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Long Delay on Gifford Avenue sidewalk cleaning

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A mess was created after snow piled up on a Bruckner Boulevard Greenstreet after the Christmas weekend snow storm, resulting in yet another poorly performed snow job.

A greenstreet maintained by the Parks Department at the corner of Gifford and Swinton avenues and Bruckner Boulevard was a storage area for snow removed from the street after the storm, leaving the sidewalk in front of the greenstreet impassable for weeks. According to neighbors, a snow bank blocked the sidewalk, forcing residents to walk in the street.

Gifford Avenue resident Kevin Heckman reached out to Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s office when he saw that the snow was not being removed. Vacca resolved the issue with a single phone call to the Parks Department after his staff tackled the matter with little success.

“All of my staff knows that if they don’t get the end result that they can come to me, and this is one of those cases where I picked up the phone, called the Parks Department, and told them that we needed access to Gifford Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard,” Vacca said. “I told them I thought that the snow had sat there long enough, and needed to be taken away.”

And that is exactly what happened on Thursday, January 13, more than three weeks after the storm on Sunday, December 26. It came too late for Heckman, who feels that the snow should have been removed much sooner from the greenstreet’s sidewalk. The greenstreet includes a walkway from Gifford Avenue up to Bruckner Boulevard, where residents can catch buses.

“The snow was pushed atop the sidewalk after the first storm when the street was cleaned,” Heckman said. “Sanitation did not get around to clearing the sidewalk, and parks, whose responsibility it is to take care of the greenstreet, didn’t clean it up until I complained. It took them three weeks to clear the sidewalk after the storm. This is unacceptable because it was not cleaned in a timely manner. It needs to be added to the list of places to be cleaned in a timely manner.”

Another neighbor, who lives near the greenstreet but did not want his name published, said it was impassable for a long time, as well as the streets. He thought that since conditions were so bad with the snow, the sidewalk remained unclear for awhile.

“There was a lot of snow on that sidewalk and you could not get by it, but you could also not drive down Gifford Avenue for a long time because it was one of those streets that was plowed last,” he said.

Parks did not comment on the matter as of press time.

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