Don’t risk a fine; keep your sidewalk clear

News December 26, 2013 0 Comments

A section of sidewalk in front of the water tower on Ardleigh Street was covered in ice still last Friday. (Photo by Pete Mazzaccaro)

A section of sidewalk in front of the water tower on Ardleigh Street was covered in ice still last Friday. (Photo by Pete Mazzaccaro)

by Pete Mazzaccaro

With three or four snowstorms over the course of the past week, a little bit of snow and a lot of ice has collected on roads, sidewalks and driveways. Most of Chestnut Hill has been cleared, but a few icy spots remain.

During this week, we’ve received a number of phone calls from Hill residents concerned that some of their neighbors have yet to clean their sidewalks.

“I’m an elderly person and can’t even walk my dog around the block,” said one caller, who lives on E. Abington Avenue.

Some Hillers might not realize it, but according to Philadelphia law, every property owner is responsible for making sure his or her sidewalk is clean and does not pose a threat to pedestrians. The snow must be cleared within six hours after a storm has stopped.

According to the Philadelphia Code (10-720):

(1) The owner, agent, and tenants of any building or premise shall clear a path of not less than 36″ in width on all sidewalks, including curb cuts, abutting the building or premises within 6 (six) hours after the snow has ceased to fall. The path shall be thoroughly cleared of snow and ice. Where the width of any pavement measured from the property line to the curb is less than 3 (three) feet, the path cleared may be only 12 inches in width. When the building in question is a multifamily dwelling the owner or his agent shall be responsible for compliance with the requirements of this section.”

(2) Snow or ice removed from sidewalks, driveways, or other areas shall not be placed or piled in the street.

(3) Any person who violates this Section shall be subject to the provisions and penalties set forth in 10-718 and 10-719.

Those penalties might be as low as $50, but can be as high as $300 for each violation. It’s a good idea to keep your sidewalk clean, not only to make sure you follow the law, but to be safe (and to keep your neighbors happy).

To report an uncleared sidewalk, call the Streets Department Customer Affairs Unit at (215) 686-5560. For all city services dial 311.

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