Sidewalk Snow Removal Requirement

The City of La Crosse would like to remind property owners and residents the need to clear snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their homes, businesses, and properties. Sidewalks are used by many City residents and visitors. Ice and snow presents a significant impairment and hazard, especially to elderly and disabled citizens. 

The City provides sand mixed with salt for residents to use on the City sidewalks. It is available in the rear of each Fire Station; except Fire Station #1. Residents in that area may obtain the salt/sand mixture on Isle La Plume, just west of the Niedbalski Bridge. Residents are required to bring their own containers. 

Also note that pushing, dumping or throwing snow from private property to a public street is also prohibited. 

For the safety of our citizens and visitors, the City has an Ordinance that requires snow and ice to be removed from the sidewalk and curb ramps within twenty-four (24) hours after it ceases to fall. Inspections for ordinance compliance may occur anytime throughout the season beginning with the first snowfall. 

Per City Ordinance 5.08 - Snow, Ice, and Debris Removal:

  • Sidewalks shall be cleared to the full width.
  • If packed snow cannot be removed; it should be treated as ice and sprinkled with ashes, sand or salt until such time that it can be removed.
  • Curb ramps at corner lots or cross walks should be kept free from snow and ice extending past the curb and gutter to the street pavement
  • That portion of the sidewalk that crosses an alley should be kept clear to the alley centerline by adjacent property owner/occupants

Failure to comply with Ordinance 5.08 will result in the clearing of the sidewalk at a cost billed to the adjacent property owners at a rate of $2.50 per linear foot plus a $50 administration fee. Additionally, citations charging the property owner with violation of City Ordinance 5.08(A) may be issued and carry a fine of $75 to $100 plus processing costs. 

Objection Form 

Complaints for non-compliance should be directed to the City Engineering Department or entered at cityoflacrosse.org

Public Sidewalks & Crosswalks 

City ordinance prohibits shoveling, blowing, dumping and plowing snow and ice onto city streets. Fines depend on the amount of cleanup required by the Engineering Departments contracted crew, and property owners are billed accordingly. Property owners should deposit the snow from sidewalks and driveways onto their yards or boulevards (the strip between the curb and sidewalk.) - Ordinance 5.08(D)

Residents and private snowplow operators are asked to refrain from shoveling, snow blowing and plowing snow from sidewalks, driveways and parking lots onto city streets. The snow dumped onto the street causes a public safety hazard. It also costs additional city time and personnel to return to previously plowed streets to clear them again. 

Schools, businesses, shopping centers and other property owners with parking lots are asked to contract their snow clearing services to make sure snow cleared from the lots is deposited on the lot or hauled away, not dumped onto the street. Also, when plowing, do not block vision for passenger cars at intersections.

Department of Public Works and Street Department managers report an increase of ordinance violations from people using snow blowers to blow snow from their sidewalks and driveways onto the streets.

Parked Cars

The single biggest problem in snow plowing is parked and abandoned cars. Those cars present obstacles to our plows, which we try to get as close to the curb as we can. We regularly return to plow snow islands left by parked cars. If you see an area where a car is moved after the plow goes by, please call the Street Department office at (608) 789-7340.