With temperatures set to drop below freezing again and another round of snow storms headed toward West Michigan, it doesn't hurt to brush up on your snow etiquette!

Even though I actually enjoy shoveling snow, I feel like I'm in the minority. I don't blame you for not wanting to go outside! However, it benefits everyone in our community when we keep our roadways and sidewalks free of snow. For some, that's their only way of getting around town.

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Michigan has no statewide mandate regarding snow removal and instead leaves that decision to local jurisdictions.

No matter whether you rent or ownsomeone needs to be in charge of keeping sidewalks clear. If you're a renter check your lease carefully; if snow removal and lawn care are not included with your rent then it falls on you to remove snow from your sidewalks.

Legally, here's what's required of those living in Southwest Michigan:


Photo by Patrick Bald on Unsplash
Photo by Patrick Bald on Unsplash

City of Kalamazoo

According to City ordinance 33-18, all property owners (including renters unless otherwise stated) are required to clear their sidewalks within 48 hours of accumulation. You can also report uncleared sidewalks here.

Says the City of Kalamazoo website,

The City is working to improve sidewalk mobility in winter, and we know conditions can be improved. Do your part to keep our sidewalks usable for everyone!

City of Battle Creek

For those that were unaware, the City of Battle Creek is currently in the process of updating its snow removal ordinances. Having just been approved by the city council in December, the City shared via Facebook post the new changes to its policy:

  • Snow before noon: Residents must clear their sidewalks by the following midnight. For example, if it snows at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday you must clear sidewalks by midnight Wednesday morning.
  • Snow after noon: Residents must clear sidewalks within 24 hours plus the time to the following midnight. Meaning if it snows at 3 p.m. Tuesday you must clear sidewalks by midnight Thursday morning.
  • 2+ days of snow: If it snows 2 days or more in a row you must clear snow by the above times or within 48 hours of when the first snowfall began-- whichever is sooner.

City of Portage

For those who live in Portage, residents and businesses have 24 hours following a snow or ice event to clear their sidewalks.

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