Bronx residents are still seething over the mayor’s snow removal efforts one week after the major blizzard.
In what was promised to be a strenuous, but quick snow clean up, it took nearly five days for all of the streets of the city to be plowed at least once. Bronx residents agree that five days was way too long and inexcusable.
On Thursday, December 30, Mayor Bloomberg visited one location in each borough to discuss the status of the city after the “Blizzard of 2010.” In the Bronx, Bloomberg met for lunch with Councilman Jimmy Vacca at George’s Restaurant on Buhre Avenue in Pelham Bay.
Throughout the snow storm and its aftermath, Councilman Vacca was one of the most dissatisfied and outspoken officials in the Bronx. He felt that a sit down with the major to discuss the condition of the borough was needed immediately.
“The mayor and I had a very honest discussion about how the Bronx was handled,” said Vacca. “I asked for an investigation about why so little work was done for our borough. He understood.”
Mayor Bloomberg kept referring to the side streets as the “tertiary streets” of New York City. Councilman Vacca understood Bloomberg’s priorities, but did not agree as to the long amount of time it took to clean the so called tertiary streets.
Vacca asked the mayor to stop considering the roads “tertiary,” and to start considering them “taxpayer streets.” The tax-paying residents of the Bronx side streets needed immediate cleaning once the primary roads were cleaned and did not receive the plowing.
Rose Foley, 84-year-old resident of Throggs Neck, had the unfortunate experience of dealing with unplowed roads while she was being rushed to the hospital on the afternoon of Monday, December 30. After calling 911 with difficulty breathing at her home on Quincy Avenue, emergency responders had to go over various obstacles to get Foley to Westchester Square Hospital.It took over two hours to get her to the hospital.
“The ambulance couldn’t even get down my street because there was so much snow,” said Foley. “We got stuck on the corner of Quincy Avenue and Barkley Avenue and the emergency unit had to carry me on a stretcher to another ambulance on Lafayette Avenue. It felt like it took forever to get to the hospital.”
Vacca has set up meetings with the New York City Department of Sanitation and Metropolitan Transit Authority to discuss all the issues that occurred during the days after the blizzard. The meetings, which will occur within the next two weeks, are to focus not only on the roads, but on how poorly the bus stops were cleaned.
According to Mayor Bloomberg, partial garbage pick-up would resume on Monday, January 3. Vacca plans to monitor how long it takes for the garbage, which had not been picked up since Christmas Eve, to be completely taken care of and will discuss his findings.