Should People Older Than 60 Not Have to Shovel in Boston? City Council to Discuss Proposed Ordinance

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Sidewalk shoveling, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015.

Chris Helms

Should Boston residents 60 and older not have to shovel the public sidewalks in front of their homes? On Tuesday, the Boston City Council will discuss District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson's proposal to exempt anyone older than 60 from having to shovel.

Sidewalk shoveling, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015.

Currently, Boston requires all homeowners to shovel the sidewalk in front of their home within three hours of snow stopping and they can be penalized $50 per day for not shoveling.

Jackson's proposed ordinance says "Shoveling can lead to serious health problems for the elderly and disabled, including respiratory illness, heart attacks, falls, broken bones and death." It adds that, "The current shoveling laws force elderly and disabled residents to choose between being fined and health risks."

There is no mention in the ordinance of who, if anyone, would shovel the sidewalks of elderly residents exempt from shoveling.

The Committee on Government Operations will discuss this proposed ordinance on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 10 am on the 5th floor at Boston City Hall. This meeting is open to the public and residents may testify.

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