UPDATED: City of Hoboken responds to complaints about icy/snowy street corners
Feb 18, 2014 | 1534 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SKATING AWAY -- Eighth Street in Hoboken.
SKATING AWAY -- Eighth Street in Hoboken.
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HOBOKEN -- The Reporter has heard from four people complaining about city street corners being difficult to use because of the snow and ice.

"I really got angry when my wife fell with our child," said the father of an infant who called in on Tuesday morning. He said he doesn't often complain, but suggested that the city was not doing its job and should perhaps hire extra workers to clear the corners.

The slippery slopes have also been a topic of discussion on at least one Hoboken internet newsgroup.

City Communications Manager Juan Melli responded Tuesday by saying, "According to the City's municipal code, it is the responsibility of the property owner or occupant to clear the adjacent sidewalk, ramps, curb, gutter, and two feet into the street."

Melli added, "While this is the property owner's responsibility, the city's sanitation crew, which normally does garbage pickup on sidewalks, has been clearing corners, and they do as many as they can. The city also hired additional seasonal employees to clear corners. We are also using a Bobcat (as noted in today's announcement) to clear out corners. Inspectors are out after every storm issuing summonses for violations for those who do not properly clear their sidewalks, etc."

Melli was asked if the city believes all corners in the city are the responsibility of private property owners. He replied, "If the adjacent property is owned by the city, such as City Hall for example, it is the city's responsibility per the code. Regardless, as I mentioned before, the city has been clearing corners throughout regardless of who is responsible and is continuing to do so in the days ahead."

The city temporarily suspended street cleaning on Tuesday in order to deal with the snow. They noted that they are anticipating heavy rains on Friday.

Feel free to comment on the issue below.

Melli sent along city code Section 168-8, Snow Removal

(http://ecode360.com/15253076):

A. The owner or occupant or person having charge of any dwelling house, store or other building or lot of ground in the City shall, within the first six hours after every fall of snow or hail, or after the formation of any ice upon the sidewalks, unless the ice is covered with sand or ashes, cause the snow and ice to be removed from the sidewalk abutting such dwelling house, store, building or lot of land, cause the snow and ice to be removed from the sidewalk abutting such dwelling house, store, building or lot of land, clearing a traversable walkway so that a minimum of four feet or 2/3 of the width of the sidewalk, whichever is greater, is free of snow and ice. In those instances where the traversable walkway is less than four feet in width, the owner, occupant or person having charge shall clear the entire width of the abutting sidewalk.

B. In case the gutter opposite any dwelling house, store or other building, or lot of ground, in the City shall at any time become obstructed with snow, ice, dirt or any matter, the owner or occupant or person having charge thereof shall cause the gutter to be cleaned out to the width of two feet, so that the water may run freely along the same.

C. If more than four feet of sidewalk is available, snow may be deposited between the cleared area and the curbline at a height of no greater than 3.5 feet.

D. At no time shall snow, ice, dirt, or any matter be removed into the street.

E. Where public facilities or public infrastructure are present on a sidewalk, such as mailboxes, phone booths, handicapped ramps at corners, parking meters, bicycle racks, and benches, the owner, occupant or person having charge shall maintain clear access to said facilities or infrastructure so that all public functions may continue unimpeded at all times.
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