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Some South Philly Neighbors Join Forces To Clear Streets Themselves

(A narrow block of Ellsworth Street, in South Philadelphia.  Photo by Cherri Gregg)

(A narrow block of Ellsworth Street, in South Philadelphia. Photo by Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Even as the snowplows and salt trucks roll down Philadelphia streets, working to clear the snow, residents on some of the smaller streets are left to their own devices.

South Philadelphia has dozens of streets that are too narrow to plow, so neighbors have no choice but to do it themselves.

“We kind of just group together and dig everybody out, says Vince, who lives on a narrow section of Ellsworth Street, near 7th, adding, “There’s a lot of old people on the street.”

Vince said he expected to spend more than an hour in today’s sub-freezing temperatures.

“To do the sidewalk it’s not that long.  But to do the street… the street’s ridiculous,” he said with a sigh.

The backbreaking and time-intensive labor it takes to shovel streets and clear off cars leads many South Philadelphia residents to put out lawn chairs or hazard cones to save their parking spaces — based on the sweat equity invested.

“If you spend an hour out in subzero temperatures, you should be able to park your car back in that spot,” said one man who did not want to be identified.

But most neighbors refuse to use the tactic sometimes called the “savesies.”

“If somebody parks in my spot, I just lose out,” said Vince, adding that he prefers to be a good neighbor.

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