For Immediate Release
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Contact: Mary Curtius 703-228-7943 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)
ARLINGTON, VA - The Arlington County Board today voted to approve a permanent, Countywide snow removal ordinance requiring all Arlington property owners, occupants, or persons in charge to clear public sidewalks adjacent to their property of snow and ice within a designated time period. The ordinance also prohibits transferring or depositing snow and ice from private property onto a County street, pedestrian walkway or trail.
The ordinance grew from widespread public concern after this past winter’s historic snowfalls when sidewalks and streets remained impassable for many days. Following extensive outreach effort and a public hearing at today’s Board meeting, the Board approved the ordinance, designed to keep the public right-of-way clear following winter weather events to:
Providing clear, safe roadways and pedestrian routes is essential to ensuring access to jobs, schools and services for all in a walkable community like Arlington. The new ordinance aims to help ensure safe access for pedestrians and make all transportation modes available as soon as possible after a snow storm. Specifically, the ordinance addresses the following two areas of concern:
The general intent of the ordinance is to identify locations and situations that pose a public safety hazard - the County expects voluntary compliance to result in most snow clearing. The County also intends to develop an Implementation Plan that includes:
The County Board further directed the County Manager to:
The County Manager has the authority to extend the time frames required for compliance, reduce the required width that must be cleared, and suspend enforcement of the ordinance based on weather conditions. And the County Board made it clear that the County will take responsibility for clearing sidewalks abutting County property. The Board voted 4-1 to adopt the ordinance.
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.