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Property Owners Must Clear Sidewalks to Prevent Injuries

While many people in Albany might dream of a white Christmas, that often means a hassle for property owners. In Albany, like in many other cities across the country, property owners are responsible for keeping sidewalks and common areas free of ice and snow.

As the snow begins to fall, it is important for anyone who owns property to understand how he or she must handle sidewalks. Not only does this ensure they comply with the rules of the city, it also ensures that nobody walking past gets hurt by falling on a slick surface. If a pedestrian falls on a slick sidewalk, he or she might decide to seek compensation from the property owner for that injury.

In the city, property owners and residents have 24 hours from the end of a snowstorm to clear the sidewalks of the snow and ice. When property owners and residents are doing this, they must ensure that the snow and ice isn’t shoveled onto the city streets or crosswalks.

When property owners and residents don’t clear the sidewalks, the city can step in to remove the snow and ice. This means that the property owner might be charged a fine each time the city has to do the job.

While it may seem harsh to force people to get out and remove snow and ice from sidewalks, it is one of the only ways to protect pedestrians from getting hurt. When a pedestrian slips on ice or snow, serious injuries can occur. In those cases, the person who was injured might decide to take legal action against the property owner to help defray the costs of necessary medical treatment after the injury.
Source:, “Albany Snow Removal Plan” Nov. 30, 2014