While we haven't had super significant snow yet this season in the Bangor area, as folks prep for what's to come from the next few forecasts, the topic of sidewalks has come up.

A lot of people speculate as to what rules there were about sidewalk clearing within Bangor's city limits.

man with a snow blowing machine working in winter day

Bangor City Councilor, Jonathan Sprague, clarified this in a social media post a few years back, and I think it's a good reminder of the rules. What it boils down to is: if you can help in the effort, do.

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Sprague says while there is no ordinance on the books that require residents to remove the snow from sidewalks when they do go the extra mile, it does help everyone in the long run.


Said Sprague:

"There are Priority 1 and Priority 2 sidewalks and some that do not get plowed; often just one side of the street is plowed; and if all goes well, the work can be done in about 8-10 hours after an average storm. Unfortunately, sidewalk plowing can be a slow process, especially with deep snow. Our operators constantly contend with obstacles like vehicles parked on the sidewalk, trash bins, mattresses (really), and other trash blocking the sidewalk."


He went on to explain that when city snow removal crews do come up against these obstacles, they can often lead to damage to important pieces of equipment, and then delays because those machines are out of service.

Snow removal
Jan Korzekwa

Sprague said that in the first few storms of 2023 alone, the Bangor's Public Works Department worked 1,191 hours of overtime for storm clean with sidewalk clearing machines running almost 24 hours straight during actual snowfall events, as well as next day clean up.

So it's certainly not for lack of effort.

Child shovelling snow and cleaning the driveway.

Another issue Sprague noted has come up quite a bit this year is folks plowing their snow out into the sidewalks or even the road. That's not helpful either and also slows things down.

snow clearing in the winter

Not only that, but Sprague mentioned a specific City Ordinance, Ordinance 234, that says if you do block the sidewalks with your snow removal efforts, you could face a daily fine of at least $100 PER DAY that the snow blocks that area.


If you want to know just what the rules for removing snow in the city are, you can find all of the rules right on the City's website, Bangor.gov. In this case, they are listed under winter maintenance.

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