Snow Covered Sidewalks Create Hazards

48 hours: that's how long we have to clear our sidewalks of snow in Omaha. Most of us have complied, but there are still some areas that are extremely dangerous.

Maria Villarino takes eight-year-old St. Bernard 'Baby' for a walk twice a day. She says it's kind of a mixed bag when using the sidewalk.

"Some sidewalks are okay," she said. "I see people going out and making the effort to clear the snow off the sidewalks. Some sidewalks never get cleaned up."

For the most part, homeowners and businesses have done a good job of clearing sidewalks. But there are some that leave a lot to be desired.

A stretch along Dodge at 50th street with un-shoveled sidewalks dangerously close to traffic. Another long stretch runs along Dodge Street just west of the Crossroads Mall.

At another area near 77th Ave and Cass, there's little room to navigate between traffic and a bridge guard rail. Footprints show its a heavily traveled area. It is also a bus stop.

Near UNO, students walked in the street due to snow covered sidewalks.

"We didn't want to trudge through the snow," Creighton student Katie Rall said. "I think people are pretty understanding of how we have to walk on the street because its snowy but they kind of move. It's not dark. I wouldn't want to do it in the dark."

The crew at Ultimate Painting is not only getting some much needed work, they're clearing snow at several apartment complexes across the city.

And they're doing it the right way.

"We try to get them edge to edge and down to the concrete as fast as possible," Jeff Thielen said. "We kind of think it that this could be our mother walking on these sidewalks so we take pride in what we do so the faster we get it down and nobody gets hurt the better it is."

And with much of the snow melting due to warmer conditions on Monday, Maria Villarino says that creates another problem when temperatures fall below freezing.

"Some times people do clean off the snow but they don't throw anything down on it and so it's just as bad its just a sheet of ice and really dangerous," she said.

Remember, a little ice melt goes a long way.

In Omaha, a city ordinance gives us 48 hours to have our sidewalks cleared. Homeowners and businesses can be held liable if someone slips and falls on un-shoveled or icy sidewalks.


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