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Many Side Streets, Sidewalks Still A Snowy Mess

CHICAGO (CBS) -- With the city's snow plows still busy clearing side streets, and many sidewalks still buried under more than a foot-and-a-half of snow, more flakes could start falling in the Chicago area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros reports snow is expected to fall across the northern suburbs and northern parts of the city Tuesday afternoon, with less than an inch likely for parts of the North Side, but up to two inches of accumulation possible in the northern suburbs.

More light snow is expected Wednesday afternoon across the southern suburbs and southern parts of the city, with around an inch possible in the far southern suburbs, and a dusting of snow likely on the South Side.

The fresh snow comes on the heels of the fifth largest blizzard on record in Chicago, which dumped more than 19 inches of snow on the city, and has kept and the city's fleet of snow plows working around the clock to clear the snow off thousands of miles of city streets.

Plows finished clearing Lake Shore Drive and the city's main streets late Monday morning, a few hours after the snow stopped falling. Since then, crews have been working to clear the city's side streets, and as of late Monday night, city officials said approximately 90 percent of the city's side streets had been plowed at least once.

Approximately 100 pieces of snow removal equipment worked overnight Monday night to continue clearing side streets. Around 3 a.m., the city deployed more than 300 plows to step up snow removal.

However, there was still a lot of work to do to get the city's side streets cleared of snow. Many streets were still covered in hard-packed snow, leaving cars slipping and sliding as they try to navigate deep ruts left behind by two days' worth of traffic on unplowed roads.

"It's dangerous. You can't even get through it. People are getting stuck all over the place," Wicker Park resident Deanne Fornelli said.


Chicago's snow plows could stay busy all day again, with the potential for light snow Tuesday afternoon and evening, with accumulation of up to 2 inches north of the city. Another round of snow is expected to blow through Wednesday afternoon, with an inch or so south of the city.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said city plow crews would not rest until every side street is passable and safe.

As bad as many side streets were, many sidewalks haven't been shoveled at all since the storm, and for homeowners and businesses who have yet to clear their sidewalks, city officials were threatening to impose fines.

So far this year, the city has issued 57 tickets for homeowners or businesses who failed to shovel their sidewalks. That number could go up significantly after the weekend's blizzard.

Pedestrians frustrated with snow-covered sidewalks have taken to Twitter to show just how difficult it is to walk down the sidewalk on some blocks.

On many sidewalks, only a narrow path has been cleared from the pavement, while in other areas, only repeated foot traffic has managed to tamp down the snow, leaving many pedestrians opting to walk on plowed streets instead.

City ordinance requires homeowners and business owners to clear a path at least five feet wide, so pedestrians can safely walk on the sidewalks. Also, snow that has been cleared from sidewalks must not be dumped in streets, crosswalks, or alleys; that means it must be piled on parkways or lawns.

Homeowners who fail to clear their sidewalks could face $50 fines; business owners could face fines of up to $1,000.

Residents should call 311 to report sidewalks that have not been shoveled.

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