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Streets Department Prepares for Winter Snow
January 3, 2018
PHILADELPHIA – The Streets Department has begun preparations for the forecasted inclement weather, Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams announced today. 

Current forecasts are calling for 1 to 3 inches of snow beginning early Thursday and tapering off early in the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to below freezing throughout the day and evening. The Streets Department will have 85 pieces of equipment ready to treat the streets with over 40,000 tons of salt available. This is planned to be a salting operation of primary and secondary roads, bridge decks and streets in higher elevations, however, crews will be prepared to plow if the conditions change. Salting of roads will not begin until the snow arrives. The size of the Department’s salting operation will depend on the forecast at the time, but crews will be on standby for deployment. Crews will remain on-duty overnight to monitor roadways and respond to problem locations and emergencies.
The snow is expected to impact the morning commute. Motorists are asked to allow extra time and maintain safe driving distances to allow for sudden stopping. The frigid temperatures and cold ground will make it easy for snow to accumulate and cause slippery travel on untreated roadways.
Salting is more effective than plowing when low snow accumulations and temperatures are expected.  Plowing can leave behind a sheet of ice. In these conditions, salt mixed into the snow by traffic allows the accumulation to become a "crunchy" snow, which allows for slush to develop providing traction, and a safer road surface than a sheet of ice.
Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams urges citizens to follow these simple tips for a successful snow and ice management partnership: 
·       Have shovels and de-icing supplies ready.
·       Salt steps and sidewalks early to prevent sticking.
·       Shovel a pathway at least 3 feet wide within six hours of the end of the storm.
·       Pile snow on the sidewalk along the curb line.  Shoveling snow into a plowed street hinders plowing efforts and it is illegal.
Homeless Outreach: Due the National Weather Service predicting snow and temperatures below freezing, the Office of Homeless Services is continuing its Code Blue until further notice. Throughout the Code Blue, Philadelphia’s homeless outreach teams will patrol the streets in greater numbers, urging homeless people to come to local shelters. People do not need ID to enter Code Blue shelters or cafes from the street, and they can remain indoors throughout the duration of the Code Blue. If you are concerned about someone who is homeless, please call the Outreach Coordination Center at 215-232-1984 at any time. Outreach is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  First responders can also transport people to shelter for their own safety.