With snow removal treated vastly differently in Manhattan and the outer boroughs, one local legislator has a modest proposal for the city administration: Delay the return of alternate side parking in the boroughs where snow and ice-bound streets make it difficult, if not impossible for residents to move their cars.
City Councilmember Vincent Gentile sent a letter to that effect to Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan after the February 25th snowstorm, which dumped an average of 21 inches on city streets.
In a subsequent interview, Gentile said that he had received numerous complaints from constituents about the fact that alternate side regulations were slated to be reinstituted despite the fact that some neighborhood streets were in such bad shape that digging out cars to move them was extremely difficult.
The view from City Hall, he added, is somewhat skewed by the fact that, in business areas of Manhattan, there was a sustained effort to remove the snow. Nearby, one street was closed and used as a repository for the mounds of snow that had been scooped up by Department of Sanitation (DOS) vehicles, Gentile noted.
“So, within a day or two, it was clear sailing in Manhattan,” he added. “But, if you went to the outer boroughs, it was a totally different story. Streets were minimally plowed and hardened snow surrounded cars. So, DOT and city officials determining it was appropriate to re-impose alternate side parking were looking at Manhattan streets, not at the streets of the outer boroughs. Luckily with days of 40 degree weather, the problem resolved itself, but that doesn’t solve the problem for next time.”