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Rising Temps Lead To Ice Falling From Downtown Buildings

CHICAGO (CBS) -- With the rising temperatures comes the falling ice.

CBS 2's Jim Williams reports one person after another, even a woman with a baby, crossed the street without realizing the potential danger as big chucks of ice and snow were falling from the top of the CTA station on to the crosswalk at Van Buren and Federal.

The station is only a few years old. Architect Doug Farr, whose office is around the corner, says the design is just bad.

"Not the right roof type for a downtown. In fact it's centered right over the middle of the sidewalk. What were they thinking?" said Farr.

Farr insists older buildings like one at Van Buren and Dearborn are safer when temperatures rise and ice falls.

"Unlike the disaster we just saw in terms of the CTA platform the water that fall there is drained internally," said Farr.

Throughout the Loop, signs are now warning pedestrians to watch for falling ice, but Antony Wood of the Council on Tall Buildings urges us to have perspective.

"How many people are working there today and how many have been hit by ice falling on their head? Probably none or small. I've not been aware," said Wood.

Still, at the el station in the south loop the potential hazard is real.

This afternoon, a spokeswoman from the city building department told CBS 2 they've had four complaints about falling ice so far this year, none related to high rises.

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