Arlington Proposes Criminal Charges for Unneighborly Snow Shovelers

Shoveling snow into the streets of Arlington could mean criminal charges

By John Schriffen
|  Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010  |  Updated 4:12 PM EDT
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Criminal Charges for Snow Offenders?

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Criminal Charges for Snow Offenders?

A warning from Arlington: Shovel your snow or you could get slapped with a misdemeanor.
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The biggest winter problem for many D.C.-area residents was figuring out what to do with all the snow. Some decided to just shovel it into the street and let the plows take it away. But if a new proposal goes through, that would soon be illegal in Arlington County, Va.

“I think that’s a terrible idea,” said Jason Vanterpool. “Where else are we supposed to put the snow. This past winter there was no where else to put it. We had to put it in the street.”

Digging out was especially tough for Faith Stone, who had to do it alone after the recent passing of her husband.

“It was frustrating, very frustrating, and a lot of snow in a very confined space,” she said
 
The proposal to make it illegal to push snow into the street not only would apply to home owners, but also businesses and privately contracted plows. The proposed law would also requires sidewalks to be cleared within 24 hours of snowfall.
 
Deputy County Manager Marsha Allgeier said it’s intended for public safety.
 
“A lot of this came about because of the last winter's snowfall, which was extraordinary, and the difficulties that bicyclists and pedestrians had in traversing Arlington’s sidewalks for a long period of time after the snow stopped,” Allgeier said.
 
So where does the county recommend people put all the snow?
 
“Basically people are supposed to dump the snow onto yards and their own property not onto streets or public sidewalks,” said Allgeier.
 
“Our street wasn’t plowed for the first four or five days after the last snowfall, so if they want to come and get the snow they can come and get it,” said Vanterpool.
 
Under the proposal, offenders could be slapped with a $250 fine and a Class 4 misdemeanor charge.
 

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