Local residents face fines after snowstorms

Snow removal and parking bans can rack up fines

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After two snowstorms in just a few short days, some local residents are frustrated with the threat of fines for failing to clear out snow.

In many cities and towns across western Massachusetts, you have 24 hours to clear out the snow from sidewalks in front of your home, or face a fine of up to $50 per day.

Longmeadow resident Jeanie O’Malley said, “It wouldn’t be bad if they made it 48-hours. I think it’s a little unreasonable for them to think that we could get out there and do it practically two days in a row. It’s not right.”

Drivers face similar fines, plus the cost of towing if they ignore a parking ban.

Springfield resident Carlos Rivera said the fines are a bigger problem on some streets. Rivera said, “It’s kind of unfair, because the street I live on, there’s not really much parking whatsoever; everyone really has to be parked on the street. There’s no driveways per-say, so it’s unfair some streets more than others.”

While some cities have considered raising fines, West Springfield’s Mayor William Reichelt said the system isn’t about raising money. He said, “I think a lot of times it’s just people aren’t aware, maybe they didn’t have time and they just needed that kick from us saying you do have a sidewalk and you need to make sure it stays clear of both snow and ice, so I don’t think we need to go any higher than that.”

The Mayor said most people are given a warning before their first fine.

If you want to see if you are required to shovel sidewalks in your city or town, you can check the interactive map here.