CHICAGO (CBS) — With frigid cold having descended on the area following freezing rain over the weekend, anyone walking outside has had to brave black ice coating many sidewalks.
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, a quick scroll through social media shows people falling – sometimes the incidents are funny, other times painful. But funny videos aside, it goes without saying that black ice can be dangerous.READ MORE: Chicago White Sox Take Action After CBS 2 Investigators Expose Parking Scam Outside Sports Venues: Fans Getting Ripped Off By Conmen, Then Hit With Parking Tickets
For Casalear Watts of West Englewood, the pain is hitting her pockets.
“Now I have to come out of pocket to get my car fixed,” she said.
Ice on a speed bump in Watts’ alley damaged her front fender when she tried to pull out.
Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation does not send snow trucks into alleyways, so as to avoid damaging garages.
Most sidewalks around the city, though, are another story. Property owners have to treat the sidewalks and leave at least five feet of space.
That is not happening in some cases as this Winter. Data from 311 shows about 1,700 complaints.
By community area, the most issues were reported in Lakeview with 139, West Ridge with 161, and at the top of the list, West Town with 167.READ MORE: Man Dies After Being Shot While Driving In Bronzeville
Candice Blansett-Cummin’s husband is awaiting an X-ray after falling this weekend near there in Ukrainian Village – a neighborhood within the West Town community area.
“Not only did he slip on his wrist, he also flew into an iron gate and hit the top of his head,” Blansett-Cummin said.
She also took video of an icy overpass sidewalk by a Chicago Transit Authority bus stop as she was walking to work
Chicago’s Department of Transportation is responsible for treating most public sidewalks like the one Blansett-Cummin’s video shows, but depends on 311 complaints to be notified.
But for neglectful property owners, CDOT hands out citations after multiple warnings. They have given 33 citations so far this winter, and 667 went out all of last year.
Blansett-Cummins is hoping this season, a reminder gets out early to keep people safe.
“That was sort of the upside to quarantining last year – we didn’t go out,” she said. “But you know, now, we need to be able to move around.”MORE NEWS: Illinois State Trooper, Woman Found Shot Dead In Car On Southeast Side
CDOT said the fines for sidewalk violations could be up to $500. Last year, more than 15,000 complaints came into 311 for icy and snowy sidewalks.