Cities order sidewalks shoveled in business districts
Updated 1:26 p.m.
The cities of Champaign and Urbana have declared that sidewalks in certain parts of town must be shoveled after Tuesday’s storm.
As of 10 a.m., Wednesday, the Champaign public works director declared that the sidewalk snow and ice removal requirement in the downtown and Campustown areas is in effect. In Urbana, the public works director made the declaration effective at noon Wednesday, meaning snow must be cleared from the downtown, University and South Philo Road districts.
Snow has accumulated to 2 inches or more on sidewalks and in order to make them safe for pedestrians, Champaign city ordinance requires sidewalks to be cleared 48 hours after the public works declaration, meaning the work has to be done by 10 a.m. Friday.
In Urbana, the ordinance requires the sidewalks to be clear within 24 hours, meaning it has to be done by noon Thursday.
Those that aren’t could be cleared by the cities at the owner’s expense.
Champaign officials report that primary streets have been cleared to "near-bare pavement," and a public works crew plans to plow secondary streets until the end of their shift tonight at 11:30 p.m. Another crew plans to begin plowing cul-de-sacs and dead end streets when its shift starts at 11:15 p.m.
City parking lots and sidewalks have already been plowed and shoveled, plow crews will keep primary streets clear of any blowing snow, and officials expect that all streets should be clear by the time residents wake up on Thursday morning.