Icy sidewalks proving dangerous to pedestrians

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It's been several days since the last snow and a week since the blizzard, but city sidewalks are still a problem in some areas, causing a slippery situation for pedestrians and property owners.

Indianapolis Code Enforcement is taking complaints and checking them out.

"It's just ice, humps of ice on top of ice, black ice, white ice. Very dangerous," said Patrice Tyler.

That's creating a serious hazard for Tyler, who's encountering a lot of slick sidewalks as she walks to and from the bus stop.

"I take my chances in the street, because it's ice, pure ice," she said.

That's a common practice Eyewitness News saw all over the city. When making the choice between slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk or walking in the clean street - with traffic - many chose to risk their lives in traffic.

But Ricki Havens will take her chances on the slick sidewalks.

"I understand why they don't get out and do it, because it is hard work, but they could always hire someone to do it if they don't want to do it themselves," said Havens.

"So far, we have received about 12 complaints," said Al Ensley with the Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement.

He says inspectors are responding to plenty of complaints, but right now, are only issuing warnings. No tickets, yet.

"We recognize the fact that we, on average, get seven inches of snow to this point and we've received twice that. So, we're understanding that's been a slight issue for some of these businesses," said Ensley.

Eyewitness News confronted one business owner to find out why their sidewalks weren't clear and the manager said she thought it was the city's responsibility, until we showed her the code. That manager promptly sent an employee out with shovel in hand to clear up the problem.

According to the code, the occupant of a business or resident or owner is responsible for clearing the sidewalk.

"We usually do more," said Shareese Casey.

Casey cleared the sidewalk from her house to the street, but stopped short, also unclear of her responsibility she saw the code.

While they're not issuing tickets now, down the road, code enforcement officers might. There's a maximum $50 fine if you don't clear your sidewalks.

"Oh wow! Well, I appreciate you coming and letting me know that," said Casey.

If you have a complaint about icy sidewalks, you can call the Mayor's Action Center at 317-327-4622 or go online at http://www.indy.gov/MAC.