After a blizzard, where does the snow go?
Over two weeks after a massive snowstorm hit the five boroughs, the state and most of the north east, there are still some areas in the Bronx with mounds of frozen snow that are causing inconveniences for drivers and pedestrians.
These snow mounds originate after a big snowstorm, when plows push the snow to the right side of the street to clear the roads.
When temperatures stay below the freezing mark these piles can take weeks to melt.
Because of the ‘snow wall’ situation, there have been reported complaints from residents in community boards 9, 10 and 11, among others, that muni meters and bus stops are difficult to reach.
“I recently parked on Tremont Avenue and when I finally climbed over the mound of snow to get to the muni meter, I found the machine encrusted in ice and could not get a ticket,” said JoAnn DeSantis Mondelli.
“Stores also need to get in the habit of making pathways from the streets to the stores,” she added.
There have also been other complaints pertaining to cross streets and intersections.
According to Community Board 11, there were reports that the Colden and Van Nest and Colden and Neill intersections were still partially covered in snow, a situation that district manager Jeremy Warneke personally complained about to 311 and the Department of Sanitation.
According to NYDS’s response to CB 11, the streets in question were plowed and salted, as a GPS system was used to ensure that all streets were properly serviced The response also stated that a street may appear to not have been plowed or salted because residents continually throw the snow back into the street after its equipment has passed through the block.
The actions of these residents are also to blame for this situation, as shoveling snow back into the street can result in unsafe scenario for drivers and a summons for the resident responsible, the agency said.
“I saw many people shoveling snow and ice onto the streets rather than safely storing it on their property,” said Councilman James Vacca. “Doing so, especially at a time when temperatures were below freezing, made our streets dangerous to drive down, as that snow turned to ice.”
“If you see snow, think twice before transporting it to the streets and making it someone else’s problem,” Vacca added.
There is one exception, however. According to CB 9, if the temperature is 32 degrees fahrenheit or warmer, which will melt ice and snow, it is encouraged to put snow in the streets. Otherwise, it creates a hazard for cars and snow plows making extra rounds.
“Our community board hopes to spread education on this issue by teaching others about the precautions to take after a snowstorm, as well as summonsing for those who don’t abide,” said chairman William Rivera.
“My advice is that if someone has a snow issue on their street, they should call 311, document and file the complaint (send with pictures if possible) and forward the complaint to your community board. Your complaint will then be sent to the sanitation department,” he said.