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Sidewalk Snow Removal - FAQs

Q: When do I need to have my sidewalk cleared?

A: When snow is here, you have 24 hours to clear!  Duluth City Ordinance Chapter 45 Article VI requires property owners with a public sidewalk abutting their property to remove snow and ice within 24-hours after a snowfall. This is necessary to ensure the safety of people using the sidewalks during the winter. Please follow these DOs and DON'Ts:


  • Remove snow and ice from sidewalks and intersection handicap ramps

       abutting your property within 24-hours of snowfall ending.

  • Clear snow the width of the sidewalk. Remember that sidewalks are used by

       strollers and wheelchairs in the winter.

  • Remove ice to bare pavement or make as level as possible.  If necessary,

       treat with sand, an environmentally friendly deicing agent, or similar material.

  • Clear any snow that may be blocking a handicapped ramp, fire hydrant or catch basin.


  • Shovel or plow snow into the street: Violators caught shoveling snow from a sidewalk or property into the street will be fined.

Q: Why do I need to clear my sidewalk?

A: Winter weather can create access, mobility and safety issues due to the accumulation of snow and ice. Sidewalks provide critical access and mobility to pedestrians.

Q: How much of my sidewalk do I have to clear? 

A: The property owner is required to clear the entire length of sidewalk abutting his/her property and the width of the sidewalk, from edge to edge or a minimum of 36 inches.

Q: Can I place snow from my sidewalk or driveway into the street?

A: No, pile snow into your yard or on the boulevard.  It is against the law to put snow into the street.

Q: If I own a corner lot, do I have to clear the curb ramp, the portion of the sidewalk leading to the street?

A: Yes, if this area is part of the sidewalk abutting your property.

Q: What if I’m not going to be home for an extended period of time and there is a snowfall?

A: If the homeowner is not at home during a snow event, he/she is still responsible for snow removal from sidewalks. 

Q: What if I am unable to clear the snow from my sidewalk or driveway because of my age/disability?

A: There are some groups that provide shoveling services to senior citizens and people with disabilities.  Some are free while others charge a nominal fee. You may also want to request assistance from family, friends, or neighbors.

Q: Are there penalties for not clearing the sidewalks along my property?

A: City staff will make every effort to contact a property owner regarding an area that has not been cleared, however, if timely action is not taken, a citation and/or order for clearing will be issued and associated fees will be charged to the property owner.

Q: What are the City of Duluth sidewalk clearing priorities and how were these priorities established?

A: There are over 100 miles of sidewalks that are cleared by City staff, in addition to 500 miles of roads. Please refer to the sidewalk priority MAP to see identified priority areas. Priorities for city sidewalk clearing start with safe routes to school sidewalks followed by high pedestrian traffic areas, sidewalks along public transit routes, mid-level pedestrian traffic areas, and finally, park facilities.  All other sidewalks are to be cleared by property owners.

* If you need to inform city staff about a particular issue or concern related to snow operations, please send us information using this online form.


Inform City Staff about an issue or concern related to snow operations.

Submit Online Square Winter Watch Hotline


Winter Hazard Awareness

Snow Removal Districts

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