Streets are mostly clear, but sidewalks need work

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Indianapolis plow crews were out treating slick spots on Thursday night, even though most plowing is done on Indianapolis streets.

But sidewalks are another story - and the city is encouraging businesses and homeowners to get them clear, or face a potential fine.

24 hours after snow socked the Circle City, Indianapolis streets are mostly clear.

"They've been great. Our ride home was wonderful," said Indianapolis homeowner Kathleen Field. "They did an excellent job for sure."

The 50 additional contractors brought in to plow residential neighborhoods finished Thursday afternoon.

"We assessed the situation today and we released them late this afternoon," explained Department of Public Works spokesperson Lesley Malone. "We have a few plowers around, but for the most part their job is done."

But sidewalks weren't as safe.

Along 16th Street in Indianapolis, we noticed some sections of sidewalks are clear, only to be followed by an extended pile of unshoveled snow.

Our cameras captured people struggling to make it through.

Others were forced to walk in the road because the sidewalks were simply impassable.

Heather Ollivierre trudged through unshoveled snow along Meridian Street. She says businesses haven't cleared enough to keep people safe.

"Not really enough. It's really slushy right now. It's hard to walk," Ollivierre said. "Most of the businesses, their parking lots are really clear, but as far as the sidewalks, they haven't shoveled yet. Right here across the street, they didn't shovel the sidewalk, so we had to stand out in the street to catch the bus this morning."

It's not the city's responsibility to clear sidewalks. Businesses and homeowners are required by City Code 431-106 to shovel sidewalks themselves. If you don't and you're reported, you potentially face a $50 ticket.

Indianapolis Code Enforcement says it will inspect areas reported to them, especially in high-traffic areas.

"We're looking at ADA ramps for accessibility," said Code Enforcement Communications Director Al Ensley. "We're looking at bus stops, grocery stores, drug stores. We'll go out. We'll do an inspection and we will then take the necessary steps."

Kathleen Field was out Thursday night, making sure her sidewalks are clear. "We want it to be safe for us to walk and for our neighbors to walk," she said.

She also hopes others do the same - digging out from any danger.

Code Enforcement says if you notice a dangerous area where sidewalks have not been cleared, you can contact the Mayor's Action Center at 327-4MAC.

The Department of Public Works also suggests calling that number, if your street hasn't been properly plowed.