Kansas City residents work fast to avoid sidewalk fines

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City business owners and residents may  need to get out a shovel and get to work before Monday morning. At 8 a.m., the city can start issuing big fines for any remaining snow on sidewalks.

Jamie Hanrahan is delighted that the city will finally enforce its sidewalk clearing ordinance.

"I think people have had a decent amount of time now to clear their sidewalks, so I think it's fair to start enforcing some of those rules so myself and others can safely get around the city," she explained during a break from a 13-mile run.

Hanrahan and a friend are training for an upcoming marathon. While they're used to clocking miles, they admit scaling snow banks and darting into the road to dodge snow piles wasn't exactly the cross training they had in mind.

"When I have to dodge into the street, it irritates drivers, and it irritates me and creates this animosity that doesn't need to be there," she said.

Bob Ellsworth also knows a thing or two about irritation. Sunday afternoon, he was racing the clock to finish clearing sidewalks outside a dozen businesses in downtown Kansas City.

It was the third time his team had to use a snow blower and shovel on one long stretch of sidewalk.

"Every time we get caught up, the snowplow goes by and buries the sidewalks. We clear them again and they bury them again. It's really hard to stay on top of our work," he said while shrugging his shoulders.

Ellsworth explained if his team doesn't finish clearing their client's sidewalks by Monday morning, the city could issue those businesses a fine anywhere from $25-100.

That ordinance applies to every sidewalk in front of any home or business in the city.

City officials say they will rely on city residents and visitors to enforce the sidewalk clearance ordinance.

Beginning Monday, residents can report any problems by calling 311 or filing out a request online at www.kcmo.org/311.

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