Brooklyn Councilman Wants Sidewalks Cleared, Owners Charged

By Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak
February 18, 2014 Updated: February 18, 2014

New York City Councilman David Greenfield is proposing the city clear sidewalks when property owners don’t and then charge them $250 or more. 

“Current law does not provide enough motivation for many property owners to do the right thing,” said Greenfield in press release.

He wants to amend existing law and have the city do the work. That, “would actually result in ice-free sidewalks and additional revenue,” said Greenfield. 

Greenfield is proposing to use temporary snow laborers to do the work. The city already has a database of such workers to call when needed. 

Uncleared sidewalks with weeks of snow and ice accumulation have become hazardous for pedestrians, particularly the elderly and disabled. The Brooklyn councilman has observed the situation for weeks now and has seen several elderly constituents slip and fall.  Last week he and state Senator Simcha Felder contacted their constituents to remind them of the $100 fine for not clearing their sidewalks.

With snowstorm after snowstorm, winter has been tough on property owners who by law must clear their sidewalk within four hours of when the snow stops falling. It has also been tough on pedestrians who sometimes must traverse large patches of ice when property owners fail to clear the sidewalk storm after storm. 

“Existing law doesn’t get to the heart of the problem,” said Greenfield’s communications director, Conor Greene. 

When property owners don’t clear their walks the city can fine them, but if they still don’t clear the sidewalk, it will remain icy.

On Monday Greenfield was out and about bringing attention to the issue and brainstorming with constituents what could be done. Residents in the neighborhoods he represents of Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst as well as throughout New York City have been complaining of uncleared sidewalks.


Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak