Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snow Going

Snow Going
Residents Fend for Themselves with Snow and Ice
(Photos by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 26- For two weeks, Norwood residents have taken to social media websites as well as phoning 311 and local elected officials to complain about unpaved streets and ice covered sidewalks.
Residents began to complain after vehicles were becoming stuck on streets that had small patches of ice that looked as if the road was incorrectly or only partially plowed.
The city's 1-year-old program PlowNYC, a multi-million dollar program that outfitted snow-plows with GPS tracking devices, showed that the street's in question: Decatur and Hull Avenue's between East Mosholu Parkway and E. 204 Street, Kossuth Avenue between E. 208 Street and Mosholu Parkway and Tryon Avenue at East Gun Hill Road-- had all been cleared.
I personally learned the perils of driving on Decatur at E. 204 Street, as the undercarriage of my vehicle became wedged on a three-inch slab of solid ice, in a metered parking space outside of the U.S. Post Office.
One in such a predicament quickly becomes aware of the two-manned teams of traffic enforcement agents who wrote up tickets to any snowed-in vehicles in metered spots or no-standing zones.
Without the help of four complete strangers, neighborhood guys who used sheer strength to get me out, I think I might still be there today.
Keith Mellis, a spokesman at the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) defended his worker's and opened my eyes when he said the icy-patches were, "caused by people who throw it back into the middle of the street and we go through it with a plow and can't pick it up."
Now that made sense, but residents scored another point when they stated that if crews had put down rock salt, the ice would have melted.
Decatur and Hull Avenue's was completely cleared shortly after my inquiry however, Kossuth Avenue remained encased in two-inch blocks of ice for several more days.
Drivers have it bad but pedestrians had it worse as Mosholu Parkway resident Jennie Jones discovered walking along Van Cortlandt Avenue East and Mosholu Parkway South with her cousin.
Holding onto her cousin and careful to maintain her balance or the two women would surely fall, Jones fumed, "I think it's unfortunate that we have to walk on an icy sidewalk. My cousin here, Emily, her balance isn't so great and she almost just fell right there on the corner."
"Something needs to be done," Jones continued, "about these sidewalks where people can walk to the grocery store, which is where were going, without fear that their going to fall down and hurt themselves."
Van Cortlandt Park resident Jerry Sorensen agreed with Jones when he described his dilemma, "I live two blocks from the store and I can't get there."
Norwood residents took to Facebook about an ice covered street outside of Williamsbridge Oval Park. A television news crew aired the story, quickly prompting the shamed Bainbridge Avenue business owner into getting workers to clear the narrowest of paths.
A similar ice condition existed outside of the Williamsbridge Oval Park, one source stated the delay was caused by a jurisdictional dispute between the Parks Department and the Department of Transportation.
A New York Times article revealed a similar condition awaited strap-hangers outside of the E. 174 - E. 175 Street Station of the B and D train along the Grand Concourse.
Shortly after the article a crew from an unknown municipality cleared the section featured in the story, but left an entire sidewalk covered in ice and snow that greeted subway riders at a second exit.
No doubt a finger-pointing match of wills between the State and City Department of Transportation as the city has jurisdiction over the Grand Concourse however, the state may control a portion of the street as it's an overpass of the Cross Bronx Expressway.
The NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Department of Sanitation could also be in charge of the property.
Using the aid of a cane, Concourse senior Joseph Llanos was walking over the newly paved section of the Concourse when he explained, "When it snows it always gets icy here and they never pick it up. I don't know who cleaned it over here, someone must have complained."
Last week, the DSNY hired nearly a dozen private garbage companies who's trucks carted off tons of snow from the North Bronx to the parking lot at Orchard Beach.
Several days later, two days with the temperature flirting with the fifty-degree mark, most of the ice and snow is now gone, just in time to bring back the alternate side parking rules. I hope your car starts.

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