A Philadelphia city councilman, who says construction projects are crowding out pedestrians in the city, is proposing major fines for contractors who hog the sidewalks and endanger walkers.

Councilman Jim Kenney said too many contractors cordon off sidewalks around their construction sites with no regard for pedestrians.

"What we have are contractors throwing up cyclone fences with tarpaulin taking the entire sidewalk in highly trafficked areas forcing pedestrians into the street, tourists and residents alike," he said.

Kenney wants to impose a $1,000 daily fine so contractors will think twice about blocking sidewalk access. He says he'd like to see them install "sidewalk sheds," covered areas that protect pedestrians from falling debris.  He says they're common in New York City.

"Now they are going to be hit with large fines, and I'm hoping the word will go off to other people who don't want to pay a $1,000 a day fine," he said. "It is a cat and mouse until we have enough people in Streets Department and [Licenses and Inspections staffers] to do the inspections that we need to get done." 

The bill is not expected to be considered until Council returns from its summer recess.