Warwick police issue fines for snow-covered sidewalks

Four full days after the blizzard, many sidewalks in cities and towns across Southern New England remain blocked by snow.

Warwick police were issuing warnings, but on Wednesday, they started issuing fines.

Some of the sidewalks immediately around Aldrich Junior High are shoveled from the 18 inches of snow, but some are not, forcing students to walk in the street.

Neighbors and businesses of nearby schools face a $100-a-day fine for noncompliance.

Devon Hall is a ninth grader at Pilgrim High School.

"I mean it's not safe. So, kids try and stay off of, it but there's not much they can do seeing how the sidewalks are covered in snow," Hall said.

Lt. Michael Gilbert is with Warwick Police Department.

"We had to remind some people of the ordinance. They weren't familiar with it. They didn't realize it was their responsibility. We've given them some time to get those sidewalks cleared and now we're going to go back out today following up on the locations that hadn't been cleared to make sure they did comply, and if they did not, we've been issuing violations today," Gilbert said Wednesday.

It's been a challenge to do, but the police said it something that had to be done. The managers of a McDonald's restaurant had one of their employees come out to clear the sidewalk.

Police are tackling the problem first near the schools. Senior centers are next, and finally, every neighborhood.

Cities and towns are also responsible for clearing their sidewalks, too.

"I'd be lying if I said it was 100 percent for all the city buildings. It's not. They have the same responsibilities that everybody else does," Gilbert said.

Gilbert said they could be fined, too.

Warwick police said they don't enjoy handing out the citations, but they said safety of those who have to use the sidewalk is paramount.