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Mayor Walsh Pushes To Increase Max Fines For Not Shoveling

Jill Leach shovels her car near her home in Charlestown last month. (Elise Amendola/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Jill Leach shovels her car near her home in Charlestown last month. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Amid a brutal winter, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is pushing to increase the maximum fines for property owners who fail to shovel sidewalks or who throw snow into the street.

While fines currently range from $50 to $200 depending on the infraction and the size of the property, the maximum a property owner can be fined is $300. Walsh has filed a home rule petition to up that cap to $1,500.

“Illegally dumping snow onto public roads severely worsens an already challenging snow removal process, compounds our workload, raises our costs and increases safety risks for drivers," Walsh said in a statement. "Failing to remove snow from a sidewalk puts lives at danger. It’s a problem for every pedestrian, but it is especially difficult for our children, for the disabled, and for the elderly to face deep, unshoveled sidewalks, and be forced to walk in the road."

Under the petition, unpaid fines would be added to property tax bills.

The home rule petition needs the approval of the City Council, the state legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker.

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