Snow-covered sidewalks create risk for pedestrians


The pavement may be re-emerging after a week under packed snow and ice, but more pedestrians are being forced to walk in the street as sidewalks remain snow-covered.

A 58-year-old man was critically injured in a hit-and-run Friday morning while walking in the road. It's a topic of concern on the street as well as on social media.

"It's real tough. It's kind of it's dangerous, too," said Lonnie Morton, pedestrian.

"The sidewalks are terrible. The snowplows are throwing the snow on the sidewalks two feet where it makes people have to walk in the streets. Not safe out here on 38th Street. Some people do HAVE TO WALK!" complained Rennetta Dixon on Facebook.

Mayor Greg Ballard says clearing sidewalks is up to the property owner.

"People know when the snow is moved out and we're trying to get people on the road, it still is the property owner's responsibility to clear out that snow," said the mayor.

Five days after the storm, the mayor acknowledges contractors' initial runs through neighborhoods were not entirely effective.

"The phone calls that came in, the cul-de-sacs and the dead end streets were not being done as well as we thought they would have been done. So we went back out and re-did it and we're still out there helping them clear out still," said Ballard.

Mayor Ballard now acknowledges he wasn't the first mayor to send crews into neighborhoods after a big winter storm.

"We were the first one with a policy to go in there (neighborhoods) at six inches. A couple times previously and they heard about it, they did go into some of the neighborhoods. That did happen on an occasional basis. We're still the first ones with a policy at six inches to go in routinely," said the mayor.

Now people like Rhiannon Conlen are armed and joining the fight.

"A bunch of people have been getting stuck in this alley so I was shoveling a bit of that. This sidewalk needs to be done because there are people that walk down this street all the time," said Conlen.