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PSSS Emails to Mayor Kenney re:  SNOW REMOVAL


From: Lynn's mail []
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 10:07 AM
To: ''
Cc: ''; ''; ''
Subject: Why not use "people power" to help out in heavy snow storms?


Dear Mayor Kenney:  For heavy snow storms, we have suggested that residents of small streets shovel the street, not the sidewalk, because there’s literally no place to put the snow.  Unfortunately, the city continues to tell everyone to shovel their sidewalks, even though there are hundreds of small streets in Philly.  Yesterday the plows came to our street, but that’s not always the case. Our daughter, who lives on the 200 block of Mountain Street in Pennsport, is still waiting to have her street plowed.  So why not use “people power” to help out?  People like to help.  You just need to ask.


Lynn and Cliff Landes, founders

The Philadelphia Society of Small Streets


From: Lynn's mail []
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2016 8:14 AM
To: ''
Cc: ''; ''; ''
Subject: Photos- RE: PSSS: snow removal suggestions for small streets


Oops.  We forgot to add the photos.  Right way (left) and wrong way (right), See all 16 Photos (2014 winter) on our meetup page -  




From: Lynn's mail []
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 11:29 AM
To: ''
Cc: ''; ''; ''
Subject: PSSS: snow removal suggestions for small streets


Dear Mayor Kenney – Below are PSSS’s suggestions for snow removal from Philadelphia’s small streets. We have expressed our concerns about this situation to the Streets Department for several years, see: 2010 Philadelphia Inquirer article: 


Lynn and Cliff Landes, founders
The Philadelphia Society of Small Streets (PSSS)

217 S. Jessup Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107




This is a matter of health and safety.  We must have a timely way to allow for pedestrian  traffic, including the disabled, on our small streets after a snow event, therefore:


For property owners on small streets measuring approximately 6.5 feet wide, we ask that the CITY CODE be amended to direct those property owners to shovel snow from their half of the street (to the center line, approximately 3 1/4 feet) in front of their house, plus a 3 foot wide path to their doors. Currently, all property owners are required to shovel a 3 foot path on their sidewalk.

The advantages of the PSSS suggested method:

• requires minimal additional effort on the part of property owners
• frees up the sidewalk to hold the cleared snow, particularly critical to small streets in heavy snow events
• gives property owners the responsibility to clear the snow in a time manner, thereby allowing for foot & car traffic, and the disabled
• saves tax dollars by relieving the Streets Department of the responsibility of clearing snow from hundreds of small streets (6.5' wide)

Disadvantages of current City Code for small streets:

• City Code is contradictory and unworkable for heavy snow conditions. Residents are required not only to clear a 36-inch path of snow from their sidewalks, but also not put any snow into the street. For small streets and big snow events, this is an impossible requirement to comply with, offering no place to hold the snow.
• Most residents put priority of removing the snow from their sidewalks, and throw the snow into the streets, thereby blocking their streets with several feet of snow and creating a safety and fire hazard.  

February 2015:  Recently, we were told by the Streets Department that it is too difficult to change the City Code, but that residents of small streets will not be ticketed if our sidewalks are not cleared. Unfortunately, this policy leaves 'both our sidewalks and streets clogged with snow' until City snow removal equipment arrives, which it often doesn't. At least for the sake of the disabled and pedestrian traffic, small street residents should be subject to the same snow removal requirements as other city property owners.  We are just asking for a different location - instead of shoveling the sidewalk, shovel the street.  The area to be cleared is almost exactly the same.

Please contact Councilman Squilla and Commissioner Carlton (updated for 2016) and ask that the City Code be amended as we suggest above.  (Chair of Streets Committee on City Council)  (Streets Commissioner, Streets Department


Jan 2015:  Snow, salt, streets, and electrocuting dogs:  This is slightly off-topic. There was a problem last year with dogs getting electrocuted, mainly at some cross walks.  It appears that the snow/water/ice and salt combined with underground electric current, causes dogs to get electrocuted.  People with rubber shoes don't feel it, usually.  We and several others called PECO and Streets.  Supposedly, the problem was fixed.  However, we can still detect current with our EMF monitor, so we'll see. (Jan 2015)