Snow cleanup continues into the weekend

A DRPA plow clears snow on the Ben Franklin Bridge. Traveling through the region was difficult, whether commuters were behind the wheel or trying to use mass transit. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)

Philadelphia’s fifth snowiest season in history has been keeping the streets department busy and it won’t stop this weekend, Mayor Nutter said today.

This year’s storms have broken a 130-year old record for having the most six-inch-plus storms in one season. The tally for this season is 54.8 inches of snowfall in Philadelphia.

The declared snow emergency from Wednesday at 8 p.m. was lifted at 2 p.m. today and 363 cars were towed from snow emergency routes, where plows need to do their work.

Looking into the weekend, the forecast calls for a dusting early tomorrow morning mixed with rain in the afternoon, before changing back into snow at nighttime. Sunday and Monday look dry.

Regular trash and recycling pickups are suspended until next week. Nutter urged residents to hold their garbage and put it out curbside next week on their normal days, rather than stashing it in driveways and alleyways.

Monday trash pickup, which normally would be delayed a day for President’s Day, will be picked up this time, said Nutter.

“We want to stay on our regular schedule, so that’s why we’re picking up trash this Monday.”

PennDOT has reduced speed limits along state highways to 45 mph and all Delaware River Port Authority bridges are reduced to 35 mph.

Streets Commissioners David Perri said he expects snow cleanup to continue throughout the weekend, with the priority now being residential side streets.

“Approximately two-thirds of our residential streets were plowed and treated (Thursday), prior to the second round of snow coming in,” said Perri.

“Today, we will work on the remaining streets on that network. Our service standards on residential streets are to make them passable. In many cases, especially on east-west streets which lie in the shade, it’s not possible to take them down to blacktop. But we’ll be working throughout the weekend.”

He warned against black ice, which is commonly mistaken for clear pavement.

Nutter asked motorists to park their cars at least 20 feet from intersections and as close to the curb as possible to make room for plows. Those caught in the act shoveling snow from their properties back into the street risk a $100 citation.