​​​​​​​​Chicago winters can be especially challenging when sidewalks are not cleared of snow and ice. Clearing sidewalks is the law, and it is our responsibility to each other during the winter.

Many people rely on walking and transit as their primary way to get around. Without a wide, clear path through snow and ice, it is especially difficult for people with disabilities, seniors, and children to walk. We all are pedestrians at some point in the day and all benefit from a clear sidewalk.

Make your neighborhood safe for everyone to get around this winter. Help the City of Chicago provide a great pedestrian environment and take responsibility for your sidewalk by clearing snow and ice.



Sidewalk Snow Removal

Guidance for Residents & Businesses



Who is responsible for clearing the sidewalks of snow and ice?

According to the City of Chicago Municipal Code, “Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground abutting upon any public way or public space shall remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk.”
It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure the sidewalks are clear of snow and ice. If you do not own your residential or business property, consult your rental agreement, lease agreement, or management company to determine your shoveling obligation.


When do I have to clear the sidewalks?

Sidewalks must be shoveled 7 days a week.
If the snow falls between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.:
Clear the snow as soon as practicable, but no later than 10:00 p.m. on the day of the snowfall.
If the snow falls overnight between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.:
Clear the snow before 10:00 a.m. on the next day.


How can I report locations that do not clear their sidewalks?

Make a “Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk” request to the City of Chicago 311 Service Request line.
Dial 311 or request online at www.cityofchicago.org/311
People who live outside the City of Chicago may call (312) 744-5000.
When making a “Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk” request:

  • Make sure the problem occurs on the sidewalk. DO NOT use this category to report snow on streets, parking lots, or alleys.

  • Provide a specifi­c address where the issue occurs.



How wide of a path do I need to clear to comply with the law?

The City of Chicago Municipal Code requires individuals to clear a 5-foot wide path along the sidewalk, including sidewalk ramps.
This width provides mobility and access to pedestrians in wheelchairs, people with children in strollers, students walking to school, and individuals with assistive devices.

 














What is the best way to remove snow from the sidewalk?

Remove snow along ALL of the sidewalks adjacent to your property including any ramps to the crosswalk.
Move snow to your yard or the parkway adjacent to your property.
DO NOT push snow into the street, bike lanes, crosswalks, bus stops, train stations, alley entrances, or bike share stations.

 

 












What happens if I don’t clear my sidewalks?

Individuals who do not comply can face fines of up to $500 per day of violation.
Businesses that do not comply can face fines of up to $1,000 per day of violation.




​Related: 

WINTER WEATHER SERVICES



Do not push snow from driveways or sidewalks into the street or over crosswalks.

This path does not meet the width required in the Municipal Code.

When cleaning driveways or walkways, do not block the sidewalks with snow.