Unshoveled sidewalk in 2014. Image by Daniel Lobo licensed under Creative Commons.

In many places including DC and Arlington, it's the law that property owners have to shovel sidewalks after a snow. Wednesday night and Thursday morning brought a small snowfall to our region. If you have a sidewalk, shovel it! Will our government and commercial buildings do their part?

In DC, sidewalks have to be clear by eight daylight hours after a snow ends. Residential can face a $25 fine, and it’s $150 for commercial properties (which under DC law include any residential building with four units or more, as well as stores and offices and such). People over 65 or with disabilities can get an exemption.

Arlington can levy fines of $50-100 for not shoveling by 24 hours after the snowfall ends (36 for heavier snowfalls, but this one sure isn't).

It's important to clear the sidewalks during the day Thursday, because snow on un-cleared sidewalks will slightly melt under the weight of feet, then freeze during the bitterly cold overnight temperatures.

Friday morning, send us pictures of scofflaws

We regularly post a “sidewalk show shoveling hall of shame” to highlight local governments, federal agencies, large apartment buildings, commercial parking lots, and others like who don’t shovel. This snowfall is heavy enough, and it's cold enough, that it definitely needs shoveling, but light enough that it really should not be a burden to take care of.

We don't need to shame individual homeowners who might have physical challenges, but there's no good excuse for government, apartment and commercial buildings, parking lots, the National Park Service around parks, and so forth to neglect sidewalks. That's true anywhere but especially in places a lot of people walk.

Send us pictures of egregious non-shoveling! Snow stopped by 8 or 9 am, so everything ought to be cleared by Friday morning. Take a picture (horizontally, please!) and send it to snow@ggwash.org. If we get enough, I'll do a “Sidewalk Snow Shoveling Hall of Shame” like these from past years.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.