Snow Removal and the State of the State NJ

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bloomberg administration officials were grilled yesterday for hours by the New York City Council about the city's response to last month's blizzard. WNYC reporters Ailsa Chang and Bob Hennelly discuss what came out of that hearing and the lessons learned as we look ahead to another snow storm. Plus, Bob previews NJ Governor Christie's state of the state address today. 


Ailsa Chang and Bob Hennelly

Comments [20]

Jane from Brooklyn

On Saturday, January 8th, there were nine (9) men standing around with shovels and picks on the Prospect Avenue overpass bridge on Seeley Street in Brooklyn for at least an hour!! I saw them there at 9am and 10 am. Most were standing around. Some seemed to be playing with their picks -- and they may have made the very narrow walking path over the short bridge. It horrified me to think that tax money was being wasted this way -- when nearby P.S. 154 lost its music program this year because of budget cuts!! If it actually snows tomorrow, will there be 30 men out there?? What a very clear waste of resources!!

Jan. 11 2011 01:29 PM
mp from NYC

fully agree with Robert in the comments; what does need to happen for Bloomberg to resign? Question for Brian; how can New Yorik get rid of Bloomberg; only 37% or less approve of him; He makes our lives miserable, he certainly does not serve the people and many are tired of his extraordinary management skills and arrogance; it serves to no one not even to him.

Jan. 11 2011 10:41 AM
Elizabeth from Brooklyn

Does anyone know whether the middle managers (and sanitation and transportation comm'rs) who made the calls not to prepare for the snow get bonuses for coming under budget? In other words, did they have incentives to under-prepare?

Jan. 11 2011 10:38 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Er, yes Jim. Sanitation professionals are paid to follow orders. The people Bloomberg put in change failed to adequately give them

Jan. 11 2011 10:36 AM
art525 from Park Slope

I agree with those who are questioning where the mayor was yesterday. He put his underlings out there to take the heat. A real leader would have shouldered the responsibility. Robertfrom NYC said it better than I could-"The arrogance and egoism of this mayor is so thick that it smells, and it smells right through the tv screen when he speaks." Pewrfect. It has always struck me when he gives his press conferences that he is so put upon that he has to condescend to us and explain things to all of us dolts out here. There is an attempt to put the blame on unions or his commisioners. They say that only the commisioners can declare a snow emergency? really? You don't think Bloomberg would throw his weight around if he had had a clue that there should have been a snow emergency declared? It is so unfortunate that we are still saddled with him.

Jan. 11 2011 10:29 AM

We aren't alone. Denmark & Sweden were swamped by snow this year. They had heavier snowfall than normal in the 2 storms that hit them & Norway, etc.

As to the Snow Emergency problem, when I moved to NYC in the 60s, I learned that Snow Emergency protocol was announced early just so drivers parked along the Snow Emergency routes could move their cars prior to the storm. That takes care of the Bloomberg red herring about moving cars "during" the storm.

Also, I don't understand why the salters were salting down the road & getting the plows moving early to minimize drifting as much as possible.

Jan. 11 2011 10:29 AM
Did you see the YouTube Clip? from Park Slope

Did you guys see the YouYube clip of the Sanitation guys casually wrecking a parked SUV with a front loader? I can only hope that the SUV's owner was also Union.

Jan. 11 2011 10:28 AM

Why so much anger at Bloomberg? Sanitation workers are well paid professionals with salaries and benefits better than many private sector workers. Do people really expect that the Mayor is supposed to give them hands-on direction of how to do their jobs? If so, then maybe the proposed cuts need to go even deeper.

Jan. 11 2011 10:28 AM
carolita from NYC

I just can't believe anyone would take the word of the sanitation workers that there was no slowdown. We had all the reports from New Yorkers about obvious slowdowns, and we're trusting the sanitation workers over New Yorkers' accounts? Of course they're going to deny the slowdowns -- they were blamed for deaths!

