People take to sidewalks to shovel out Charlotte

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The blanket of snow that fell so silently over Charlotte is not going away quite so quietly -- at least not on city sidewalks. Many of them were still covered with ice and snow Friday while streets next to them were largely clear and wet.

 “As long as there are no accidents on the road you can fall and bust your behind on the ice all day long and they don't care about that,” laughed Trey Cole as he made his way gingerly along a sidewalk near Midtown.

The city of Charlotte and state departments of transportation do not clear sidewalks. They said that is up to local homeowners and business owners.

Many home and business owners were out Friday shoveling snow off their sidewalks, driveways and parking lots -- areas the city and state will not clear with shovels. Mecklenburg County rolled out a program called Shovel Charlotte, encouraging people to shovel. 

 “Obviously we know people are going to be out there doing it so we want to encourage people to help their neighbors out and have some fun at the same time,” said Danny Diehl, public information officer for Mecklenburg County.

Many were already taking the county up on the suggestion.       

 “This is a huge dog walking neighborhood and people walking to the Y so we try to get it clear as fast as we can,” said Mary McGrath as she took a break from shoveling her sidewalk in Dilworth.

Nicholas Melissaris and his 80-year-old father were out with shovels in front of the building they own on Kings Drive, clearing the sidewalk in front of several businesses there.

Melissaris was philosophical about the city’s policy not to clear sidewalks.

 “I guess it's a give and take. I'd like for them to come and do it. I pay enough taxes, but it's part of owning your property.  If you own property you have to do what the work is cut out to be,” he said.