ICY SIDEWALKS: Cities slow to respond to complaints - FOX 35 News Orlando

ICY SIDEWALKS: Cities slow to respond to complaints

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It seems everyone has a nightmare spot in their neighborhood where the sidewalks are so slippery they are dangerous, but what are cities doing to keep the walkways clear? Some say, "not enough."

Homeowners and businesses are responsible for clearing the sidewalks around their property and most communities do have complaint lines, but it seems that using them only leads to more complaining when nothing seems to get done.

"Some sidewalks are really bad out there," said Minneapolis City Councilman and mayoral candidate Gary Schiff. "We've got to do better as a city."

Yet, it's not just a problem in Minneapolis and St. Paul. A FOX 9 viewer pointed out that there are ice-covered sidewalks near the Interstate 394 and Louisiana transit lot in St. Louis Park. So what can be done?

The city of Minneapolis urges residents to call 311 to lodge a complaint if they see an untreated sidewalk 24 hours after a snowfall. The city promises to send out an inspector within days, but it can take longer just after a large snowfall.

An inspection can lead to a warning letter, and if the walkway still isn't cleared, city crews -- in theory -- will clear the snow and ice and then bill the property owner.

"We know we don't have enough staff to clear all the sidewalks," Schiff admitted. "Most complaints don't go anywhere."

Schiff said he believes the system is broken, which is why he wants to see a Winter Jobs Corps program that puts people to work clearing the worst sidewalks -- and is paid for by those who violate the law.

"It's dangerous out there," he said. "It's nothing to laugh at when you fall down and hurt yourself."

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