YWN Mailbag: Has Anyone Seen A NYC Snow Plow? Pathetic.


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Dear YWN,

I’m outraged, and fed up with this dysfunctional government run by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The snow has stopped six hours ago, and I have yet go see a snow plow. My home is located in the heart of Flatbush and the street has not been touched yet. Is this normal?! Do we not pay enough taxes?

I should note that my home is on a block where there is a hospital. Can you imagine that ambulances can not get down my block to transport people to the hospital?….. But don’t worry….the FDNY isn’t transporting any patients, as their entire system is paralyzed by the blizzard. After YWN posted their earlier report that city ambulances have not been responding to emergencies, I called a close friend whose a paramedic for the city. What he told me was shocking. They were backlogged by hundreds of calls, many of them life threatening emergencies. And when they finally ARE dispatched to the calls, they get stuck in the snow. They have ambulances stuck for HOURS in the snow.

And here’s the kicker. There is a fire station on East 14th Street just off Avenue P. Their street was not plowed as of 10:00am. I know this is true, because I was in my friends pick-up truck which has a snow plow on it, when we were flagged down by the firefighters, who literally begged us to plow the street. They were just standing on the corner looking for someone to help them. I asked them how come the city didn’t clear their street, and they simply rolled their eyes. They were very thankful, and we were happy to have made a kiddush hashem, but this is insanity it its clearest form. A fire station not plowed?! Where is the responsibility of the city? The first streets plowed should be those with fire and police stations.

Oh i forgot, Bloomberg wants to close the firehouses…..

Last night the 70 precinct called Hatzolah if they have a snow plow to clear their street. There are a few members with snow-clearing devices, and a snow plow was in fact dispatched there.

All that we are missing is the voice of Mayor Bloomberg telling us “reminder to all New Yorkers…..please keep the bike lanes clear”.


Feivy Epstein.


  1. Same for the busiest parts of BP, even en route to Maimonides- No snow plows at all! BUT I heard Mayor Bloomberg say the theatres in Manhattan were all open last night and restaurants were full. Yipee. Let everyone outside of the theatres and restaurants drop…?!?!

  2. Same here. (Kensington)
    Same there.
    Same everywhere! (at 2:30pm)

    What really gets to me is that yesterday at inch no. 1/2 there were 2 (TWO) trucks plowing down the avenue. Then they disappeared!

    Usually when they finally DO show up, they come with 4-5 trucks one after the other, then repeat that march on the SAME plowed street about 6 times A DAY.

  3. They’ve been all over my neighborhood — all the main streets are clear. They even plowed my street which is usually the last street in the Bronx to get plowed.

  4. i find it funny yesterday before the snow u saw the trucks ready to go dont know where they r on my street they didnt even come down once this is BP

  5. Well said,Mr. Epstein. I haven’t seen anything come down my block all day and I’m in the heart of midwood. There is,however, a garbage truck stuck on my corner since about 10am this morning. Maybe he was supposed to plow for us? And maybe the city would think to send another truck to help this guy get out and continue his work?? You think??

  6. EMERGENCY REQUEST from the sanitation dep. : if u c a sanitation truck with a plow on the street call 911 its for sure stolen, we didn’t send any 1 out!!!!

  7. The real problem are the above commentators, you are a bunch of spoiled brats , nothing more and nothing less. Everything must be done immediately and with perfection or else.I would suggest you people try living in Asia or Africa and see what life is like over there. Big deal, so some roads were not plowed immediately, this is a snow storm after all and snow is expected to be on the ground. I am sure that they are doing their best and they cannot be in all places at the same time. Quit the whining and do something useful with your miserable lives

  8. In Chicago with the aldermanic races and mayoral races around the corner, the snowplows were out in full force. I never saw it get cleaned so quickly. Perhaps New York should have elections for mayor more often.

