City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) wants to exempt Boston homeowners over 60 and people with disabilities from the requirement to shovel their sidewalks after snowstorms.
In a request for a hearing that will go before the council tomorrow, Jackson says:
Shoveling can lead to serious health problems for the elderly and disabled, including respiratory illness, heart attacks, falls, broken bones and death. ...
The current shoveling laws force elderly and disabled residents to choose
between being fined and health risks.
His proposed ordinance does not require over-60 and disabled residents to find somebody to shovel their walks in their place. However, they would have to file with City Hall for a shoveling exemption.
In 2007, Jackson's predecessor, Chuck Turner, refused to shovel his sidewalk, not because of his age - he was then 66 - but because he claimed nobody in his neighborhood used sidewalks.