Sidewalk Snow Laws

It's the Law

Brookline's bylaws require property owners to "maintain sidewalks contiguous to their property in a non-slippery condition suitable for pedestrian travel by clearing all snow and ice from a pathway of at least thirty-six (36) inches in width. 

The cleared walk must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including the removal of snow and ice from any adjoining wheelchair ramps or curb cuts. Please help all members of our community move safely through our town. 

Single-family and multi-family residences (4 families/units or less) must comply with this bylaw within 30 hours of a storm's end. 

Commercial properties and multi-family residences (5 families/units or more) must comply within 3 hours of a storm's end or within 3 hours after sunrise if the storm ends after dusk. 

The storm's end time will be posted on our Brookline Town Website to help residents know by what time they must comply with the bylaw.

If a property owner does not clear the side walk(s) contiguous to their property, notice will be given to the owner. If you fail to comply with the Town's sidewalk bylaw, you could be issued fines ranging from $100-250 per day.

Shovel Smart

Immediately after a storm, DPW pushes snow banks back to the curb line in order to provide for adequate storage space for future storms. Please consider this timetable when you open your driveways or clear your front walkways and sidewalks so that you may not be disappointed when a snowplow passes by after the snow has stopped falling.

If you own a property or business, please remember to do the following:

  • Maintain all sidewalks abutting your property or business in a non-slippery condition free of ice and snow.
  • If you are out of town, or are unable to clear ice and snow due to physical limitations, please be sure to have someone else prepared to maintain the sidewalk for you.
  • Clear openings at intersections and crosswalks so pedestrians can cross safely.
  • Always have a supply of ice-melt (CaCl2 or KCL) on hand and apply frequently after a storm and during the winter season to prevent snow from packing down and forming ice.
  • Whenever possible, please help to assist your Public Safety Departments by clearing catch basins and snow covered fire hydrants adjacent to your property. Remember, every second counts during an emergency.