Remember to remove the snow from your sidewalks and curb ramps.
Sidewalks and curb ramps are lifelines in the community for people with disabilities. Routes covered with snow limit access to groceries, prescriptions, employment, and local gatherings.
Obstructed sidewalks and curb ramps can also put people in life-threatening situations. Piles of snow make these access points impassable. People using wheelchairs and other mobility devices must use the street alongside traffic.
Maintain access for everyone. Shovel your sidewalk and curb ramps as soon as possible after a snowfall. Don’t wait for the snow to melt! If you live near people with disabilities or senior citizens, volunteer to shovel their walkways.
Municipalities govern snow removal rules. Visit your city’s website to learn more about:
- Snow removal ordinances for residential and commercial buildings
- Potential fines for failing to promptly remove snow
- Tips and helpful resources for shoveling your sidewalk
- Reporting snow and ice on local sidewalks
The Minnesota Department of Health provides examples of municipal snow removal policies: Sidewalk Snow Clearing Guide (PDF).
Business owners: It is against the law to obstruct disability parking access aisles. This includes piles of snow. If you own or manage a parking lot, you are responsible for clearing the parking space and associated access aisle.
The Great Plains ADA Center offers snow removal tips for small businesses.
If you are a person with a disability and need help with snow removal, visit Disability Hub MN. Note: These resources may come at a cost. If possible, plan for snow removal before the snow season.
Senior citizens can contact the Senior LinkAge Line for resources.
Keeping sidewalks and curb ramps clear of snow and ice is the right thing to do–and it’s the law.