Clearing snow and ice from sidewalks
Residents are responsible
Home owners beware: If someone injures themself due to snow or ice on a sidewalk near your home, you can be held liable. Owners are responsible for ensuring that the sidewalks, public spaces and stairs by their properties are cleared and gritted. This also applies to vacant and unused properties. Property owners often pass these responsibilities on to their tenants or the building caretaker.
- Public sidewalks, footpaths, stairs, and traffic-calmed areas such as pedestrian zones must be cleared and gritted by 7 am on working days and 8 am on Sundays and public holidays, to a width of at least 1.5 meters. If snow falls, or the ground ices over, again during the course of the day, you must clear and/or grit the areas again immediately, and continue to do so as many times as necessary until 9 pm.
- Where there is no sidewalk on either side of the road, a 1.5-meter strip must be cleared and gritted on each side. In places where several homes share the same sidewalk, for example where there are several homes lying one behind the other, all of the affected home owners are jointly responsible for clearing and gritting the sidewalks. Snow cleared from sidewalks should be pushed to the edge of the sidewalk closest to the road. It must however be ensured that pedestrians can cross the road without difficulty.
- The snow must be pushed to the edge of the sidewalk to allow pedestrians to pass easily
- Pedestrians must still be able to cross over the street.
- To protect the environment, you must not use deicing agents, only materials that provide grip, like sand or grit. Only on slopes can a mixture of salt with grit or sand be used, with salt constituting no more than a third of the total. In places where salt could enter the root area of trees and bushes, a mixture of this kind is generally not allowed.
It is also very important to clear the paths leading up to waste bins, so that the full bins can still easily be rolled to the edge of the street for emptying. Uncleared paths can make it impossible to empty bins, particularly large bins.
Municipal snow-clearers start work at 4 am
140 municipal employees from the city’s snow-clearing team are on standby in the winter-time, ready to clear roads and paths whenever the meteorological service forecasts snow or ice. If this happens, the team will grit roads and clear snow and ice from 4 am until 10 at night. At 10 pm the emergency shift start work, keeping the roads clear at night – as late as 4 am at weekends.
Biggest roads first
The first roads to be cleared and gritted are the main traffic arteries, through-roads, streets used by trams and buses, entrances to hospitals, schools and industrial parks, and the main cycle paths. Next in line are the busiest distributor and connecting roads. The municipal snow-clearing team are not required to grit any roads or cycle paths other than those listed above. However, they will clear snow and ice off them as required. Clearing and gritting sidewalks and footpaths is the responsibility of the local residents.
For more information, please contact the Office of Waste Management and Municipal Cleansing on +49 6221 58-29999