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The good, the bad and the ugly of Reading snow removal

By Ali Bechtel, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 24 2014 11:01:46 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 25 2014 11:04:44 AM CST
Reading residents Trash sitting for weeks on narrow streets

Jace Codi/69 News

READING, Pa. -

Reading, much like the rest of Berks County, is struggling with issues relating to snow removal.

At the City Council meeting Monday night, attendee Robert Hivner discussed what he called “the good, the bad and the ugly of Reading snow removal.”

First, Hivner commended the city employee who stopped to help Hivner and his wife dig her car out of a parking space.

Hivner also reported that, on Feb. 14, a city employee was driving too fast in a school neighborhood.

Driving nearly 20 mph over the speed limit, the driver splashed slush over cars parked on the street and onto the sidewalk, soaking Hivner and others nearby, according to Hivner.

The driver was driving past Northeast Middle School and he would not have been able to stop if a student or other pedestrian had walked into the street, Hivner said.

Finally, Hivner pleaded with the council to develop a better snow removal plan.

"If you would take the effort and the time and the expense that was used to drive trucks around and collect chairs [in parking spaces] to remove the snow, everyone would be a lot happier," Hivner said.

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In response, many of the council members commented that they had received far more commendations than complaints about snow removal, but they agreed that a better plan does need to be put in place.

“I think that what I have learned is both the city is on a learning curve, and a lot of the residents are, and people don’t plan ahead for what they need to do with this volume of snow, and as a result we have mass chaos going on," said Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz.

She said she hoped that, in the future, a proactive plan could be put in place and disseminated to the public using all avenues of communication possible.

She also acknowledged that the ordinance regarding reserving parking spaces and the resources used to enforce the ordinance needed to be revised.

Council members also wanted to remind the public that sidewalks must be cleared in a timely manner, and that property owners were responsible for keeping fire hydrants and handicap ramps clear.

The details of the local snow removal rules can be found on the Reading city website.