MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- With a scarf around his neck and hands in his pockets, Alec Ogg is ready as he can be for this trek down Main Street. But there’s one thing about which he can only do so much.
“I got my no-slip restaurant shoes on so those help a little bit. But in the alley ways where the water drains out, it’s really scary. Very slippery,” said Ogg, who works at Aldo's pizza restaurant downtown.
He’s talking about the rampant snow and ice covering public walkways downtown on Main Street, Union Avenue, Gayoso Avenue and more.
“I could see where some people could slip and fall. I imagine there’s a problem,” said Mike Donahue, visiting Memphis from West Virginia for the International Blues Competition.
“Main Street is made for people who walk here and the businesses on Main Street are dependent on people walking," said City Market owner Suleman Mandani. "So I think the [sidewalks] need to be cleaned.”
But according to city code, property owners are responsible for clearing their own public walkways, even at bus stops.
Mandani and his crew at City Market on Main Street knew the rule.
“I shoveled, we all kind of shoveled," employee Carolyn Spann said.
But they worried others did not know the rule.
"I see a lot of ice and I think it needs to be cleaned either by the property owner or the city,” Mandani said.
“I would think the city of Memphis could afford salt enough to salt Main Street since it's such a pedestrian-driven street,” Ogg said.
And with so many empty store fronts downtown, they may have a point. Those building owners don’t have as much stake in the area and people who live here.
City code states if businesses aren't keeping sidewalks clear and safe, the city can issue an order for them to clean up.
WREG has submitted a public records request to find out how many they've given so for this year, if any. We'll publish the results when we get them.