Jan. 11 2011 10:26 AM
Tracy from NYC

I have called 311 to report a broken traffic light and they have connected me with 911 dispatchers. Maybe the 311 operators are redirecting too much non-emergency traffic to 911.

Jan. 11 2011 10:26 AM
Lisa from Forest Hills, NY

I live in Forest Hills. On Tuesday 28 Dec, a plow was at the end of our block at 7am. It was still there at 6pm. Several neighbors approached the driver asking what the problem was. He said he couldn't get through the snow. When asked why he wasn't calling for assistance, he said he had forgotten his cell phone. When offered a cell phone to use, he responded he wasn't allowed to use anyone else's cell phone. Seems suspicious to me.

Jan. 11 2011 10:24 AM
Hugh Sansom

Heaven forfend that I should ever defend Bloomberg, but there is a cost-benefit analysis. No city can prepare for the worst weather all the time. We could prepare for 4 feet of snow -- such has happened in the city's history. New Yorkers would flip if asked to bear the cost of constant readiness through the winter for the worst-case scenario.

The problem is not preparation, but the Mayor's attitude. If a problem doesn't affect him, he doesn't care about it, no matter how many New Yorkers are affected.

He doesn't give a damn about New Yorkers. We are too poor to be on his radar.

Jan. 11 2011 10:23 AM
Robert from NYC

Right, I was in Montreal one January 11, my birthday, and the snow was waaaaaay more than anything I've ever seen in NYC in my65 yrs and I was so impressed how there was absolutely not stoppage. The city has it organized and all the 3 days there the show shovels were constantly, constantly going round the city and cars moved and peopled walked and it was a bit slow but that was it. It all worked just fine. What a pleasure, beautiful snow and mobility. What more can one ask for!

Jan. 11 2011 10:22 AM
PF from Bay Ridge

As if they were trying to make up for the previous neglect,here in Bay Ridge for the past two morning we have had plows scraping and salting the roads which currently have no snow on them.

Jan. 11 2011 10:21 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I am a life-long NYer. The last storm was a big one, but not any bigger than some past big storms.

I listened to much of the Council hearings yesterday and it seemed to me that the management in charge were learning on the job. It's as if all the knowledge of how to deal with a big snow storm has been lost.

My question is, why does this appear to be so? Is is due to turnover of high-ranking management over the years? Is it because with modern politics they remove experienced pros with many years' professionals?

Has term limits contributed to this?

Or was this not a contributing factor?

Jan. 11 2011 10:21 AM
Hugh Sansom

Here's some advice for Mike Bloomberg: "Stop sending the message that you think the voters are beneath you. It's one thing to treat your employees like slaves. We are NOT your employees. You are OUR employee. You work for us. Figure it out."

Jan. 11 2011 10:18 AM

It's never too late to say: We're sorry.

Jan. 11 2011 10:17 AM

Something that must also be remembered here is the timing of the storm. The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve is probably one of the busiest travel times to NYC, especially for Midtown Manhattan. No one seems to acknowledge that as part of the consideration of how/when the streets were plowed.

Jan. 11 2011 10:16 AM
Robert from NYC

I don't want to hear the mayor's hand maidens apologize and confess I want to hear the mayor himself who should take total and final, the buck stops with me, confession and apology. The arrogance and egoism of this mayor is so thick that it smells, and it smells right through the tv screen when he speaks. The man is despicably hateful and has bought his way thru every one of his "successes" to destroy this city. His failures will be manifest themselves in future and probably near future rather than distant future. And these "investigative" (huh!) reporters ought to find out where he was. Probably either Bermuda or Israel where he seems to place his first allegiance.

Jan. 11 2011 10:13 AM
RLewis from the bowery

I don't remember a lot of blizzards happening on the Xmas holiday in the past. Did anyone review just how many sanitation drivers were taking pre-approved vacation days at the time of the storm?

Jan. 11 2011 10:10 AM

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