Businesses, homeowners responsible to clear icy sidewalks - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Businesses, homeowners responsible to clear icy sidewalks

Posted: Updated:
If the winter weather caused you to wipe out on icy sidewalks in Louisville this week you're not alone. If the winter weather caused you to wipe out on icy sidewalks in Louisville this week you're not alone.
Judi Sweeney Judi Sweeney
Everett Brodbeck Everett Brodbeck

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If the winter weather caused you to wipe out on icy sidewalks in Louisville this week you're not alone.

City leaders said there's no excuse for businesses not to have their sidewalks clear for pedestrians and the Mayor's Spokesman Chris Poynter says they're required by law to do it.

While many northern cities that are used to getting a lot of snow have the law, it may seem a little surprising that Louisville also has an ordinance making businesses and homeowners responsible for keeping sidewalks clear. People who have fallen and can't get up on those sidewalks say the city needs to start enforcing the law.

Seven days ago, ice and snow covered our roads and with temperatures well below normal, ice that normally melts off the sidewalks stayed around. Still, several area businesses and homeowners didn't seem to notice or care.

"The next thing I know, I was down flat on my back, " explained Original Highlands neighbor Judi Sweeney. A slip on the ice had Sweeney wishing she'd never gone out last Saturday.

"I knew from the degree of pain that I had that I had done something probably more serious," Sweeney explained of her diagnosed broken tailbone.

Sweeney had grabbed some coffee at the Starbucks on Highland Avenue where the sidewalks were salted and clear, unfortunately for Sweeney that was not the case across the street where she fell near an alley.

Sweeney believes people don't know there's a city ordinance requiring sidewalks must be cleared.

Apparently she's right.

Everett Brodbeck whose family owns Breadworks on Douglass Loop said of the ordinance, "I did not know at all that was enforceable by law," he said, "It makes sense though." 

Brodbeck said he doesn't understand why any business wouldn't immediately clear their sidewalk. "The first thing we do is go run out and cover it (the sidewalk) with rock salt and shovel it (the ice) away," he said.

Brodbeck said it's common sense to keep customers safe and coming in the door, not to mention businesses could face a lawsuit if someone really gets hurt.

As basic as that sounds, we found several businesses in the city with icy sidewalks.

That includes a few doors down from Brodbeck. "That's a lot," he said pointing to a sheet of ice, "I can't believe it's still there." An employee at the privately owned Metro Business Center said he wasn't sure why the business is still surrounded by ice. He did said the man who owns it lives in California.

Sweeney said, "I do think that the business owners should be conscientious about their patrons and their safety and I think that should be one of the things first and foremost they do to take care of their patrons."

Norton Healthcare officials said their Immediate Care Centers did have some patients who fell on the ice but nothing extreme. Many times people go to their doctor like Sweeney did.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.