An Open Letter To #NYCSanitation...
Although public schools were open yesterday, I (like so many other parents) made an executive decision to keep my little one home. We live in Flushing, Queens and although we live on the same block as a catholic elementary school, plows seem to have missed our block that morning. Our block is long and half of it is occupied by a hill; together with freezing ice, you might as well break out your bobsleigh.
Later in the day, the plows came and did an adequate job of cleaning the streets and ensuring that all the homeowners would spend the remainder of the day trying to clear out their driveways and cars, which were plowed in. Currently there is a 4ft span of ice from where my driveway ends and the clean street NYC Sanitation provided. Many of my neighboring blocks haven’t seen one plow yet! Now their entire block looks like an Olympic size ice rink! So I suppose I should consider myself lucky.
My husband and I are healthy individuals. We can handle clearing the snow; but what I saw this morning boiled my blood. I took my daughter to school this morning. Her school is on a one-way block and as soon as I turned onto the block I was in shock! There was the yellow school bus dismissing the students from the middle of the street! Why? The bus couldn’t get any closer to the curb. There was that 4ft span of snow and ice from the curb to the street. The school’s sidewalk was spotless. You would have never known it had snowed! I suspected who was at fault here since the mess looked very familiar to my block and when I inquired about it I was right! NYC Sanitation strikes again! The school director ensured it was clear and safe before closing up last night and when they arrived this morning all their efforts were undone.
If I weren’t concerned for the well being of my child & I, and the well being of the other students I would have broken out my professional camera to snap a few pictures to show you!! I was amazed to see the teachers lined up one behind the other; passing the children straight from the bus to each other, over the ice & snow, until each & every child was safely on the clean curb. (If that doesn’t say they love their students I do not know what does! However…) This is extremely dangerous for the children! The teachers! The parents! I was fuming!
NYC Sanitation, you want to block me in everyday…fine…but when you mess with the safety of my child and other children... you are messing with the wrong Queen Bee!
Her school is a HUGE building. Clearly marked as a school with a No Standing/Bus Zone right in front of the door…aka DO NOT PILE UP ALL THE SNOW FROM ALL OF QUEENS IN FRONT OF THIS BUILDING!!!!!!
I am not a sanitation worker, nor is anyone in my family. I do not know what snow removal entails. However, what I do know is that when I was a child and we had a winter of 13 Northeasters, my father did not have to leave his car in the middle of the street as he attempted to clear his plowed in driveway every night. Nor did he have to wake up even earlier every morning to clear the driveway again from the night shift of plowing that would close us in. We are New Yorkers. We have had worst storms! More snow! Why were we able to clear the roads so efficiently those years ago but can’t get our act together now!? I remember those Northeasterns. The city didn’t know where to put the snow. I remember watching the plows push the snow to one central spot and another truck would come and take it away.
I understand the snow has to go SOMEWHERE and I also understand a little residual snow will make its way back into the driveways we work so hard to clear but I personally feel that more than 2ft residual accumulation of snow back in my driveway is just unacceptable! and do not get me started on our sidewalks! The snow is currently piled up so high at the end of every block that even though the sidewalk is clear and safe, it is too dangerous to climb over that mess to get onto the sidewalks! What about the elderly? They somehow mange to get their walkways and driveway clean once…you think that same good Samaritan is going to come clear it out everyday...twice a day? This snow removal, as a homeowner, is being a full time job! I watch my elderly neighbors struggle everyday with maintaining their snow removal and pray they do not become ill from being outside lifting this heavy snow in these freezing temperatures. Yesterday on my way to the office, I saw a girl trying feverishly to free her 4 door sedan from it's plowed in condition. About 5 hours later, on my way home, she was still there and no closer to freedom! If I have the right equipment I would of pulled her out myself. My heart went out to her.
These few storms are not even the worst of it! With this upcoming weekend’s storm and 6 more weeks of winter ahead of us, I am losing more and more faith in the capabilities of NYC Sanitation to keep our roads clean and safe. Its time NYC Sanitation to get your act together and put a little more effort into your work!