There are 4 things certain in Philadelphia: death, taxes, bad drivers, and parking tickets. The bad drivers are self-explanatory and if you don’t believe me, just ask for a car insurance quote. The parking tickets are something else. I don’t know if this is an outsourced operation or not, but you are virtually guaranteed of getting a parking ticket if you violate the meters in Philadelphia even 2 minutes because they have some very dedicated officers trolling the streets and watching the meters, from dusk till dawn. Wow! Don’t mess with the meter, apparently the city knows who pays the bills. But how big is Philly, really?

This is a legitimate question. According to this site, Philadelphia has about 1.5 million people. For compairson, Jersey City has about 200k people, or very close to the population of Iceland. Also, Philadelphia is about 135 sq. mi in area, compared to 13 sq. mi for Jersey City, or about 10 times the size. I’d venture to say that Centry City is about half the size of Jersey City and it’s downtown area, yet it’s probably more densely populated then JC. Also, according to a similar site, the Greater Philadelphia, South NJ Metro area is the 4th largest in the US, next to LA, Chicago and NYC. So, why is Philadelphia acting like it’s smaller than Jersey City?

Basically, Philly Sanitation cleans streets and plows snow about as often as the Eagles win the Super Bowl. The point is, we had a big snowstorm this weekend. It was highly anticipated, 5+ inches of snow expected. Yet, by late Saturday, you could hardly see a snow plow working. From my apartment on 2400 chestnut I can see a lot of the major Center City streets and most were packed with snow even into early Sunday. Philadelphia acts like a big and efficient city when it comes to enforcing parking, but acts like a small town when it comes to plowing snow. Over the past couple of days I saw at best 3 city-owned snow plows working only a few major streets, and doing a so-so job at that as well. Most streets in Center City are still packed with snow and we had school closings today across the board because of snow. What snow? It stopped on Saturday night and hasn’t started since. This, to my dismay, happened last year as well. Makes you think Philly has 3 people who know how and when to plow snow, but they also have other jobs as well, so watching the weather channel or preparing is a low priority.

Jersey City isn’t a model city when it comes to servicing its residents. It endured a long property boom in the 90s after all developers took advantage of the tax abatements (which lead to local coruption) and the empty prime land facing the Hudson River and Manhattan. Streets went from nice and driveable to pot-hole and sink-hole ridden nightmares. And still, I recall vividly how our building and the city was up and running whenever snow came. Trucks went about putting salt, plows were used and most streets were cleaned in a matter of a few days. How’s a city like that with financial problems so much more on the ball when it comes to snow (oh, they are pretty close to Philly on the parking thing) than a big city like Philadelphia. When will Philly learn that it snows (surprise, surprise) here in Winters?

Perhaps, they need to outsource this as well..oh, wait, plowing snow doesn’t bring in revenues, but it may reduce outlays if liability suits from snow-related accidents are to be avoided.
Good luck next winter, I just hope schools re-open tomorrow,