City of Detroit fields 1,600 complaint calls about snowy streets

Most drivers in Detroit are discovering that pulling onto side streets means taking a gamble.

Many times there isn't enough room for two vehicles on the same street and the lack of progress of city plowing has many residents frustrated.

FOX 2 called the ombudsman office but was told that it has been overwhelmed with calls and that if a resident can't get through, they should keep trying they are trying to respond to all the calls.

If there is a problem, residents are asked to do two things - call the city ombudsman office on the phone or file a report on the city's web page.

A spokesperson from the office said they have received about 1,600 calls from residents complaining since Tuesday. Four extra employees were brought in to handle the phone call volume.

The city says it feels it is handling the record-breaking snowfall well, having brought in extra contractors and was surprised at the amount of calls.

It is a point of pride for Willy Moore on Indiana Street, clearing the sidewalks - he wishes he could say the same about his street. 

He would rather shovel it himself than have to push a car free. 

His neighbor, Taisha Banks, agrees. She said that she's helped about 20 drivers who have been stuck on the street in the past four days.

"Literally, pushing people out," she said. 

She has also stopped looking for help elsewhere. 

"(I've) seen one plow, but no one has plowed," she said. "Anything you see shoveled, me and the boys got out here with a shovel."

"It's a shame, if you're paying people to shovel your snow, you should do a good job," said Stevetta Johnson. 

FOX 2 viewers called saying they can't get through to the city on the phone.

"That's what made me call you all," Johnson said. "I can't afford anyone hitting my car. My car is parked since they have not done the streets."
Residents may report snow issues by filling out the form on the front of the city's web page at or call the ombudsman's office at (313) 224-6000.

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