Keeping sidewalks clean in Syracuse

With all the snow, sometimes you can't see the sidewalk under it. On Butternut Street in Syracuse, many people walk in the road because the sidewalk isn't clear. It's a similar situation all over the city.

"Most of them are not clean," says Elizabeth Lin. "So a lot of time, we have to walk on the streets and that's kind of dangerous."

Sgt. Gary Bulinski, of the Syracuse Police Department, says according to city ordinance, it's the responsibility of the property owner or the tenants to remove snow from their sidewalks by 6pm the day after the snow stops falling. However, there's no fine if people don't obey. Sgt. Bulinski says that was repealed by the common council back in 1964.

With no fine, what motivation is there for people to clear the sidewalks in front of their property? Sgt. Bulinski says, "Part of being a good resident of the city of Syracuse, having courtesy for fellow citizens, protecting yourself from a lawsuit down the road."

Sgt. Bulinski says while it's tough to enforce the ordinance, people can make complaints about a specific property to the police department. The city will send a letter telling the owner to remove the snow. He says police would also talk to the owner, letting them know the dangers of not removing the snow.