Published December 11, 2023⏱️
3 min read
Winter storms can create potentially dangerous conditions for pedestrians by covering sidewalks in snow and ice. Here's a primer to snow removal responsibilities, how to get help with snow removal, and several other topics relating to snow.
Snow removal responsibilities
Property owners are responsible for removal of snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property. Specific requirements are:
- Clear snow and ice on your sidewalk to create a path at least 4 feet wide
- Clear a path to the crosswalk, including pedestrian ramps (curb cuts), if you own a corner property
- Shovel bus stops and fire hydrants in front of your property
If the snow stops falling between:
- 7 AM and 5 PM, you must clear sidewalks within 4 hours
- 5 PM and 9 PM, you must clear sidewalks within 14 hours
- 9 PM and 7 AM, you must clear sidewalks by 11 AM
You may receive a summons from the Department of Sanitation if you do not clear snow and ice within these timeframes, or if you shovel snow into the street.
You can find the full set of NYC's snow and ice removal rules, as well as information on how to file snow removal-related complaints, on the NYC website, here.
Snow removal assistance
In the past, the NYC Department For the Aging offered assistance to homeowners over the age of 60 in removal of snow from the sidewalks adjacent to their property; however, that service is no longer available. If you're able-bodied, perhaps you could clear the sidewalk for an elderly, infirm or out-of-town neighbor. Your kindness will be appreciated!
If you would like to hire a local person to clear snow and ice from your property, you may wish to contact one of the people listed below. They have consented to have their contact information included here. Any arrangement that you make with them is entirely between you and the person you contract with. PPUABA makes no representation about nor assumes any liability for the quality of their work, timeliness, fairness of pricing or anything else. If you or someone you know would like to be included in this list, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org including the person's name, phone number, and the words "snow removal provider" or go to the Contact page. The list below was last updated on 12/11/2023.
- Oscar Chu 347-971-0322
- Laith Omer 347-209-7292
Snow removal job opportunity
The Department of Sanitation has positions available for per diem snow laborers. These workers are called on after heavy snowfalls to remove snow and ice Citywide from areas like bus stops, crosswalks and fire hydrants. Pay starts at $18.00 per hour and increases to $27.00 per hour after the first 40 hours worked in a week. For more information, including how to register, see this DSNY webpage.
Which de-icer to use?
After shoveling snow and ice from your property, it's a good idea to apply sand, a de-icer, or a combination of the two to improve traction and help prevent slips and falls. According to the technical staff of the NY Landmarks Conservancy, the best de-icers to use to minimize damage to concrete and brownstone are those made from magnesium chloride or potassium chloride. It's best to avoid de-icers made from sodium chloride (rock salt) or calcium chloride - these are more likely to damage concrete. You can read the full NY Landmarks Conservancy's article on de-icers here.
All de-icers can irritate your pet's paws - despite the marketing claims, there is no 'pet-safe' de-icer. If you'll be walking your dog over an area that has had de-icer applied, it is best to apply 'paw wax' or put booties on the dog's paws AND wash the dog's paws when you return home.
DSNY "Snow Plan for the Borough of Brooklyn"
If you're the curious type and you just have to know more about how the city plans for and manages its seasonal snow clearance operations, you'll find this DSNY document to be essential reading, especially on a snowy day! Enjoy!