Readers’ Matzav: Snowed-in in Lakewood


snow2Dear Editor,

I write this to from my home as I peer out on to the street here in Lakewood, NJ. We have just received┬ásome two feet of snow…and the streets in my area have not been plowed. Every winter, we hear the same thing: “We have dozens of trucks out there… We can’t get to all the streets at once… We’re doing our best… They are working so hard… 20-hour shifts…

And then we hear the best line: “Even the mayor’s and committeemen’s streets haven’t been plowed…” As if that is somehow supposed to make us feel better. Can I ask you something? The fact that Mayor Bob Singer is stuck at home…how exactly does that help me here?

It’s always the same thing. Somehow, Lakewood has already become known for not plowing its streets.

Lakewood is no longer a sleepy little town. It is a city. In Brooklyn, the streets get plowed rather quickly. In the Five Towns, no one stand for what goes on in Lakewood. In Monsey, things are a bit worse, but nothing like what goes on in Lakewood, where dozens of streets remain unplowed many hours into the storm. In Queens, the streets are plowed.

Lakewood hasn’t figured it out yet.

We, in Lakewood, have often been told, “You have to make a choice between tax cuts and services,” meaning that if we would cut back on services – extra police, extra garbage pickups (such as pre-Yom Tov), etc., the Township would be able to cut property taxes. Between me and you, that is rubbish. Our taxes will be lowered when the sky falls in. But, at the same time, there are some elementary services that the Township has not been able to provide efficiently. Most notable amongst them is snow plowing.

We know all the standard answers we are given in the regard. We’re tired of the same empty answers. We don’t want answers. We want action. Just plow the streets in a timely manner!

And let me add that it is about time that we stop treating all Township employees, including those in the Police and Public Works Departments, with kid gloves. We act as if they are national heroes who cannot be criticized or penalized. John Franklin is the head of the Public Works Department, not the president of the United States! Just because he has been around for years doesn’t mean he is beyond reproof.

Meanwhile, I’ll climb back under my blanket while I wait for a snow plow to come down my street so that I can actually get my car out. Until then, I’ll ponder the pathetic state of affairs here.

A Matzav Reader Who Is Snowed In


  1. Awww.. poor baby… we’re supposed to feel sorry for you? Get out of bed, and go shovel the snow yourself! Gee, i don’t feel one whit sorry for you. You don’t like it? Well too bad!

  2. This writer shows the selfish everything is about me attitude that is commonplace. No this is not a major city. And they are trying their best.

  3. The writer is correct. You can name tens of streets that weren’t plowed. some have just been plowed.
    Miller Road
    Kelm Woods/Northcrest
    Carasaljo Drive
    West Kenedy (on the other side of the mesivta)
    Pine Blvd
    Ridge Ct
    Pine River Village
    Park Ave
    East 8th
    East 9th
    East 5th
    Maple Ave
    Attaya Rd
    A Country Place
    Autumn Rd
    Tuscany Terrace
    Arosa Hill/Engleberg
    Somerset Ave
    Whisper Ct
    Williamsburg Lane/Colony
    Malka Way
    Berkowitz Ave
    Central Court
    Coles Way

    And on and on….

  4. We were in Lakewood for Shabbos and we had to go home. We were shocked that even the streets leading to the main arteries are not plowed.

    Simply speaking: this is a massive injustice to Lakewood citizens who pay their taxes.

    I have been all over. No where, in any town, however big or small, is there such injustice. Most towns are ready with their plows, their sand and salt to service their taxpayers.

    What is Lakewood’s excuse??? I can’t understand why the Tzibbur does not get together to protest something they should be getting for their tax money.

    My daughter was told, your block will be done on Monday. Thank you. What happens if someone in that development has to go out on Sunday? What happens if there is an emergency Cholila.

    Shame on the Town of Lakewood.


  6. Nothing to do with being lazy, the streets here are not plowed. Don’t know where the plows are because everyone you speak to says the same, my street hasn’t been plowed. There was no reason that the plows weren’t out in full force on Shabbos plowing as it started to snow. Instead they wait till the snow ends, and now they have to plow around 2 feet of snow. And when they finally sent a truck here, (jsut a few minutes ago) it got stuck!!!! Where do my tax dollars go?

  7. No one needs to climb back under the covers if his street isn’t plowed. Pick up a sefer and learn something or call your chavrusa over the phone! If you are a woman, you probably utilize your Sunday off from work to get something done at home anyway. Of course, it’s nice and cozy to crawl under the blankets, but don’t blame the mayor for that!

