Snow Plow Challenge : Sidewalk Edition - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Snow Plow Challenge : Sidewalk Edition

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Our Plow Challenge is back as we prepare for more winter weather heading our way!

Remember our "Snow Plow Challenge", where we rated the job done by local towns clearing the streets after a big snowfall? Well, get ready for the "Sidewalk Edition!"

Philadelphia rules are strict and simple: You must clear a 36-inch path on the sidewalk in front of your home or business within 6 hours of the last snowflake! Leave a mess and face a fine!

So we asked FOX 29's Bruce Gordon to put some well-known places to the test.

We're rating these sidewalks with the same scale as our snowplow challenge: Five plows means a great job, three being average, and one snowplow: You've got some work to do!

We focused our attention on Center City and Olde City, since that's where the heaviest pedestrian traffic is found.

Most of the folks we talked to found their walkways to be in pretty good shape.

But one angry pedestrian tells us that, "There's still some sidewalks that, you know, I wouldn't trust grand mom on."

Like the curb cut at 6th and Walnut, it's an entrance to Washington Square. We found folks dancing through ice and slush that had clearly been ignored in the plowing.

As for our graded sites, top of our list was Independence Mall.

By late morning, just about every pedestrian walkway was cleared and salted.

Tourists and locals alike had an easy go of it, so we rated the Mall...5 SNOWPLOWS!

Then there was the Philadelphia police department headquarters.

The sidewalk around the Roundhouse was clean as a whistle, except for a huge mountain of snow plowed out to the 7th street entrance.

The mound blocked the sidewalk completely, forcing pedestrians to venture into the street to get around.

We gave the Cop Shop .... 4 SNOWPLOWS! And I called them to report the sidewalk blockage, saying, "It's a violation of the city streets department rules and I wanted to bring it to your attention."

Speaking of the city, JFK Plaza, otherwise known as Love Park, might have gotten a better score, were it not for the messy walkway leading to the park from 15th and Arch.

"It's not that there hasn't been a pathway cleared. It's just that, as our vintage Fox29 yardstick clearly shows, parts of the path clearly haven't been cleared to the required 36 inches."

We gave Love Park...3 SNOWPLOWS!

Back in Olde city, we noticed the Olde First Reformed Church of Christ. It's 4th street sidewalk was nice and clear. But its Race street frontage was a sheet of ice.

Interior walkways had been shoveled, but the public path was a mess.

When I went inside to report the conditions, I almost broke my neck on a slick patch formed by the icicles overhead.

The church gets....2 SNOWPLOWS.

Not far away, on 4th, near Market sits a synagogue: Congregation Mikva Israel.

Their outer sidewalk was a skating rink. It looked like it had barely been touched, fully 18 hours after the snowfall.

We gave them...1 SNOWPLOW.

But to their credit, when I went in to report the conditions, they had a worker outside within minutes, clearing the path and making it safe for pedestrians!

Remember, a 36 inch wide path, cleared within 6 hours of the end of the snowfall.

See a dangerous violation? Email us here

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