Many sidewalks won’t be cleared in winter

People need to be careful on certain streets because of snow and ice

Cities and towns are responsible for maintaining streets and sidewalks in most of the Czech Republic, while homeowners are responsible for icicles and snow falling from rooftops.

In Prague, the Technical Communications Administration (TSK) is responsible for the large part of roads and streets, and the Town Halls of the city districts are responsible for almost all the rest.

The TSK has published an online map showing which streets and sidewalks will be cleared of ice and snow.

People who get injured on the sidewalks have to determine which entity or city department is responsible for the particular sidewalk before seeking compensation.

A Constitutional Court ruling also puts some of the responsibility on the pedestrian, as the weather and state of the street have to be taken into account. The person has to have used proper care in trying to walk down the street. But the owner is not let off the hook. The city fought a case where a pedestrian was injured, claiming it had no responsibility since the street in Barrandov where the accident happened was clearly not maintained and unpassable, so the pedestrian should not have used it. The Constitutional Court rejected that argument and held the city repsonsible.

The law concerning roads does allow each city to define roads and sidewalks that are not maintained in winter.

In Prague the TSK manages more than half of the sidewalks and roads. Less than a third of them are in the maintenance-free category during this winter season until March 31, 2018.

Prague has 3,974 kilometers of roads, with 2,316 km under the care of the TSK, and 1,658 km maintained by other authorities. Some 1,326 km of those roads should be cleared within two to four hours of the end of a snowfall. Some 510 should be cleared in 48 hours, while the remaining 480 km are not cleared at all.

The city has 1,400 hectares of non-motorized communications such as sidewalks, with 800 ha overseen by the TSK and 600 ha overseen by others. Some 400 ha should be cleared quickly, and 150 ha cleared after that. A total of 250 ha is not cleared of snow.

A map showing the TSK’s priorities of clearing snow is on the TSK website at zimniudrzba.tsk-praha.cdsw.cz

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