Posted by stannenb on Mar 18, 2011.

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Summing Up the Season of Snow

Cambridge officials issued 1216 tickets to 1018 distinct addresses for unshoveled sidewalks through February 24th, according to data released by the Cambridge Department of Public Works (DPW) in response to a City Council Order and Public Records Request by this writer. Of these tickets, which were issued in response to over 2300 complaints, 163 have been contested, 103 reduced to warnings, and 15 voided. A total of $58,950 in fines have been issued, with $50,550 of that being uncontested.

While the DPW was initially slow to respond to complaints, they quickly cut response time, only to have it increase again in February.

On their busiest day, February 4, 2001, DPW inspectors issued 169 tickets resulting in $8450 in fines.

One address in the city, 194 Western Avenue, garnered 6 tickets for total fines of $300. Two other addresses, 401 Washington Street and 82 Kinnaird Street, had 5 tickets apiece, for fines of $250. Nine addresses had four tickets.

Along with the release of these data, DPW Commissioner Lisa Peterson responded to the Council's request to make these data available on the web. Peterson recommends placing the data in table, similar to the format used by the DPW for its 5 year Street and Sidewalk Plan. This, Peterson says, will allow users to sort by any field. When asked why these data would not be mapped, Peterson said that she was responding specifically to the Council order which spoke to a spreadsheet format but they might do a map as well. Neither format, however, guarantee that the data are downloadable and thus able to be analyzed by citizens interested in the City's performance.

DPW Response to the City Council

The data used for this reporting can be found here.

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