In Germany, private citizens are generally required to clear snow in winter and grit when it is slippery. Most cities and municipalities regulate where and to what extent in their own bylaws. If you live in Tübingen, you are responsible for all public traffic areas that run alongside your house. Anyone who lives in a house, regardless of whether they are a tenant or a house owner, must clear snow and spread ice. The obligation to clear and spread snow applies primarily to pavements, footpaths and stairways. However, it also applies to other public traffic areas, such as the waiting area at bus stops, if they do not have a bus shelter. The property management usually draws up a clearing plan: In this plan, residents are divided into days or weeks on which they are responsible for clearing and gritting the entire building. They must then either keep the pavement clear or a 1.5 metre wide strip of roadway on the street if there is no pavement. They must clear the areas as early as in the morning so that pedestrians can walk over them safely from 7.30 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on Sundays and public holidays. If it continues to snow during the day, they must clear and grit the areas again. They may only spread salt if it is very slippery. As a rule, they should use stone chippings. The city of Tübingen has set up 19 grit piles in the city area for this purpose. You can pick up grit there at any time free of charge.
Die Tübinger Neckarinsel im Winter. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Oula Mahfouz.
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