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With Mass Of Snow On Ground, Lakeview Has Seen More Than 300 Complaints Of Uncleared Sidewalks This Year Alone

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The snow that fell on Monday night was still creating problems for pedestrians.

As CBS 2's Steven Graves reported, the greatest number of complaints is in Lakeview – with more than 300 this year alone.

There is supposed to be 5 feet of space on sidewalks, but Graves came across some that were untouched by a shovel – mainly around apartment and condo buildings.

Instead of a walk, it can be more of a slip-and-slide.

"Obviously not ideal - not ideal for any of us, but less so someone who's a little bit elderly," said Toni Pelot of Lakeview.

One man was using a walker to get down the sidewalk. The wheels on the walker were barely rolling as the man inched his way off a crosswalk.

"People aren't shoveling or putting out ice, so it's making it difficult to run errands," Pelot said.

The city expects property owners to clear sidewalks and crosswalk ramps right after a snowfall.

A quick tour around Lakeview two days after the snow proves things are still a work in progress – like one stretch of sidewalk in front of a vacant lot and businesses where it looked like no clearing had happened at all.

"I even cross over to the other side of the street so I don't risk falling," said Ezekiel Thomas of Lakeview.

Thomas is so fed-up with one building that he has filed a 311 complaint.
That's just one of 318 called-in or reported online this year in the Lakeview area.

It's the most in the city - with West Town and Logan Square following closely behind.

A total of 4,475 complaints have come into the city about uncleared sidewalks this year. That is on track to match and possibly surpass the 5,389 filed in 2020.

Some people like Thomas said they have contacted the city multiple times about the *same trouble spots.

"It's always this one building, and it's been like that the last three and a half years," Thomas said. "But I don't know if anything is really being done."

CBS 2 has requested the number of citations given out for uncleared sidewalks so far this year and has yet to receive the information. But we know one year, more than 200 were given out – with fines ranging from $50 to $500.

The Chicago Department of Transportation issued the following statement:

"We respond to all complaints and generally respond to a first offense with a warning. But we will enforce the law, especially when it comes to businesses and multi-family buildings that ignore warnings and fail to clear their sidewalks.

"Property owners can be fined up to $500 for failing to comply with the ordinance."

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