Friday, December 30, 2011
Queens doesn't have enough snowplows
From the Daily News:
A year ago, a huge winter storm rocked the five boroughs. Then came the storm after the storm: complaints that the Sanitation Department did a terrible job of snow removal.
But nothing startling came out of high-profile City Council hearings. The errors were, it turned out, mostly procedural; the city subsequently announced a solid, 15-point policy to be sure it doesn’t happen again.
One complaint, however, persists. Many people insisted that Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island were shortchanged. I for one can tell you that the department’s performance in Manhattan in cleaning up after the big storm also left plenty to be desired — but that, of course, is no consolation to all the people in the “outer boroughs,” who were buried under a couple of feet of snow for days.
Well, is it true that the borough where the most business is done and the tourists visit gets special treatment? I’ve tried, along with some of my Columbia students, to run the numbers. Here is what I found.
For example, Queens has 38% of the city’s street mileage while Manhattan has but 8%. Yet despite having five times more mileage than Manhattan, it has only twice as many sanitation trucks. Queens may have the right number of trucks for picking up refuse, but when it comes to fighting a snowstorm, it may be a few candy canes short of a holiday party.