Some sidewalks in the Chicago area remained messy Tuesday, days after it snowed—and that’s against the law, as one alderman points out — and neighbors want violators to be held accountable.
“You’re walking by and try not to slip and fall,” said a Back of the Yards neighbor, Ricardo Bedolla.
Neighbors in the Back of the Yards neighborhood say they want their sidewalks cleared.“It makes me nervous,” said another neighbor, Michael Turnbo. “I broke my ankle on some snow and some ice. I normally just try to walk on the streets.”
Property owners in Chicago are legally required to shovel their sidewalks after it snows—shoveling rules apply citywide.
“I think this is a growing problem in the city of Chicago,” said 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez. “We saw on social media, particularly Twitter, people were posting all kinds of sidewalk hazards.”
Ald. Lopez says he’s asked the city to write tickets up to $500 in fines to violators.
“As a city we need to start enforcing these laws so we can have better accountability,” Ald. Lopez said.
According to Lopez, 32 businesses in his ward received citations Tuesday, including an Enterprise near 45th and Western.
“It’s not that hard to shovel it or put salt or whatever. It doesn’t take a lot of time,” Bedolla said.
A Walgreens located at 47th and Ashland got ticketed for only having a narrow path, instead of shoveling the required 5-feet across.
“Just for the safety of customers, coming in and out of your store, bus stop is right here,” Turbno said. “It’s just like ‘come on!’ It ain’t that much.”
If the sidewalks aren’t cleared after one ticket, Alderman Raymond Lopez says officials can come back every 25 hours to “ticket any business or homeowner that hasn’t cleaned up from the first citation we’ve given.”
If you are a senior and can’t shovel, Ald. Lopez urges you to notify his office, and he assures it will be taken care of.