By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After a mix of rain and snow covered the Twin Cities in recent days, public works employees warn residents why they should worry about more than just the roads.

Early morning commuters woke to a slippery mess. Spinouts and crashes kept the Minnesota State Patrol busy.

One trooper found out just how hard it is to stand on the ice as he slipped not once but twice while trying to help a motorist who was stuck in an icy situation.

“Conditions have been really icy. I fell in a parking lot earlier,” Boaz Fink said.

Fink says keeping your balance on slick sidewalks has been the challenge of the day.

“When it’s bad, it’s bad,” Fink said.

Sidewalks packed with snow and ice are causing headaches for anyone trying to get around on foot.

“We want to encourage people to keep their sidewalks clean for their neighbors, for their neighborhood,” said Robin Hutcheson, director of Minneapolis Public Works.

Hutcheson says the city has a new pilot program it hopes will help inspire people to clear their sidewalks.

“Actively and intentionally going out and inspecting sidewalks through the city with our own city inspectors to send notices of violations to people who have made no effort to shovel their sidewalk,” Hutcheson said of the program.

Homeowners who don’t try to shovel sidewalks will receive a violation and if city inspectors come back, they’ll shovel and send you the bill.

“Two or three properties on one block left not shoveled makes that block unpassable for people,” Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson says the city has sand in four locations for residents to put on icy spots they can’t remove with a shovel.

Inspectors will be watching and public work crews will continue to make sure roads are free of ice.

“We’re still out today clearing corners making sure we get as much as this cleaned up as we can,” said Hutcheson.

Reg Chapman

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