  8. umm…….
    we didn’t see a plow on my strret until 11:00 today. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are probably more improtant streets than yours.

  9. I’m not certain how you can compare lakewood to other municipalities which are much more densly populated.

    Or, is this just an opertune time to knock and gripe?

  10. Very well said, I think it is time for some heads to roll & someone to be accountable for all our property taxes.

  11. Well it sounds like the sky has fallen in . . . and covered you with snow. So your taxes havent been lowered and you have 2 choices. sit at home and moan or get up and shovel your path. If there was a layer of dollar bills under the snow you wouldnt wait for the snow plough. so kid yourself and act now before someone in your family gets out and slips!

  12. come on old grump can’t you have a little bit of spirit stop complaining already and start thinking positive maybe people try to help you also but your blind to see it get out of bed and pick up your shovel and if you can’t,move to Five Towns

  13. Interesting fact. In Colorado, a mayor was once voted out of office because of this issue. People felt that the snow was not removed quickly enough.

    I personally thought that that was not enough of an issue to vote a mayor out of office. At that time, it was not possible for forsee that much snow falling at once very often. If this kind of snowfall is unusual, it may not pay to invest in equipment to remove it. If it becomes a common ocurrence, it would pay to make the investment.

    Let’s not blame humans for not being able to tell the future. At least that’s how it looks to one person.

  14. Add to that Primrose Drive. Over $100,000 real estate taxes paid from just 1 cul-de-sac. It is now 3PM..Is it too much to ask that a plow comes by??

  15. They didn’t even start plowing till 9:30 at night.
    Cars were getting stuck everywhere. On each of the avenues there were vehicles with their emergency lights on. Chaverim and Hatzolah were busy all night helping people. It took an hr to get to a normally 5 minute drive place. We’re not only talking about driveways here, we’re talking about main roads. Even route 9 was terrible.

    So, yes, Lakewood hasn’t figured it out yet.

  16. You can add Rose Park Crescent, Ashley, Independence, Washington, Kedmah, Hackett and tens of other streets. this letter writer is so on the mark. criticizing him is ridiculous. if you don;t live in lakewood, and you don;’t know what’s going on, don’t talk. lakewood is notorious for being inept when it comes to snow removal. but franklin is “kodesh kodoshim” so g-d forbid to criticize him.

  17. So I live in Brooklyn and my street wasn’t plowed yet either! who cares. They are working on it and will get done eventually. The can’t do everything at once.

  18. as of 10 am this morning streets in BROOKLYN were not plowed yet!!! it was a major storm, if you heard mayor Bloomberg said that he hope that by TOMORROW morning everything will be clear

  19. how do you know all those streets were not plowed? if the streets are not plowed how were you able to take a tour of lakewood to visit those streets? did you actually walk and thrudge through the snow?

  20. Finally someone writing the truth. Thank You MATZAV and the writer of this letter. I pay 7,500.00 in property taxes to our township run partially by our Askonim Bnei Torah who are not providing the basic services that we need. Enough is enough replace them all!!!!

  21. The Vaad would like to express their Hakoras Hatov to Corzine and Franklin for their speedy and competent response to this snow storm. I’m sure the roads are well plowed. I just cant move out because my road, Spruce st. is not driveable.

  22. Monsey is prepared before it snows, because we often get several inches of snow; they have the crews, the chemicals, and the trucks standing by. Lakewood rarely gets a storm of this magnitude; would you be happier to have your tax dollars paying for the materials and manpower to sit idle most winters?

  23. The irony to this is that the Olam all got in their two wheel drive cars after Shabbos and promptly got stuck everywhere, making the Snow plowing impossible on many streets. I know you don’t want to hear this, esp the many who have lived here with the Attitude, “It’s coming to me”

  24. Property taxes in lakewood are double those in Monsey N.Y. Please list any service that is provided by the township of Lakewood, that are not provided for by the Monsey/Rockland township…? REPLACE THE TOWNSHIP!!!!

  25. who ever in the city is responsible should resign tonight.If any frum person is involved they should ask mxhila from the rabim as so much bita torah and people lost salaries from work.

  26. Time foe franklin to go!!! he’s a disgrace he spent millions of our tax money on his pet project state of the art public worjs department with a high tech early warning system for weather and storm conditions LOL how has that helped them at all let’s hold them all accountable enough is enough!!!!!

