What ‘State of Emergency’ means in H-Town

a yellow triangle with an exclamation point in it, designed and styled on an angleWith today’s icy conditions causing massive power outages (10,000 Township residents was the last updated number via Commissioner Dan Siegal), the Township has officially declared a “State of Emergency.”

That’s nice and all, but… what the heck does that mean exactly?

Well, we dug around the ridiculously dull terribly interesting township codes and found a bunch of stuff. Here is the relevant part:

Chapter 175: VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC § 175-59, Article XI Schedules – §175-98 Schedule XXIII Emergency No Parking Areas:

Ardmore Avenue Both Between County Line Road and Darby Road
Burmont Road Both Entire length
College Avenue Both Entire length
Colonial Road Both Entire length
Coopertown Road Both Entire length
Darby Road Both Entire length
Drexel Avenue Both Entire length
Eagle Road Both Entire length
Earlington Road Both Entire length
Glendale Road Both Entire length
Haverford Road Both Entire length
Landover Road South Entire length
Lawrence Road Both Between Eagle Road and West Chester Pike
Manoa Road Both Entire length
Marple Road Both Entire length
Mill Road Both Between Earlington Road and Darby Road
Township Line Road North Entire length
West Chester Pike Both Entire length
Wynnewood Road Both Entire length

That means, if your car is parked on any of these specific lengths of roadway, you are asked to remove them so the township services can clear the area of snow and debris. Also, all non-essential travel is suspended.

Now, from what we can gather from various sources, there are states of emergency and then there are STATES OF EMERGENCY. Governmental bodies can apply for state aid to help “weather the storm” of clean-up costs when they declare states of emergency. So, declaring one isn’t all THAT special. Today’s ice and power outages certainly warranted it. Why struggle to get it all paid for ourselves when there is state and federal money set aside to help us?

a screenshot of the very gray boring township codes

They don’t make it very cheery looking, do they?

Then there are STATES OF EMERGENCY, like send-in-the-National-Guard kind of stuff. Tornadoes, floods, serious life-threatening disasters. No civilian personnel is permitted on the streets at all, AND your cars better be moved the hell outta the way.

Today, it’s just a lower case state of emergency. People can get to work if they have to, but the Township officials (including the police, fire, public works, et al.) wish you would make their jobs a bit easier and move your cars off the emergency routes (and your own street if possible, for plows to get through) and severely limit your travel. There’s no real need to drive to Wawa right now, is there?

We couldn’t find anything in the codes about pedestrians, so if you live near a Wawa, you’re in luck! Their new Vanilla Latte and all beef hoddog is all yours. We have a feeling, though, if the ALL CAPS SOE was in place, even pedestrians might get the lockdown. (Rumor has it there was one of these back in 1995 here. Does anyone remember?)

If you’re interested, you can dig around the Township codes yourself. There’s some great stuff in there. In the meantime, clear your cars from the streets whenever possible, and refer back to the list of emergency route streets when a SOE (or soe) is declared.

Stay safe, Havertownies!


UPDATE: There’s some misinformed people on FB saying that “state of emergency” only has to do with PARKED cars. This isn’t true. Operating vehicles on emergency routes is also prohibited. Just because the cops exercise their discretion to allow you to get to and from work doesn’t mean that you are officially permitted on those roads. They aren’t pulling people over today, as far as I hear, but they can and they will if they need to. Here is the 175-59 code text. Please read it carefully:

“After any such emergency shall have been declared, it shall be unlawful, during the period of such emergency, for any person to park a motor vehicle or tractor, or to allow the same to remain parked, on any highway or portion thereof described in Schedule XXIII (§ 175-98), or to operate any motor vehicle or tractor on any such highway or portion thereof, unless such vehicle or tractor shall be equipped with adequate equipment to provide sufficient traction to keep such vehicle or tractor in motion so that other traffic on such highways will not be blocked or seriously impeded.”


  1. […] go over to our other post and check out the list. If your car is on it, move it off now, as the State of Emergency went into effect this morning at […]