Upham's Corner Online

Snow Removal - Bill Linehan - "Green Ticket" Hearing to be Held

Posted: Febuary 18, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

On February 15, 2011 Councilor Bill Linehan of District 2 (South End, Chinatown, South Boston and Andrew Square)  filed an order to hold a hearing to discuss a proposal on how to more effectively remove snow from sidewalks.  His idea is to "piggy-back" off the Green Ticket revenues and his model is how cars are removed from streets on street cleaning days.

On May 14, 2010 the City of Boston adopted Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 40U, an Act Relative to the Collection of Unpaid Municipal Fines, often referred to as the "Green Ticket Law".

In essence it is a way to collect fines from property owners by including unpaid fines into the owner's property taxes.  Any fines not disputed are collectable by the same means as any other real estate tax bill.

For more information, view "New Procedures for Code Enforcement Violations" on the City of Boston website.

What is the Problem?

Despite Code Enforcement's ability to ticket offenders, the sidewalks often remain unshoveled or not shoveled to the full 42" required by the Snow Removal Ordinance #16-12.16. Property owners reluctant to comply with the ordinance "just don't care" and the sidewalks remain impassable or dangerous for pedestrians or other forms of travel such as strollers and wheelchairs.

The City's intention is NOT ticketing but rather getting our pedestrian walkways safe.  If businesses and property owners are unwilling to comply with the ordinance, then another plan needs to be put into effect quickly to guarantee the safety of pedestrian walkways. 

That is what the hearing addresses.  Revenues exist from "Green Tickets" that could be used to pay for a variety of groups to "help" property owners achieve compliance. 

So what's next? 

The next step in the process is to submit the order to the City and Neighborhood Services Committee chaired by Councilor Lamartine.  The Administration's backing is also required since that is where the working groups are located including Inspectional Services, Code Enforcement and Revenue Collection.

Upham's Corner News has made contact with the Councilor's office and will be attending the hearing.

Read our "Snow Removal Issues" articles that appeared in the January 28, 2011 issue of Upham's Corner News.

Offered by Councilor Bill Linehan



WHEREAS:         The City of Boston issues citations to residential and commercial property owners for
failure to shovel and remove snow from all sidewalks and walkways adjacent to the
property; and

WHEREAS:         The City of Boston has adopted Massachusetts General Law 40U, an Act Relative to the
Collection of Unpaid Municipal Fines, often referred to as the "Green Ticket Law"; and

WHEREAS:         The "Green Ticket Law" provides a method to enforce payments of fines levied
through tickets by allowing the City to put a lien on property taxes for unpaid
municipal fines; and

WHEREAS:         This year the City has issued hundreds of citations for failure to remove snow, however
sidewalks often remain unshoveled, blocking access or creating a dangerous
passageway; and

WHEREAS:         The City could establish a fund to direct monies collected from unshoveled sidewalks to
clear those same sidewalks in violation or allow the work to be contracted out and
violators to be billed for the service; and

WHEREAS:         The City could also partner with local non-profits to clear ticketed sidewalks of snow
providing safe passage for pedestrians, wheelchairs and strollers. Therefore be

ORDERED:         That the appropriate committee of the Boston City Council holds a hearing regarding the
use of "Green Ticket" revenues to clear snow from unshoveled City sidewalks and
invites representatives from the Public Works Department, Inspectional Services
Department and interested members of the public to attend.

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