The Borough first plows major streets for emergency vehicle passage as the highest priority. After that, clearing side streets is the next priority. Once all the streets are passable, then crews work on clearing snow from intersections and parking spaces. In major storms, in order to clear the downtown streets and meter parking spaces, we use large construction equipment to load snow on dump trucks to haul it out of the center of town.
The Borough will plow curb to curb if there are no cars parked on the street, but we are not able to return to clear street-side parking spots when cars are parked in them during storms. If you are parked on the street during a storm you should expect that you will have to clear the area around your car yourself.
We know that residents hate the “windrows” (those long piles of snow on each side of the road) that plows leave behind, and that often bury freshly shoveled sidewalks and driveway aprons.
We receive a lot of calls from angry folks that a plow has “pushed the snow back in their driveway”. Unfortunately, the reality is that these “windrows” are an unavoidable part of plowing. You can reduce the amount of snow that ends up in a windrow in front of your drive or on your walk by doing two things:
- Do not push snow from your walk, drive, or parking area out in to the street - it will only be pushed back in when the plow passes (and it is unlawful to do this and you could be fined).
- When you clear snow, also clear the snow from the road shoulder about 15’ feet “upstream” of plow traffic direction (the direction that the plow comes from). On a standard two-way street this would be the left side of your driveway as you face the street. This way, when the plow passes by, less snow will be pushed back into your driveway.
Please be patient and courteous to crews. They are working long hours doing a difficult job with the goal of getting you out and about as soon as practical.
It is very important that you never pass a snowplow in your vehicle unless the plow operator tells you to do so. You should stay back at least 250 feet because many plow vehicles also have spreaders on the back that throw salt and gravel.
Tips for successful sidewalk clearing:
- Clear all of your sidewalks, the full width of the sidewalk, down to the bare pavement.
- After the sidewalk is cleared, sprinkling a little sand can help keep the sidewalk from becoming slippery as night falls and temperatures drop.
- Pile the snow you clear in your yard as it’s against the law to shovel snow into streets and alleys.
- If you have a corner property, clear curb cuts at corners and crosswalks to the street gutter to create a safe passageway. Don’t wait to clear the snow – the longer you wait the harder it becomes to move it because it melts and refreezes in an ice cover.
- If you will be away on vacation or health issues prevent you from clearing your sidewalk, make arrangements for help before the snowfall season.
- Business owners should clear the sidewalk and attempt to provide a walkway from the street to allow customers using street parking to get safely to the sidewalk without climbing over snow banks. Please call the Borough Office at 215-345-4140 to report any properties with unsafe snow or ice accumulation.
Remember: Borough law requires that property owners remove snow and ice from their sidewalks within 10 hours after the end of the snowfall. Over night snowfall must be removed by 10 am the next morning. Repeated failure to clear walks seriously endangers those who use the sidewalks and may subject property owners to citations.
Be a good neighbor.