snow within 10 hours following a storm. Those who don't face a $75 citation.

    Worcester Police have issued many this winter.

    "We receive the complaints from the Department of Public Works," said Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst. "We'll go to these areas and issue the citation, have the snow removed."

    If snow isn't cleared within a day, the city has a private contractor come in to get the job done.

    "We've noticed that there's been more compliance this year, compared to last year," said Hazelhurst. "More people are out there obeying the ordinance."

    And while most owners have cleared snow, there are still some areas of concern. Weeks after a snowstorm, sidewalks on the east side of the city are still snow-covered.

    Dr. Ajeet singh has seen many slips and falls this winter. He says the freezing temperatures have caused a lot of ice on stairs and sidewalks.

    "Wrist fractures - when people try to break their falls with their wrists, then unfortunately, they break their wrists," he said.

    Dr. Singh says pedestrians being forced to walk a busy road because of snow is also a concern.

    The city is asking residents to break down any snow banks at the corners of roads and shovel out any hydrants. Toomey suggests that if people aren't capable of clearing snow, they should make arrangements for someone to do it.

    "We usually have enough notice that a storm is coming, so I think that would be a real help to everybody to get that all set up," she said.

    If people want to report snowy sidewalks in Worcester, Toomey says the best thing to do is to call (508) 929-1300.