  9. I live in Midwood and I have not seen one snowplow this entire storm. Even Ave J was not plowed. My brother-in-law was stuck in his car all night. Families who made chasunas were stuck in the hall all night

  10. Mayor Bloomberg says the plows are blocked. There are no cars blocking any streets around my neighborhood, and no streets have been plowed, not even the main avenues.

  11. I thought all the no snow plow complaints were only in Lakewood. Every one thinks the Snow is plowed better elsewhere. (the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and the streets are plowed better in other towns)

  12. I was listening to the fire department radio before. The firefighter was notifying his dispatcher: “We have a 47 year old female in cardiac arrest. Due to the lack of EMS response we are transporting her to Lutheran hospital in a mini-van with 2 of our members in the mini-van”.

    How many people have to die, before the city realizes that they need to have a plan for these types of storms??

  13. Wow!! Wish this letter has any effect!! Since 12 I’ve been hearing from friends and relatives… 14th ave cars are stuck and no plow in site! I’m on 15 same story! 17 same thing!! The only thing plowed is 60th st! Pathetic!!!

  14. Snow plows were spotted in front of Sanitation stations on 19th Avenue and Avenue P in Brooklyn, yesterday Sunday at about 12 noon. There were drivers in the vehicle, which means they clocked in, which means overtime for just sitting and drinking coffee but they never were told to get going or perhaps they are sleeping on the job. Monsey, which had more snow than us here in Brooklyn have their streets both public and private clean and going on with their lives normal.

  15. dont worry.there was an ambulance stuck in the snow.after davening we got together another minyan and we got the ambulance out. who needs bloomberg? we need a minyan

  16. This is in reply to #13 “git meshiga”
    Your name says it all as to who you are and how u think.
    we dont live in Africa. Di meshigana we live in NYC we pay taxes we have bike lanes we should also have snow plows. stop thinking like a meshigana or think like a meshigana and move to Africa.

  17. Nobody is asking to have thier driveways cleaned.

    BTW My brother-in-law saw a city tractor on 14th ave. today helping another city “emergency” vehicle
    You’re thinking it was an ambulance or fire truck, but no, it was a city tow truck! This is while ambulances are stuck & ppl are dying because they can’t get the proper medical care.

  18. Having met on them phone (many of the City employees), I realize there is little experience and education, therefore almost no common sense behind the bureaucratic “reasoning”.
    This old-time New Yorker advises Mr. Bloomberg:
    1 – State of emergency – limit private cars.
    2 – Set priorities for clearing: hospital entrances and access routes, fire and police main routes; similar priority routes as needed.
    3 – Extra police presence, to expedite traffic and guard against signal mishaps.
    4 – Clear up 311 recordings: talk at a proper speed, give CURRENT information, and re-structure funneling of calls in recognition that this is an EMERGENCY. (E.g., drop “For Spanish…” – get directly to the issue at hand.)
    5 – Resign and ask Mayor Giuliani to take the reins.
    Note to David Greenfield: I dare you to ask the Mayor and the Office of Emergency Management (sic) to show you – and the public – their plans, in writing, which they prepared for this emergency.

  19. There is as of 10pm a snowplow on Ave N & East 17th not moving though as it is stuck due to ice.

    I also called BK12 garage and response I got plows are stuck in snow and also there was not enough equipment. I asked why is Manhattan cleared such as midtown. Response was they havemore equipment.

    Reminds me of 1969 when it took NYC 2 weeks to plow my neighborhood in Queens. Guess Bloomy doesn’t care about outer boros as this is his last term.

    Last year there was no wait after the storm..go figure.

  20. #13- git meshiga- ur name says it all!

    We live in NYC and PAY BIG NYC money. And we expect normal service.
    24 hrs after a storm, the streets should be clean.

    People in Africa don’t pay for these services, so they don’t expect them.

    I’m positive you get food stamps and section 8.

