Bloomberg Misses Mark on Plowing All Streets by 7AM Today


snow13Boro Park, Brooklyn – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent this morning officially apologizing for a cleanup that he admits was twice as slow as his administration’s snow emergency plan calls for. “We are going to take a look at everything we did and see where it can be done better,” the mayor said as he left a meeting with Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro this morning. The encounter at a coffee shop near Staten Island Borough Hall was the first in a series of meetings between Bloomberg and leaders in all New York City boroughs except Manhattan to talk about the city’s response to the Sunday to Monday blizzard. On Wednesday, Bloomberg described that response as not being “as good a job as we wanted to do, or as the city has the right to expect.” The Bloomberg snow emergency plan calls for all 6,000 miles of city streets to have had a plow pass over them within 36 hours of snowfall ending. That plan has worked in every snow emergency, that is, until the one New Yorkers are digging out from now. So with Bloomberg’s apology came a pledge that all of the city’s streets would get plowed by 7:00 Thursday morning. At 5:30, one resident in Borough Park, Brooklyn, made this predicition to PIX 11 News: “I don’t believe it. At all.” Nessin Ringel said he had good reason to be so skeptical. He lives in the central Brooklyn neighborhood on 44th Street, which still had not seen a plow at the time he made his statement, to which he added, “Bloomberg has the resources… he needs to keep his word.” By the 7 a.m. deadline, no plow was in sight, although PIX 11 News observed at least 17 snow removal vehicles in the Borough Park and Sunset Park neighborhoods Thursday morning. Those vehicles included street plows, highway plows, front end loaders and tow trucks dispatched to remove vehicles blocking streets that needed plowing. And just after 8:15 a.m., after a PIX 11 News crew had told the plight of the unplowed blocks of 44th Street and some other streets in Borough Park, a highway-grade snow plow barreled down the street. At least a dozen residents stood by and applauded while the plow came through. Minutes later, though, they were very loudly cursing and condemning Mayor Bloomberg, in part because it had taken so long for a plow to come down their street, and also because of what happened just a few minutes after the plow arrived and did its work. A six-wheeler box truck got stuck in the foot-deep snow and ice that the plow had not moved. “This was not enough,” Borough Park resident Isaac Neuwirth told PIX 11 News as he surveyed both the job the plow had done on his local street, and the job the crew in the vegetable delivery truck was doing trying to free their vehicle from the frozen mess. Less than a half-hour after driving down 44th Street, the plow returned to make another pass, but since the box truck and, minutes after the box truck, a sedan blocked the street, the plow could not go down the street again, in spite of the plow crew’s efforts to help the sedan’s driver move his car. The whole scene showed how much City Hall was trying to make good on its promise, albeit behind schedule, and the reaction of resident Neuwirth was representative of many of his neighbors who spoke with PIX 11 News. They continued to condemn Mayor Bloomberg. And even though Neuwirth said he was familiar with the New York City electoral rules which prevent the mayor from seeking a fourth term, he told PIX 11 News, “I would never vote for him again.” For his part, Mayor Bloomberg promised a full investigation into why the snow emergency response had been so slow. Meanwhile, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has scheduled hearings into the issue for January 10th. {WPIX-TV/}



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