It’s the day after Christmas 2010 and Somerville, like Boston, about to be blanketed by snow. Property owners are being reminded that a recent MA Supreme Judicial Court decision, known as the “Massachusetts Snow and Ice Removal Law” holds that property owners are responsible for exerting reasonable and continuing care in clearing snow and ice from the walkways surrounding their businesses and homes.
Unshoveled snow and unsanded ice barriers can result from natural accumulations as well. For example, snow run-off from a nearby melting can refreeze on the walkways surrounding businesses and homes. Property owners are expected to exert reasonable care in clearing these hazards within a reasonable period of time.
Now what to do about the snow plow that leaves a mess of compacted snow right where you’ve cleared it? Is there a clear standard of care that our city must exert to ensure that property owners are not left having to break their backs again and again after the snow plow leaves the area? I don’t know the answer and hope that someone will post on Somerville Voices to give everyone the scoop, so to speak.
Curb cuts are an integral part of the walkway. If curb cuts are not cleared in a reasonable manner, our friends who rock AND roll will have to go out onto the streets, even though the sidewalks may have been meticulously cleared.
So please: If you are strong enough to get out and shovel, please clear the curb cuts around your neighborhood! At least a 3 foot wide path of travel is needed throughout the general public’s pathways, including curbcuts and crosswalks. If we all can join together to ensure that an unobstructed clear pathway extends from sidewalk to reciprocal sidewalk, this time of good cheer will be safer for everyone.