City Government

Mayor Hotline December 27 to 31, 2008


Pat Giese
2010 N. 16th St.
Boise, ID 83702
Snowy Sidewalk: My concern is the sidewalks that aren’t clear. I don’t know what the
city ordinances are in Boise even though I’ve lived here since the 70s. I’ve never really
thought about this, but where I’m from in the mid-west, you have to clear your sidewalks
within a reasonable time or else it’s a fine. It’s very hard to walk anywhere down here in
the North End. Some people clear their sidewalks and some don’t. I just wondered if
something could be brought up in City Council about that; if there is a city code, if they
could start enforcing it. It seems to me they spend a lot of time worrying about the dogs
in the foothills, but it’s more of a concern trying to walk down here in the North End when
the sidewalks are full of ice and slush. Thank you very much.

Miranda Hansen –
W. Avante Dr. (off of McMillan Rd.)
Snowy Sidewalk: I’m calling about a letter received from the Planning & Development
Services to me and my neighbors about a code enforcement issue behind our house –
Code Section 9-08-07 that requires that sidewalks be cleared of snow by 9:00 a.m. and
be kept clear throughout the day. We’re calling because I spoke with Mr. Malloy, City
Code Enforcement Manager. He stated that a part of the Code states that a private
resident is required to shovel public sidewalks despite the fact the sidewalk is behind our
homes and there is a 6’ fence that separates us. I would need to walk to the end of the
block in order to access the sidewalk. We are not able to constantly keep that clear
throughout the day because we work fulltime. So we’re calling to request that that part
of the Code be taken out so that as private residents we’re not required to shovel the
public sidewalk. We’re also concerned because if someone falls on that public sidewalk,
we don’t want to be held responsible for any damages because it’s not on our property.
If I receive a midemenor citation I could loose my job. We would be happy to discuss our
frustrations about this particular code section.
Action Taken: contacted

Lady from Sacramento called: 12/27/08, 12/29/08 @ 1:09 a.m., 12/29/08 @ 9:46 a.m.,
12/30/08, 12/31/08,

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I bet the Lady from Sacramento has some good ideas about snow on sidewalks… BUT SHE IS BEING CENSORED BY THE AUTHORITARIAN BIETER REGIME!!

    I mentioned this previously, but it is SO TIMELY!…

    Recently I was walking along N. Cole Road, experiencing firsthand how some people diligently clear their walks and others don’t. And one of the scofflaws was the “One Call That’s All” ambulance-chasing TV attorney. He’s lucky I didn’t slip and hurt myself! (By nature I’m not sue-happy, but I’d make an exception for him.)

  2. The Boise Picayune
    Jan 2, 2009, 6:49 pm


    Part of the reason some people don’t shovel is because it’s nearly impossible to sue them if they DON’T, and much, much easier if they DO shovel their walk.

    Don’t Shovel = “Act of God”

    Do = Possible “Negligence”

    Probably why Mr. One Call’s walk wasn’t shoveled.

  3. It’s still nuts that the city owns the sidewalk but the property owners are required to clean it and sometimes even repair it.
    But the property owner can’t take it out and plant flowers there, or anything else, because it’s city property.
    If it’s city property, the city logically is responsible for its care and cleaning.

    And they wonder why people don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions!

    C’mon, city; either it’s your property and your responsibility, or it isn’t yours and the property owner can do whatever he/she wants with it.
    You can’t have it both ways.

    Next, ACHD could decide that, while it owns the streets (even though it never bought them), the homeowners must pave, repair and plow them.

    Probably could tell you and me that we have to go clean up and paint City Hall, too.

    The insane sidewalk laws MUST be changed!!!

  4. There are many people in the North End who are old and cannot shovel sidewalks. There has to be another way to solve this problem. Perhaps students could get organized and earn merit points or something for helping out.

    By the way, I had to pay to fix a sidewalk next to a rental I own in what used to be west Boise (now considered North End) and ACHD reimbursed half the amount.

  5. Only residents are required to clear their walks!? Why, that double standard is an outrage! Is it because businesses slip a bit of “support” to the lawmakers or because they have the lawyers in case you slip, fall, get hurt and sue?
    I do need to give a call to clarify this.

  6. I just love it when politicians make laws that are pretty much unenforceable.

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