The Summer Heat Can’t Melt This Famous Philly “Sneckdown” — It’s Here to Stay

Jon Geeting first saw traces in the snow of a safer passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. Now, you can see it in concrete. Photos: Jon Geeting
Jon Geeting first saw traces in the snow of a safer passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. Now, you can see it in concrete. Photos: Jon Geeting

A “sneckdown” is what you call the piles of snow that remain when drivers have carved out tracks after a winter storm. These patterns on the street show where there’s plenty of space to expand the sidewalk or add a bike lane.

In a 2014 blog post, Jon Geeting highlighted more than a dozen of them along a single Philadelphia street. Geeting photographed sneckdowns on Passyunk Avenue and outlined them in a bold green. It turned out to be a highly effective way to communicate the idea — the post was shared around the world.

It worked so well that one of the sneckdowns Geeting highlighted is now a permanent fixture on Passyunk Avenue, where the city cast it in concrete as a pedestrian island (above).

philadelphia sneckdown before

After Geeting’s blog post when viral, Sam Sherman at the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation took up the cause with the city’s streets department. Here’s the result:

Philadelphia Sneckdown

“It’s such a huge improvement for pedestrian safety in this area,” said Geeting. “I’m hoping this success will be contagious and we’ll soon see more pedestrian improvements at the rest of the intersections from the post.”

  • John Smith 1882

    YAY! NO TREES! YAY!!! HEAT SINK YAY!!!!

  • AndrewReker

    i mean. at least it’s white so it’ll reflect heat away instead of keeping it?

  • kevin

    You wouldn’t put trees in a crossing, you’d have people getting hit by cars.

  • John Smith 1882

    That makes no sense. Are people getting hit and killed on sidewalks or parking lots every minute?

  • John Smith 1882

    that’s true. And if nothing else, they could have put a flower bed.

  • Bah Bevans

    I’ve always wondered how to achieve a sneckdown kind of result in a place where it doesn’t snow, or have lots of fallen leaves. Maybe today I’ll get my answer.

  • Evan D

    Lots and lots of flour.

  • LinuxGuy

    More liberal utopia that does not work and we do not need!

  • Mark Ward

    Honestly what is wrong with you?

  • LinuxGuy

    What is wrong with calling out something silly that makes no sense?

  • a smith

    LinuxGuy is silly and makes no sense.

  • LinuxGuy

    Believe as you wish. Insults are all you have.

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