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Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 01/12/2011

Snow shoveling law hasn't been updated since 1922

By Aaron Morrissey

As your editor-in-chief walked between Columbia Heights and U Street last night, all I could think about was how much complaining there would be about the state of the city's sidewalks come morning. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that the walk was treacherous, I am a relatively young lad -- elderly folks, for instance, probably would have had difficulty along, say, Fairmont Street, which was certainly slippery. But those looking to the city for assistance on the issue of shoveling enforcement might not want to hold their breath -- after all, the last time the city updated its regulations on shoveling was eighty-nine years ago.

A portion of the D.C. code, enacted on September 16, 1922, states that residents and businesses must clear snow from public sidewalks in front of their property within eight hours of daylight after the end of snowfall. (So today, we're talking about 3 p.m., give or take.) According to section 9-607 of the Code, if that doesn't happen, the city has to clear the snow themselves, then file suit the property owner -- for damages of $25.

[Continue reading Aaron Morrissey's post at]

Aaron Morrissey blogs at DCist. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Aaron Morrissey  | January 12, 2011; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, weather  
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