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City Council Takes Action On Construction Sites Blocking Philly Sidewalks

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Pedestrians who have to work their way around sidewalk-blocking construction sites in Philadelphia may soon be getting some help... in the form of better signage.

Deborah Schaaf of the pedestrian advocacy group "Feet First Philly" testified before a council committee that construction sites frequently force pedestrians into dangerous roadways:

"There have even been several instances over the past few years where the sidewalks on both sides of a block have been closed at the same time, with no alternate walkway.  Philadelphia's walkability is being compromised."

So the committee approved and sent to the full council a measure that tries to improve the situation.  It requires construction firms to post better signage when they block a sidewalk, including the duration of the closure, the name of person who received the closure permit and contact information.

It also places a stronger mandate on L&I to shut down a construction site that blocks a sidewalk for more than 24 hours without a permit.

Final passage of the bill is expected next week.

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