Are Maine Residents Responsible For Shoveling Their Own Sidewalks?
Winter has really hit us like an 18-wheeler over the last few weeks. After having mild weather for months, in the last two weeks we have been pounded by snow, freezing rain, regular rain, and frigid temperatures.
Of course, the precipitation (in all its forms) doesn't just affect the streets and our driveways. It also piles up on our sidewalks. And, when it rains and then freezes they get icy.
So, whose job is it to take care of those sidewalks? We're talking about shoveling and sanding / salting them when the ice builds up on them. Well, the answer depends on where you live.
Winter Sidewalk Clearing Statewide
According to the Maine.gov website, there is no state regulation the requires citizens to remove the snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes or businesses. However, some cities and towns have their own rules regarding winter maintenance of sidewalks.
Also, because there are no statewide rules about sidewalks, you can't come after the town if you hurt yourself while walking on the sidewalk.
23 MRS §3658 states,
No town is liable to an action for damages to any person on foot on account of snow or ice on any sidewalk or crosswalk nor on account of the slippery condition of any sidewalk or crosswalk.
What about specific towns?
Sidewalk Clearing In Augusta
According to ecode360, the City of Augusta handles the snow removal for most of the city's sidewalks. However, there are some exceptions near downtown (Water Street). The sidewalks of certain sections of Bridge Street, Commercial Street, Winthrop Street, and Oak Street are the responsibility of the owners / occupants. Additionally, the property owners (or tenants) on both sides of the entire length of Water Street are responsible for clearing the snow off their sidewalks.
Sidewalk Shoveling In Waterville
Much like Augusta, the majority of the 20-ish miles of sidewalks in Waterville are cleared by the city. However, there are section that are the responsibility of the owners / occupants.
According to the City of Waterville website, these include:
any store, shop, dwelling house, factory, hotel or other building, or any vacant lot or land, bordering upon any sidewalk on the business parts of Main, Elm, Water, Silver, Common, and Temple Streets, College Avenue, The Concourse, and Kennedy Memorial Drive, and in case there shall be no tenant, the owner or any person having the care or control of any building or lot or land bordering upon the aforenamed streets, shall cause snow to be removed from such sidewalk
Sidewalk Shoveling In Lewiston
According to the City of Lewiston website, the municipality handles the shoveling and sanding of most of Lewiston's sidewalks. There are some exceptions, though. This map shows what sidewalks are plowed by the city.
Obviously, there is a chance that this information could be outdated. If you have any concerns, please call your local city office.
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