Greater City Providence

Well, it doesn’t say sidewalk maintenance

Walking up Eddy Street this afternoon…

No, wait, it gets better. See that red sign…

So D. Heywood is using the pile of snow they pushed onto the sidewalk to advertise their parking lot services? Is someone trying to make my brain esplode? Am I being punk’d?

The good news is, this parking lot is a medical building, so when I get hit by a car walking in the street, they can fix me. Right?

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • Check out the website where they actually have a photo of a bobcat putting snow on the sidewalk. Okay, not really, but it’s close.

  • Ha!

    You got that comment in just before I totally hosed the site, good on ya. 🙂

  • Does the city have an ordinance regarding snow removal from sidewalks? Is there anything on the books? Could they issue a summons to the owner of the lot, or is that asking too much?

  • The City’s ordinance on snow removal

    Sec. 23-13. Removal of snow–Required.
    All owners, occupants or persons having care of any building or lot bordering upon any street, highway or public place within the city, shall within the first four (4) hours of daylight after the end of any snowfall, or the fall or deposit of snow on the sidewalk of said building or lot from any cause whatsoever:
    (a) Remove or cause to be removed all snow from a path not less than three (3) feet in width of the entire border in or on said street, highway, or public place;
    (b) Remove or cause to be removed all snow from around any fire hydrant on the sidewalk in front of said building or lot;
    (c) Remove or cause to be removed all snow from the opening of any catch basin in the sidewalk of said building or lot;
    (d) Remove or cause to be removed all snow from pedestrian-access ramps cut into street curbs bordering said building or lot;
    Any person found guilty of violating this section shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300.00). The enforcement of the above shall be done by the city police department.

    The last sentence is the biggest impediment to enforcement. Its impractical to expect the police to run around after a snow storm issuing tickets for non-compliance. Maybe the thinking was that the police would have more gravitas when it comes to getting compliance. Public Works and Inspections and Standards both have the power to issue violations for everything from dirty lots to faulty plumbing. They also are more able to work with a homeowner (like the elderly) who cannot shovel their sidewalk.

  • What the thing in the Projo failed to mention was who in Westerly was doing the enforcing. I’d like to know that.

    In addition, I think there needs to be a way we can report non-compliance and have someone actually come out to the site and determine if the owner should be fined.

    Now what I’m curious about in the city ordinance is who gets fined. It says “owners, occupants, or persons having care”, but what exactly does that mean? Which one? I assume it depends on the lease, but the person doing the ticketing doesn’t give a crap about what the lease says. IMO, the ordinance should put responsibility on the owner, who is then able to pass on the responsibility to the tenants depending on what is written in the lease. If the owner doesn’t pay, the city should then be allowed to put a lien on the property. If the lease says that the tenant is responsible, the owner can deduct that from the security deposit or send the tenant a bill.

Providence, RI
6:02 am7:28 pm EDT
Feels like: 66°F
Wind: 10mph NW
Humidity: 28%
Pressure: 30.08"Hg
UV index: 0
63°F / 45°F
52°F / 41°F
59°F / 48°F