Overland Park leaders considering changing snowy sidewalk enforcement

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Original Post

The snow isn’t going to shovel itself. That’s why Overland Park’s Public Works Committee is looking into the possibility of a snow shoveling enforcement ordinance.

“We have in good faith looked at this every few years because there are cities north of here that have more enforcement mechanisms,” Councilman Jim Kite said.

Kite said the subject was brought up earlier this month in a committee meeting. Shoveling may not be physically possible for some, he said, but he knows others need to get where they’re going.

“We’re going to have to look and see how, how we can do that and make it a fair to everybody in the local community,” Kite said.

Lori Chapman lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where residents are required to shovel their sidewalks. However, she slipped, fell and broke her wrist after the most recent snowfall when a neighbor’s sidewalk wasn’t shoveled.

“There’s a lot of people out there walking, not just people like me. But there’s people (who) have to go to work and have to walk and if you don’t, the snow turns into lumpy ice, which is very difficult to maneuver,” Chapman said.

She said she understands if someone can’t shovel their walk, but hopes neighbors will lend a helping hand.

“Please just do the whole thing in front of your house,” Chapman said. “If you have a sidewalk just, just a little bit. For those of us who are walking around, there’s probably more people walking than you may think.”

“If neighbors will just take the extra step to help their neighbors when we do have these infrequent snows, that’s really the best solution,” Kite said.

Kite said they are looking into how other cities in the metro enforce shoveling ordinances and if they’re effective.

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