Montgomery County reminds residents to shovel sidewalk: It’s the law

WASHINGTON — As winter weather approaches the region, Montgomery County leaders are reminding residents that clearing their sidewalks of snow is not only a safety measure – it can pack a powerful fine, too.

On Monday, County Executive Ike Leggett, along with Councilmembers Hans Riemer, Nancy Floreen and Sidney Katz, spoke about the responsibility of clearing sidewalks. The group announced a campaign and new website aimed at clarifying the county’s sidewalk laws.

“Clearing your walks is the law, but, even more, it is the right thing to do,” Leggett said in a news release.

Failure to clear your walk after snow carries a $50 fine.

The reminder came one day before 1 to 2 inches of snow is set to fall on the D.C. area.

All single-family home households in the county will receive a mailer this week from the County Office of Public Information and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The mailer includes the laws on sidewalks as well as details about the slightly different requirements in some municipalities.

“After winter storms, we all have a role to play in keeping our neighbors and our community safe by keeping our sidewalks clear of snow and ice. A resilient community can bounce right back from major weather events, and resiliency was my goal in writing the sidewalk snow removal plan legislation,”  Riemer said in a news release.

Also, the campaign asks residents to check up on older adults and vulnerable neighbors.

The mailer and website offer some reminders for those shoveling sidewalks:

  • County residents are required by law to clear sidewalks in front of an alongside their properties within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm.
  • A person is responsible for removing snow and ice on any sidewalk, other walkway on or adjacent to property that the person owns, leases, or manages.
  • Provide a pathway wide enough for safe pedestrian and wheelchair use.
  • If you are out of town, you are still responsible for clearing the sidewalks.
  • Call 311 or 240-777-0311 to report an un-shoveled sidewalk.

Below is information about other counties’ snow removal policies:

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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