Caring for sidewalks in winter


Last updated 11/16/2021 at Noon

With winter conditions right around the corner, the City’s Public Works Department asks all downtown property owners and businesses not to use chemical-based deicers or snow melt products on the sidewalks adjacent to their businesses.

Keeping the sidewalks passible for pedestrians is the business owner’s responsibility. The City is asking everyone to use sand and/or birdseed as substitutes for the chemical products, which begin to break down the concrete after a couple of applications. Repeated use eventually causes sections of the sidewalk to crack and chip away.

These large cracks and missing chunks of the sidewalk create trip hazards for pedestrians who frequent the downtown core, especially the elderly and those with mobility issues. Replacing crumbling sidewalk panels is expensive and the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.

Another sidewalk concern is the large number of phone calls received by the City every year regarding sidewalk trip hazards, often the result of sidewalk panels sinking over time or rising due to the roots of adjacent trees and vegetation.

A trip hazard is typically a one-half inch discrepancy between sidewalk


According to City of Sisters Municipal Code 12.25.020, titled Duty to Maintain and Clear Sidewalks, it is the responsibility of the adjacent landowner to maintain and remove obstructions from the adjacent sidewalk(s). In addition, Municipal Code 12.25.030 titled Liability for Sidewalk injuries, states the owner of the property abutting a sidewalk shall be liable to any person injured because of failure to maintain the sidewalk in good repair or a safe

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It is not the City’s responsibility to notify the owner of the property abutting a sidewalk that it needs repair or removal of obstructions. But they are issuing a friendly reminder to everyone as winter approaches. The City is currently assessing City bulb-outs at intersections in the downtown core for future


For information or answers to questions, contact Troy Rayburn at the City, 541-323-5220 or

[email protected]


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