  21. This entire situation is totally absurd! My parents are stuck in BP because NYC is not efficient enough to handle a bit of snow!! Here in Canada the streets would be clear by 4:00am – the joke here is that you know it’s snowing when you hear the snow plows! This is not the first time it has snowed in NY; I think it’s high time the city comes up with some plan to efficiently deal with the snow before it snows!

  22. “OF COURSE Charlie Hall’s street has been cleaned…all liberals get priority treatment!!”

    Actually my own street has only been plowed once and still has a lot of snow on it. It is usually the last street in the Bronx to get plowed. But every other street around here is clear.

  23. blueberrymuffin says: “I think it’s high time the city comes up with some plan to efficiently deal with the snow before it snows!”
    I say, they deal perfectly well with the snow before it snows; it’s only after it snows that they are totally incompetent!

  24. Had Bloomberg declared a State of Emergency, we’d be kvetching about the fact that there was no public transit and that we weren’t permitted to drive.

  25. Snow Plow – why is ‘snow’ sound like ‘Oh’ while ‘plow’ sounds like ‘ow’? Both are spelled with an ‘ow’ ending. Interesting, isn’t it?

  26. I havent been out to Flatbush or BP yet today so…not sure of the current condition there but my neighborhood is still pretty much the same.

    But about the issue that EVERYONE had yesterday about not seeing any plows on the road:
    The main issue is that Mayor Bloomberg should have declared a snow emergency. That would have kept all those 2 wheel drive cars and minivans from getting stuck in the middle of the road, blocking the plows.
    After all the jokes have been made about there not being any plows, There actually were many plows out there (not as many as there could have been,because of the holiday week/weekend). A few of them got stuck on big snow banks, but for the most part the plows just sat there bec there was no where for them to go, they were blocked in by all the ditched/stuck cars.
    Many of the big streets and avenues had ditched cars littering the middle of the road, also blocking EMS and FDNY.

    Last night we drove around in a 4×4 covering Chaveirim calls (boosts & house/car lockouts) and helping other emergency situations, and it was a jungle out there!!

    Coney Island Ave & 18 Ave was one big gridlock of abandoned vehicles in all directions in middle of the road. 3 PLOWS, 2 City Buses, 2 Police cars, 17 Taxis 55 cars & almost a fire truck, all stuck in or leading up to this intersection.
    Ocean Parkway (thankfully plowed) had parking on the side and middle of the main road. especially near Lawrence (70 Prct)
    Even while driving a 4×4 we still tried to stick to the main roads. We didnt go down a single side street, bec we might not have made it.
    Avenues N & O were clear enough to drive through.
    Ave P (very wide) was plowed which made cutting through Midwood easy.
    Cony Island Ave was passable from Church till Cortelyou, and then plowed from Foster Ave. to deep into Midwood.
    60th St was also cleared/plowed for the most part, opening up a main entrance into BP.
    16th & 18th Avenues (the only ones I was on in BP) were NOT plowed, but were passable for the most part.
    18th Ave from Mc Donald to Ocean Pkwy, and then from OP to Coney was completely blocked with Abandoned cars in the middle, and with plows sitting there on the side “waiting for spring to come melt the snow”.

    You can’t begin to compare us to out-of-town, because there they dont generally have too many cars parked on the street, (if at all) so plowing there is a breeze.

    Normally NYC isn’t this bad about getting snow cleared, the DOS usually does a pretty good job of having ALL the main roads and many side streets done in a timely manner.

    Much of this could have been avoided, if the Mayor would have declared a Snow Emergency. Thats almost the equivalent of declaring a State of Emergency on a City level. Like in Jersey, this would have kept all non-Emergency vehicles off the road, leaving the roads clear to be plowed in a timely fashion. Instead what you had all these small cars thinking they could get by wherever they wanted, and thinking that 16+ inches of snow wouldn’t stop them. Well it DID!! And because of them, the plows didn’t have room or place to plow the snow to the side, clearing up the middle.

