Portlanders may get more time to clear snow from sidewalks during winter storms

If there’s one thing that gets Portland residents excited, it’s shoveling snow! In a general sense, Portlanders are responsible for clearing snow and ice from the public walkways and sidewalks alongside their homes and businesses during winter storms. It’s a chore everybody really loves.

Leroy White uses a snowblower to clear snow in front of a stairway to a home during a storm Thursday, March 1, 2012, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Tonight at 5:30 p.m., the city’s Department of Public Services will hold a public hearing on a new set of exemptions to that rule. The department was directed by the city council last month to review what was on the books already and propose alterations.

Here are a few sentences about what the department came up with, as provided in an announcement by City Hall:

In drafting the rules, the department took into account pedestrian safety, priority snow removal sidewalk areas and whether or not one side of the street is plowed by the city.

The new rules provide the City Manager the discretion to extend the deadlines for clearing snow and ice if snow accumulation exceeds six inches from a single storm. Additionally, single family residential properties abutting a major arterial with at least three lanes of traffic can request a waiver from the Director of Public Services and the director will determine if the accumulation of snow on the sidewalk is unreasonable for the resident to remove and be able to grant such a waiver.

Those new rules will be the subject of tonight’s public hearing — taking place at Room 209 in City Hall — and some version of them potentially taking into consideration public input provided tonight will then be communicated to the council and subsequently put into effect.

Read the full run-down of rule changes here:

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.