Boston neighbors defend elderly woman cited for failing to shovel sidewalk

Lorraine Walsh said she tried to shovel, but the ice made it difficult

A South Boston neighborhood is rallying behind a 76-year-old woman who was fined $200 for failing to shovel her walkway.

Lorraine Walsh was one of 500 Bostonians cited in the week following last Thursday’s storm. Though the septuagenarian enjoys the task, she told CBS Boston that winds made it difficult to nearly impossible.

Despite efforts to clear her pathway, Walsh woke up to a Valentine’s Day ticket on her door.

“I don’t think it was fair because it was icy and it was difficult to get up,” she said.

According to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh (no relation to Lorraine), residents are required to shovel their sidewalk three hours after a snowstorm. If they are unable to do so, the mayor recommended to “get somebody to shovel it for you.”

Lorraine maintains the penalty is especially stiff considering she’s on a fixed income. The retiree said she plans to present a photo showing the work she did complete as evidence.

But the ticket fiasco appears to have struck a nerve with the community, who are standing behind Lorraine’s decision to appeal the citation.

One resident voicing their support is Christian Galvin, who told the Boston Herald he would pay the $200 ticket if she lost her case.

Though the mayor was sympathetic, he said the matter rests on public safety.

“I’m sure they’ll take into account all the circumstances around that,” he said. “I feel bad. She can appeal the ticket. She’s an elderly person, so I want to make sure that we’re not putting a burden on an elderly person that can’t do it.”

Walsh said the appeal process would take two weeks.


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