    This was the main problem, and then this led to the EMS being backlogged by about 1000 Calls, and 3 hour waits for critical calls!!! They just couldn’t get through, or fast enough, and thats when they weren’t getting stuck on unplowed streets. How many people died today, or arrived to the hospital in a more severe condition because of this??? (YWN: http://goo.gl/bwbUn)

    As taxpaying citizens on NYC we expect the basic service of having our streets cleared of snow in a timely manner. At least the main streets!!!

    Not to call this a “Katrina”, but the mayor and/or OEM should have been more prepared for this kind of storm.

    Hopefully Mayor Bloomberg will learn from this, and have a contingency plan for the next snow storm we get, and not keep blaming the problems on the rate of the snowfall (2-3in per hour)!!

    Thanks to Councilman Greenfield for his support to his constituents throughout this snow storm,(YWN Article http://goo.gl/ndIAt) And maybe he can “help” the Mayor make some changes.

    Stay safe and keep warm. And if you know of any elderly neighbors, check in on them, and see if they need anything.

  27. “Snow Plow – why is ’snow’ sound like ‘Oh’ while ‘plow’ sounds like ‘ow’? Both are spelled with an ‘ow’ ending. Interesting, isn’t it?”

    Basically, Samuel Johnson spelled it “plough” while Noah Webster spelled it “plow”. That is how “plow” became the standard American spelling while the standard British spelling is “plough”.

  28. Charlie,
    You’re out of touch once again. We understand that the liberal elite in Manhattan (and some in the Bronx…) were well served, the rest of NYC wasn’t. We’re not interested in what Shakespeare would’ve said, we wonder what a Republican Mayor had done (please don’t tell me that the former Democrat that ran on the Republican Party line to avoid primaries is one). You claim there would be complaints either way; well, in January 1996 people hailed the way the Mayor ran the city.

    To all those claiming that there were plows but they kept getting stuck behind cars, that is simply not true. There was an inadequate amount of plows. Some main arteries got services (to a bare minimum) but most didn’t. There were plenty streets with no vehicles stuck; yet, no plows even bothered trying. Why weren’t there any plows right in the beginning (when cars didn’t get stuck yet) so that it would have less of an impact? Why didn’t Bloomy put out plows on 4×4’s as Giuliani did in ’96? Why didn’t the city hire private ATV’s to assist the cleanup? Bottom line is that the city was ill-prepared for this snow storm.

    But what bothers me most is Bloomberg’s arrogance. Saying NYC is at work, is ridiculous. Claiming that everything is okay besides the streets that weren’t plowed, is crazy. We need an explanation or, better said, resignation.

  29. Dave,

    What is interesting is that Manhattan and the Bronx voted for Thompson in the past election and those boroughs do seem to have had more cleared streets. And the entire frum community voted for Bloomberg overwhelmingly.

    I personally have published no speculation regarding the reason for the problems; hopefully there will be an investigation. I’ve just published what I personally have observed. It is possible that we had less snow here in the Bronx, it is possible that the cuts to sanitation services were less severe here, it is possible that we had fewer stuck cars here (Izzy6 just gave a first hand report from Brooklyn and there WERE some problems with abandoned cars there; I personally haven’t seen any in the Bronx). But I don’t know for sure what created the problems. Hopefully there will be an investigation and we will learn.

  30. Dave,

    It occurred to me that we see an example of what a Republican would do over in New Jersey. Their Governor is in Florida and their Lt. Governor is in Mexico.

    MODERATORS NOTE: Just for the record, so is NYC Councilman Brad Lander – a Dem.

  31. Moderator,

    Mayors and governors are responsible for day to day operations of their governments. City Councilmen are legislators, and have nothing to do with those day to day operations. There is a world of difference.

    I was responding to Dave Hirsch’s slander of Democrats. And you have joined in the bashing. When did Thou Shalt Bash Democrats become one of the 613 Commandments?