  27. Why do you feel the need to complain. My kids and I had a great time today in the snow and I actaully was pleasantly surprised to see that alot of the main roads were plowed. Y’know why i was surprised? cuz I live in lakewood and it hardly ever snows like this even when there is a big snow storm its nothing like this, so obiviously they are not prepared for times like this because it is extremely unusaul. Dont find reasons to complain. Enjoy life and enjoy the snow while it lasts!!

  28. Sunday night still waiting to see a snow plow
    Davos place in Brookhill
    “Yislach devori vaamsam” might work better I will try it by shachris tomorrow .

  29. are we asking people to plow our driveways or just the streets? This is not too much to ask for.No one is lazy when it comes to safety,

  30. Oh sound so selfish. I understand it is annoying to be stuck inside all day..but that’s the way it works. In Far Rockaway they didn’t plow either-so instead of curling into a ball under our covers..we shoveled our selves.

  31. don’t listen to all those pathetic commentators, they are soooooooo missed the point.
    of course the guy doesn’t mind shoveling the snow once or twice or even three times a week, but WHEN IT COMES HABITUAL TO PLOW THE SNOW EVERY MORNING WHILE PAYING HEAVY TAXES, yea it can get in bed.

    and also use sum seichel, the last sentence was meant as an expression………..

  32. Get Over it. And if you really wanted to get your car out, you shouldve shoveled yourself. I live on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, yes the main street is fully plowed, but it took hours for them to plow the service roads, so we did it ourselves!

  33. Time for young blood in the “Public works dept.”.Let alone the snow it is year round that calls are not returned & we live in a do nothing situation.If you want to change something you have to show up at a committe meeting or zoning board & even get punched in the face, as has happened. Just recently they finally implimented a few traffic changes. And when are the long talked busses coming for local service? The point is their was no one in the Gov. to talk to this weekend, & just imagine iif this happens in a week or 2 on the chogos?
    We thank those who mhave good intentions, but today I did not dream of driving to Shul I walked a half hour instead. (the PA plates were driving dangerously, so be carefull when you walk on the streets). I hope my time accomplishes somthing, with a united effort We Can Accomplish!
    Hamitzapeh Liyishu’ah Bimheirah Bi’yameinu.

  34. Now for the real story. The roads in Lakewood on in terrible condition and there are very few trucks plowing the roads. A few years ago the township purchased new garbage trucks very expensive ones 300,000 per truck . However only after the were in lakewood did the township realize that these trucks cannot have a plow attached to them. So it is quite simple as to why the roads in lakewood are not cleared we don’t have trucks capable of plowing.

  35. Self-help is a major tenet of Judaism: “In ain
    ani li, mi li?”

    Here’s some PRACTICAL advice for the snowed-in reader:

    Get real
    Get out
    Get shovelling

  36. The taxes in Lakewood are double those in Monsey? Based on the comments here, they are about half. $7,500? You must be joking. I think I was paying more than that in Monsey when I bought my house about 25 years ago, and no, I don’t live in a McMansion.

  37. People who are telling the writer to shovel don’t have a clue. How can a person shovel the netire street? What about the next block that was not shoveled? We are talking about two feet of snow. Once the plows shovel the streets, only then can someone shovel out his own car, and go anywhere. The person who lives on Ocean Parkway only had to shovel the portion of the service road from his house to the main Ocean Parkway lanes, How can you compare? But I also think that this was an unprecedented snowstorm, and was simply overwhelming for Lakewood because they do not have the facilities to deal with a snowstorm of this depth!

  38. Did you shovel your sidewalk?

    I bet most of you did not.

    I know this because I walk a good distance every day. After a snowfall – no matter how big or small – I am never able to walk an entire block without wading through snow.

    Before you lambast the “snowplowers” for not getting to your block (and it’s not as if they were in their beds under the covers like you are – they are out plowing other streets), take a look at your own front walk which is your direct and IMMEDIATE responsibility.

    “Do not complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own front doorstep is unclean”.
    – Confucious

  39. uh – to everyone who is saying we should shovel the snow ourselves, the problem is not our driveways and not either the sidewalks – that we did already. Maybe you mean we should shovel the roads?? If you would like, you can come to lakewood and plow all the streets for us, it would be appreciated.

    As for now the streets of lakewood have 2 inches of ice so….yeah.