Shucking Shoveling Could Cost You

Some residents say they've done their part, but that their city hasn't

Philadelphia Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson said the city will start handing out fines to home and business owners who don’t shovel a walkable pathway on sidewalks.

Fines vary from $25 to $300 if owners don’t clear a 36-inch path on a sidewalk or if you are caught putting snow in the street.

“Don’t clear sidewalks and cars and put the snow back in the street,” said Tolson.

But some residents are balking at the order since many side streets have gone virtually untouched. The weekend's storm dumped nearly two feet of the white stuff into the city.

"The side streets near my home are a mess and are dangerous three days after the storm ended," said Kevin Coupus of Manayunk. "Come out and plow! Sand, something. We're paying our taxes.

On Tuesday, the city said 95-percent of the streets are cleared but asked residents to be patient as crews try to clear smaller streets.

"Some of our smaller streets require as much as 45 minutes to tackle one block. So we are going to continue with this process, but it is by its very nature going to take more time to do what we need to do," said Tolson.

Residents usually have up to 6 hours after a snowstorm to clear a path or face a fine. The city waived all fines on Sunday in light the major accumulation.

"It's snow so we can all appreciate that it's fun and pretty, but it's been really tough for the neighborhood," South Philly resident Margo Stern said.

Officials also want to remind residents that it's illegal to "reserve" parking spots with trash cans, recycling buckets, chairs or small children.

Treacherous sidewalks aren't just a problem in Philadelphia. Up in Allentown, Pa., people like Brian Boyer have to take it slow as they make their way down the street.

"Just getting from the streets to the sidewalk, there's lots of ice so you really have to be careful," Boyer said.

The Lehigh Valley postal carrier says the streets can stay frozen from December to March making his job tough.

"Usually the little old lady with the cane is out shoveling the sidewalk because she's concerned about my safety and the young kid in college or somethin', he's sitting in there...they don't shovel," Boyer said.

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