Impassable sidewalks forcing pedestrians into roadways, sparking concern

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 16 at 12:10 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Digging out from inches and inches of snow is no easy task. In fact, many people haven’t even attempted to do it.

Tuesday that’s causing another problem in the winter weather. Police are now warning to watch out for people walking in roadways because many sidewalks are still piled high with snow and impassable.

While many sidewalks are clear, in several places people are still shoveling away several inches of snow.

“One of the things we want to caution drivers for is not only watching surface of roadways, but there will be pedestrians walking because some sidewalks will not be able to be passable,” said Erik Lawrenz with the St. Charles Police Department. “Whether it’s due to owner not being able to get out there in time, depending on where they are, the snow drifts will pile up even if they’ve cleared it, it will pile up to where it makes it impassable.”

That means it’s easier for pedestrians to walk in the streets---sometimes right in the middle of the street---to get to where they’re going.

Obviously, that can be a dangerous combination of people mixing with cars on snow-packed and icy roadways.

The city ordinance says it is up to the property owners to make sure their sidewalks are clear, but Lawrenz says aren’t going out looking to hand out tickets for it.

He says if for some reason residents do have to use the roadway, make sure you walk facing oncoming traffic so you can see any approaching cars.

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