Snow cleanup expected into the weekend

ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER A North Philly resident makes his way on foot through the snow-covered streets during yesterday's morning commute.
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER A North Philly resident makes his way on foot through the snow-covered streets during yesterday's morning commute.
Posted: February 17, 2014

PHILADELPHIA'S fifth snowiest winter in history has kept the Streets Department busy and it won't stop this weekend, Mayor Nutter said yesterday.

The season's storms have broken a 130-year-old record for the most 6-inch-plus snowfalls. The snowfall tally so far is 54.8 inches.

The snow emergency declared at 8 p.m. Wednesday was lifted at 2 p.m. yesterday. In the meantime, 363 cars were towed from snow-emergency routes so plows could clean up.

And more snow is on the way. The forecast called for snow early today, mixed with rain in the afternoon before changing back into snow at nighttime. Tomorrow and Monday look dry.

Regular trash and recycling pickups will resume Monday, even though it's Presidents Day.

Nutter urged residents to hold their garbage and put it curbside on their normal days, rather than stashing it in driveways and alleyways.

"We want to stay on our regular schedule, so that's why we're picking up trash this Monday," he said.

PennDOT has reduced speed limits along state highways to 45 mph and all Delaware River Port Authority bridges are reduced to 35 mph until further notice because of snow melt and refreezing.

Streets Commissioner David Perri said he expects snow cleanup to continue throughout the weekend, with the priority now being residential side streets.

"Approximately two-thirds of our residential streets were plowed and treated [Thursday], prior to the second round of snow coming in," Perri said.

"Our service standards on residential streets are to make them passable. In many cases, especially on east-west streets which lie in the shade, it's not possible to take them down to blacktop. But we'll be working throughout the weekend."

He warned against black ice, which is commonly mistaken for clear pavement.

Nutter asked motorists to park their cars at least 20 feet from intersections and as close to the curb as possible to make room for plows. Those caught shoveling snow from their properties back into the street risk a $100 citation.

A number of SEPTA bus routes and train lines were still blocked, detoured or delayed yesterday. Check SEPTA.org for any alerts.


On Twitter: @RuffTuffDH

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