To prevent pedestrians slipping and falling on snow and ice covered sidewalks, property owners, businesses, tenants and residents responsible for their sidewalks must clear a path free of snow and ice at least 36 inches wide on their sidewalk including the curb cuts within six hours of the end of a snowfall or freezing rain. They can not shovel or sweep the snow into the street. The penalty for violating this regulation can range from a minimum fine of $50 up to $300 for each violation. To report a sidewalk or curb cut that has not been cleared, residents may call the Philadelphia Streets Department Customer Affairs Unit at (215) 686-5560. For all City services dial 3-1-1.
The specific law pertaining to snow removal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is Philadelphia Code 10-720, which states as follows:
PHILADELPHIA CODE 10-720 REGARDING SNOW REMOVAL FROM SIDEWALKS
(1) the owner, agent, and tenants of any building or premise shall clear a path of not less than 36 inches in width on all sidewalks 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."
In addition to the above, private plows piling snow in the street after the Philadelphia Streets Department forces have gone through to clear the roadway is illegal as well as a hazard to drivers and pedestrians.
If you or someone you care about slips and falls and is injured due to a property owner or tenant's failure to timely shovel and/or salt their sidewalk to remove snow and ice from their sidewalk, you should always consult with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer before you discuss your injury claim with the sidewalk owner's insurance company. The consultation is always free at this law office.