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South Philadelphia Residents Distraught Over Winter Road Conditions

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you think you’re weary of snow, try living on the 100 blocks of either Sigel or McClellan Streets in South Philadelphia.

Residents there haven’t seen a plow since the winter storm on January 26.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Rita Fratto, who lives about halfway up the block on Sigel. “Somebody’s not doing their job, not paying attention to what’s getting done.”

All along both streets, sidewalks are clear and dry, but the streets are filled with eight to 10 inches of hard packed ice. And this is not the first time. After last winter’s heavy snowstorms, residents say Sigel Street was so bad an ambulance got stuck.

“I think it’s a damn disgrace,” said Cathy Snyder. “All the taxes we pay, and they can’t do these streets? I’d just like to stop paying taxes.”

The Eyewitness News Mobile Weather Lab first came across the 100 block of Sigel Street Wednesday night as residents tried to chip out a path for running water.

Louise Capotrio, who lives about halfway down Sigel Street said she’d been calling the city’s 311 help and information hotline since Monday to file complaints. She and others received promises of action within 24 hours and official sounding confirmation numbers, but nothing happened.

Capotrio tried again Wednesday morning and was told they’d see heavy equipment that afternoon.

3 On Your Side went back Thursday morning and found the streets frozen in time – still nothing had happened.

“Yes, it makes me angry,” said Capotrio. But “what can I do? I can’t fight city hall.”

Well, you can try.

3 On Your Side went to City Councilman Frank DiCicco’s office at City Hall and were told it would be handled immediately. Just hours later, around 1:30 Thursday afternoon, heavy equipment showed up.

“It’s about time, we only waited how long?” said Sigel Street homeowner Joanne Welsh. “Everybody pays taxes around here. Why should we be the last ones to wait here in South Philly?”

“Guess what? They’re doing it – and nobody famous lives up my street,” said Capotrio. “Those are the ones that get done first.”

Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson insists that is not true. She said that all small streets are treated equally. But she told 3 On Your Side the city has about 40,000 individual blocks, and crews are working as fast as they can to get to each and every one.

There are still “a couple dozen” streets with hard packed ice. By Thursday evening, crews were still working on Sigel Street, more than three hours after they began. McClellan Street had not yet been touched.

Watch the video…

Reported by Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3

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