Clearing City Sidewalks

It's been more than two weeks since our last major snowfall in the metro. While there are still some problems with street plowing, sidewalks are another concern.

With school resuming next week in Omaha, Channel 6 News found some areas that may cause problems. Most of us have done a good job keeping our sidewalks clear of ice and snow, but there are always problem areas.

Jeremy Huff does a lot of walking this time of year and says the city could have done better clearing public sidewalks. "It's just terrible. It's just ice and it's so thick. There's no spot you can really just walk. I saw a jogger jogging in the street because they couldn't find a spot on the sidewalk where it was safe to jog."

We checked sidewalks around several parks where we knew the city was responsible for clearing them. For the most part, they were cleared. But chunks deposited on sidewalks from cleared streets and areas of melting and re-freezing created some problems.

"In some parts there are some that are alright, but there are some places that need to be done a lot better than they are," Michelle Thompson said.

Like an overpass on Woolworth Avenue spanning Interstate 480. The sidewalk on one side is perfectly clean while on the other side it is a sloping sheet of ice. We found a sidewalk by Benson Park near 72nd Street and Military Avenue that is barely visible underneath snow and ice.

Another packed snow and ice combination is on the corner of 52nd and Bedford Avenue, right across the street from Monroe Middle School. That will make it tough footing for kids returning to school next week.

Huff wants the city to use ice melt after clearing sidewalks. Thompson agrees. "It costs money of course, but they could take the little 4-by-4 trucks and just drive on over them, you know what I mean?" Thompson believes in the long run that might be money well spent.

The city's Parks Department clears sidewalks in public areas. They mainly clear public sidewalks around parks with pickup trucks equipped with blades. A calcium solution is put down in high traffic areas and stairways.

We're told crews are out now following up in some areas.


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