The hazards of winter include icy roads and snowy sidewalks. Despite the danger, and the law, some Philadelphia sidewalks still bear no trace of the shovel treatment. Philadelphians must shovel a 36-inch path within six hours of the end of a snowstorm, or risk a $50 fine.
But Mayor Nutter’s press secretary, Mark McDonald, said officials do not ticket city agencies for not shoveling sidewalks. He says the city orders compliance if someone calls.
“The unfortunate thing here is that we’ve had such cold weather that the evidence of failure to shovel sidewalks is pretty clear — it hangs around. On a normal storm basis, you tend to have melting and you tend to have your cold snap and then it breaks and pretty quickly this stuff dissipates,” said McDonald. “This just hasn’t happened this time.”
Keith Caldwell, the executive general manager of housing operations for the Philadelphia Housing Authority, said the PHA doesn’t shovel in front of its vacant properties unless it receives a complaint. “There’s so many and we just do not have the staff or the manpower to be able to go out and clear, unfortunately, every vacant parcel that we have here in the city,” he said. Caldwell said given all the snow that’s fallen, the Housing Authority has done a fantastic job. Philadelphia officials said more than 800 tickets have been issued for un-shoveled sidewalks this winter.