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Boston issued $141,150 in fines for poor snow removal in week after 'Blizzard of 2013'

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  March 6, 2013 02:23 PM

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In the week after the “Blizzard of 2013,” city officials in Boston issued $141,150 in fines to property owners who failed to adequately clear sidewalks or who put snow on city streets and sidewalks, according to city records released this week.

Between Feb. 8 and 9, a storm covered Boston in 24.9 inches of snow – the fifth-highest snowfall the city has seen since 1935.

Just before 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 – as the storm was starting to wind down – the first ticket was issued: a $200 fine for removing more than one cubic yard snow of from a commercial property onto a sidewalk or street, records show.

Only 18 fines were issued that day. One day later, 224 tickets were issued.

The Monday after the storm 108 more fines were handed out, records show. Another 321 were issued Tuesday; 354 more on Wednesday; 124 on Thursday; 113 on Friday; and 162 on Saturday.

Altogether, 1,423 tickets were issued that week, before about five more inches of snow fell in Boston on Sunday, Feb. 17.

During the 10 days that followed, from Feb. 17 through Feb. 27, another 990 tickets, worth $72,725 in fines, were issued, city records show.

The records were released Tuesday to the website MuckRock.com, which helps others file, and files its own, requests for public records.

MuckRock filed its request based on a story published to Boston.com on Feb. 12 about the number of snow removal-related citations that had been issued in the five days since the start of the snowstorm.

The city has been scrutinized for its snow removal efforts after the storm. Some public roads remained unplowed for several days, prompting apologies from city officials, including Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

In Boston, putting snow, slush or ice onto city streets or sidewalks – whether by shoveling, plowing, throwing, or any other means – is banned by law and can lead to fines.

Property and business owners are also required to clear paths that are at least 42 inches wide along any adjacent sidewalk or handicap ramp within three hours after a snowstorm ends. If a storm ends overnight, paths must be cleared within three hours from sunrise.

Snow removal-related citations cost between $25 and $300 each depending on the violation, according to records from the city’s Inspectional Services Department, which oversees Boston’s snow removal rules.

For more information about the rules, click here.

Below is a list, sorted by city ward, of fines issued for uncleared sidewalks and improper snow removal. Some wards include multiple neighborhoods and some neighborhoods split by multiple wards. To see a map of the city’s wards, click here.

The first number is how many fines were issued between Feb. 9 and 16. The second number is how many fines were issued between Feb. 17 and 27:

Ward 1 – East Boston – 52 / 94
Ward 2 – Charlestown – 29 / 34
Ward 3 – North End, West End, Financial District, Chinatown – 58 / 108
Ward 4 – Fenway, South End, Back Bay – 22 / 22
Ward 5 – Back Bay, Beacon Hill – 76 / 99
Ward 6 – South Boston – 57 / 90
Ward 7 – South Boston, Dorchester – 53 / 81
Ward 8 – South End, Roxbury – 95 / 113
Ward 9 – South End, Roxbury – 23 / 34
Ward 10 – Mission Hill – 100 / 133
Ward 11 – Roxbury, Jamaica Plain – 44 / 87
Ward 12 – Roxbury – 32 / 91
Ward 13 – Dorchester (Savin Hill) – 48 / 93
Ward 14 – North Dorchester, Mattapan – 51 / 95
Ward 15 – Dorchester (Meeting House Hill) – 42 / 85
Ward 16 – Dorchester (Neponset, Cedar Grove) – 48 / 71
Ward 17 – Dorchester (Lower Mills) – 58 / 101
Ward 18 – Hyde Park, Mattapan – 165 / 337
Ward 19 – Jamaica Plain, Roslindale – 70 / 129
Ward 20 – West Roxbury, Roslindale – 111 / 182
Ward 21 – Allston-Brighton – 80 / 158
Ward 22 – Allston-Brighton – 109 / 176

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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