Reaction mixed to city's call not to plow side streets

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The sun is down, but the workload stays up overnight for DPW crews.

"We are still at full force, so we'll have 90 drivers," said Lesley Gordon with Indianapolis Public Works.

RELATED: Indianapolis skips private contractors for snow removal

They will hit traffic lanes and shoulders day crews couldn't hit and watch for any refreezing.

On one side street on the near east side, Eyewitness News found a good amount of slush on the road. No plows have been through here.

So what happens if this stuff refreezes overnight when temps sink to the upper 20s?

"Nobody came down here and cleared the streets," says resident Chantie Williams. "We have to do it ourselves to prevent accidents."

She says neighbors pitched in with snow blowers to clear part of the street.

With more than six inches of snow, the city's guidelines call for calling in private plows to hit those side streets.

"It's important, because cars can barely get down the streets if it's not cleared," said Williams.

By phone, a private contractor who asked we not use his name said the city should have mobilized the contractors. He also says he's losing money after buying required new insurance.

"We made the investment and held up our part of the contract. They kind of left us out to dry," he said.

But DPW says it is not required to call contractors in - even at six inches. It saved taxpayers about a half-million dollars.

While side streets are slushy, "the pavement temperatures are going to stay pretty close to right above freezing," said Gordon.

"So even with the actual air temperature dropping, we don't see a lot of new freezing happening," she added.

Downtown resident Dan Johnson lives on a narrow neighborhood street and says "I've been pretty impressed with how they've handled this snowstorm."

And for Aaron Weaver, who has driving around since morning, "It's better they don't plow 'em. When they plow 'em, they block everybody's cars in."