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Sidewalk snow removal should be a municipal service

For many people, snow and ice on sidewalks is more than an inconvenience, it can shut down daily life.

That’s why our friends at Better Streets Chicago, with the support of their partners Access Living, are making the case for municipally-funded sidewalk snow plowing in Chicago.

Chicago has a century-and-a-half old policy that requires residents, business owners, and property managers to keep their sidewalks clear of snow and ice during the winter.

The result is a haphazard, snowy mess. Some blocks are appropriately shoveled while others remain impassable under layers of snow and ice. 

The city already performs snow removal around transit stations and bus stops. But as these stretches of sidewalk get cleared, the adjoining sidewalks are often still covered in snow or ice.

This all results in a deeply unfair arrangement in which people driving — many of whom are in four-wheel drive vehicles — enjoy plowed and de-iced roads while everyone else must climb over snowbanks.

And of course, uncleared sidewalks often become impassable for people with disabilities, senior citizens, and parents with small children.  



The #PlowTheSidewalks campaign is about ensuring that all Chicagoans are provided an accessible, safe, and convenient transportation system.

Please sign on to Better Streets Chicago’s #PlowTheSidewalks campaign.


Photo: Active Transportation Alliance recently gathered with Better Streets Chicago and Access Living in Chicago City Hall to show support for piloting a program that would make the city responsible for removing snow and ice from our sidewalks.