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Have you cleared your sidewalk yet?

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- How are the sidewalks where you live?

"Lot of memories come back. I remember being a kid and going around and offering to shovel a lot of people's walks after snows like this. We had a lot of fun doing that when I was young," Dave Griebel said.

Now an adult, Griebel takes clearing his sidewalks seriously.

"You're supposed to have your walks cleared within a day, as I recall, might even be by a certain hour of the day, which is a challenge, especially if the plows come through and plow it right back onto the sidewalk. But I do the best that I can," he said.

According to Fort Wayne code, you're supposed to shovel the sidewalk in front of your home or business by nine o'clock the next morning.

You can file a complaint about snow-covered sidewalks by calling 311.

Griebel does it for aesthetic reasons, but also considers it a key safety issue in his neighborhood, especially when his neighbors don't follow his example.

"You see more and more people these days walking in the road and that concerns me a lot. It's not very safe to do. As a driver I'm always concerned when I see somebody walking along the road," Griebel said.

David Swenson is one of those people, and says following the tracks in the street is much easier than trying to slug through the snowy sidewalks.

"It's a clear path and the sidewalks are jammed up and full of snow, so it's easier to walk down the street. Except for when a car's coming, yes. And then you get out of the way, and so you're always on the lookout back and forth, back and forth," he said.

He admits it would be safer to be able to use sidewalks that each neighbor would clear all the way down the street, but he also understands that shoveling heavy snow can come with its own issues.

"You see heart attacks and stuff so I can understand why people don't. Because you want to make sure you have access out of your driveway and stuff like that, and sidewalks kind of take a second, later in the day kind of thing," Swenson said.

City leaders sent a statement saying, "Sidewalks that aren't shoveled are complaint-driven. The Right of Way Department will investigate after a complaint has been submitted, either in person, or they will send a letter, to the property owner. We're not looking to fine people, but instead want businesses and residents to be good neighbors."

You can file a complaint by calling 311.

By the way, those fines could be up to $2500 per day.

If you aren't able to clear your sidewalk or driveway, NeighborLlink may be able to help.

Call (260) 209-0074 to be added to the organization's list that connects people in need with volunteers who want to lend a hand.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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