Philly311’s Must Knows for the Snow

311 mobile squad in snow

As we all know, Philadelphia has seen its fair share of snow over the past month. But with the harsh temperatures (and every other snow-induced inconvenience) comes questions about municipal services: “Will be trash be collected in the snow?” “Can I request a street to be plowed?”

Philly311, the City of Philadelphia’s Non-Emergency Contact Center, would like to help ease the “snowy chaos” by providing you with a list of the “Must Know’s for the Snow.” While you’ll still have to deal with cold weather next time it snows, at least you’ll know as much as possible about how municipal services are affected.

1) The vehicles used to collect trash are the same vehicles used to salt roads and plow snow. Thus, snow storms could result in delayed trash collections. In the event of a snow storm, call 3-1-1 for an update on your scheduled trash collection day.

2) Requests for plowing can be made to 3-1-1, only after the first round of plowing is complete.

3) Philadelphia Code (10-720) outlines residents’ responsibility when it comes to snow removal. The code states:

(1) The owner, agent, and tenants of any building or premise shall clear a path of not less than 36″ in width on all sidewalks, including curb cuts, abutting the building or premises within 6 (six) hours after the snow has ceased to fall. The path shall be thoroughly cleared of snow and ice. Where the width of any pavement measured from the property line to the curb is less than 3 (three) feet, the path cleared may be only 12 inches in width. When the building in question is a multifamily dwelling the owner or his agent shall be responsible for compliance with the requirements of this section.”

(2) Snow or ice removed from sidewalks, driveways, or other areas shall not be placed or piled in the street.

(3) Any person who violates this Section shall be subject to the provisions and penalties set forth in 10-718 and 10-719.

The penalty for violating this provision can range from “a minimum fine of fifty dollars ($50) to no more than three hundred dollars ($300) for each violation.

4)The Philadelphia Streets Department has an active presence on Twitter and Facebook. The department also has a very informative resource guide for the snow. Click here Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management is also a great resource. Click here to visit OEM’s website.

5) The Philly311 Mobile App updates its widgets for cases of extreme weather. During times of excessively cold weather, check your mobile app for information about heat complaints, frozen traffic signals, street outages, water main breaks, weatherization programs, and the Low Income Heat and Energy Assistance Program. Find our blog post about the “Cold Weather” widget here.

Download the Philly311 Mobile App here.

We hope this resource guide helps! Stay warm, Philadelphia!

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