NYC Sanitation Department Still Catching Up After ‘Historic’ Month of Snow


Whereas the streets have been largely cleared of snow and slush, remnants of the previous few snowfalls can nonetheless be discovered blocking bus stops, bike lanes, curb cuts, and in entrance of many vacant companies. Recycling is piling up on curbs, and residents are getting fed up.

That is making it onerous for anybody not in a motorized vehicle to get round some components of town.

“Our crews are working throughout town throughout one of the difficult months in historical past,” Joshua Goodman, a spokesperson for the Division of Sanitation, wrote in an e mail to Gothamist/WNYC.

Difficult, however some New Yorkers are working out of persistence.

“For the final two weeks the one snow elimination we’re getting is for automobiles, and that doesn’t assist pedestrians, and bus riders, and other people with disabilities, and seniors,” mentioned Christine Berthet, co-chair of the transportation committee of Manhattan Neighborhood Board 4.

Berthet’s district consists of Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. She’s put out a survey to gauge what members of her district take into consideration the situation of the sidewalk to hone in on the primary issues.

Goodman mentioned residents might assist out town’s snow clearing effort by calling 311 in the event that they see an issue space.

“One of many largest points we’ve got with long-term work on these places after a number of snowfalls is what’s referred to as ‘throw out.’ That is after we clear it, however then somebody clearing off their automotive or sidewalk places snow again,” Goodman wrote.

“Calling 311 could be very useful as a result of we wouldn’t essentially know to come back again and do it a second time if nobody instructed us. It’s additionally why it’s unlawful for residents to place snow again there — though in fact it does occur.”

Berthet famous that when she has referred to as 311, an operator instructed her she has to attend 96 hours after the snowfall to file any complaints about unshoveled snow.

A person using a walker attempts to cross a slushy corner of Delancey Street in Manhattan.


Christopher Robbins / Gothamist

In accordance with 311 steering, complaints about property homeowners, faculties or bus shelters not cleared could be made 4 hours after snow stops falling. Complaints about medians, pedestrian underpasses and overpasses, and crosswalks could be made 72 hours after the snow stops.

“With much less site visitors than common and fewer financial exercise, seeing all this give attention to the roadway, it’s sort of surprising, whereas pedestrians and bus riders must be within the roadway with the intention to get on the bus,” Berthet mentioned.

Alternate aspect parking was again in impact on Monday, however moderately than avenue sweeping, the Sanitation Division mentioned it’s utilizing the time to clear remaining snow from metropolis streets.

“It displays mis-balanced priorities,” mentioned Councilman Mark Levine, who represents Higher Manhattan and sits on the council’s transportation committee.

Levine mentioned the system of calling 311 when an proprietor has not shoveled their property additionally falls brief as a result of so many shops are vacant proper now.

“Town can’t solely wash its fingers of clearing snow from sidewalks. The concept that fines will likely be an answer is just not, in apply, sufficient. Town has to have capability to clear sidewalks,” he mentioned.

Whereas town has 100 small tractors for clearing sidewalks, bike lanes and different locations bigger plows can not attain, Levine mentioned town ought to get extra.

The Division of Sanitation mentioned it additionally systematically making the rounds, selecting up trash and recycling that has piled up.

“We simply can’t do each on the identical time – it’s actually the identical individuals who decide up trash and who plow the streets, and there’s no approach to do each directly. Hopefully the climate stays calm for a bit so we are able to get completely caught up,” Goodman wrote.