Mayor: Roads May Be Plowed By Wednesday Night … Maybe

Bloomberg Urges Patience, But Many Say The System Broke

NEW YORK (CBS New York/AP) — On the day after the day after, New Yorkers were left wondering what happened. There are still many streets that haven’t seen a plow yet.

“I’m curious as to why none of this has been plowed yet,” one person told CBS 2’s Lou Young. “All the streets around here, very few have been plowed. One was half-plowed.”

“I think they get an F-minus,” said Arlene Buonintane of Queens Village. “I think they really screwed up because, you know, this is ridiculous. You still have ambulances that have to get out. You still have police and firefighters that have to get through and none of the side streets are plowed.”

Mobile 2 Team Reports from Dyker Heights

“This has never been like this. I think it’s because the Sanitation [Department] is short. I’m a retired sanitation worker and it has never been like this,” another resident said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed circumstance.

“We won’t get to everybody every time. We will make mistakes, but we have to continue plugging ahead. Yelling about it and complaining doesn’t help,” Bloomberg said. “I think you can expect another 24 hours before we will get to everyone and even then I’m not so sure.”

The mayor said 2,700 city plows manned by a reduced Department of Sanitation workforce were all at work Tuesday night, supplemented by other City departments. Young saw a privately contracted plow with a Parks Department worker riding shotgun.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola on unplowed Queens streets

PHOTO GALLERIES: Blizzard Slams East Coast | User-Submitted Storm Photos

 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

SOUND OFF: Is Your Road Plowed?

The City said it needs more private plows, front loaders and tow trucks. Ambulances have been getting stuck trying to do their work.

“Too many ambulances went down blocked streets, for example,” Bloomberg said. “What they should’ve done was stay at the corner of the main street and then walked down or struggled through the snow to get down, because once the ambulance got in it couldn’t get out.”

Young witnessed one ambulance doing precisely what the mayor wanted. It stopped on a main street so that EMTs could walk down snow-covered side street to assist someone. But in the process their ambulance blocked traffic, including a snow plow.

Outerborough Outrage

The stuck plow driver was clearly frustrated.

“It’s hard. We’re stuck in traffic because people don’t stay home,” he said. “People driving around, getting stuck in the middle of the street. We can’t get down the streets. It’s impossible.”

If you’re not buying this, neither are the folks at the NYC Council or in the borough presidents’ offices. Marty Markowitz was nearly apoplectic over the condition of his Brooklyn borough’s streets.

“We’ve had previous bad snowstorms and the Sanitation Department did an excellent job. Something didn’t happen this time,” Markowitz said.

Residents React to City’s Storm Response

The City Office of Emergency Management, which is normally empty, was activated around 4 p.m. on Sunday when the storm started to settle in. There’s even a stuck ambulance task force that’s been at it since Monday trying to make sense of the mess.

But angry NYC Council members said they think there’s more that needs to be looked into than stuck ambulances. Hearings have been scheduled for Jan. 10.

“I believe we can do better. We expect better. I know we can do better. We did better in February when we had a storm and that was much worse. And so I know this was a bad storm, but the reality is we’ve done it in the past and we should have done it in the last 48 hours but we failed,” said Councilwoman Leticia James, D-Queens.

City Councilman Daniel Dromm shook his head and came short of stamping his feet on two feet of unplowed snow on 75th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens.

“The fact that there has been no plow in this neighborhood at all is a disaster,” Dromm said. “It’s hard to understand why the city was so unprepared for this storm because we knew for a long time that it was coming.”

“This is going on day three and usually what we see is a plow coming down the street on the day when the storm starts, then you see something coming the day after and basically the third day you expect it to be clear but that’s not what happened here,” he added.

WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola on outrage over NYC’s response to the blizzard

Some are putting the blame on Bloomberg. “He is not doing what he is supposed to do,” one woman said. “He’s not running the city, we’re wondering what is happening.”

“I think the Mayor must be living in another world if he thinks that the response to this has been satisfactory,” Dromm said.

However, Bloomberg said he understands the hardships the public has faced in the last few days.

“I’m angry too, if your street was plowed the response was adequate, if your street was not plowed the response was inadequate,” Bloomberg said. “We can not do everything all the time and we are doing the best we can.”

CBS 2’s Dave Carlin rode along with plow operators and sanitation supervisors on Tuesday night during their 12-hour shifts.

Residents on unplowed side streets seemed openly hostile.

Carlin asked the operator if he understands the criticism.

“I understand it. I heard it. Unfortunately, it was one of those storms that are one in a million. The sheer volume and the speed it came down and the winds did not help at all,” the operator said.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Ginny Kosola
  • white guy

    Can you people shup up… its just snow.. ppl its not the end of the world if you dont like it, move to Arizona than… its going to melt in a few days… 2nd.. it hasnt been a few days.. its been a day… aish..

    • Greg

      I don’t know what fairytale land you’re in right now, but here in New York, it’s winter. The snow outside is not going to just “melt in a few days.”

    • Anon

      It isn’t going to melt in few days. It is plied several feet tall. If you like it so much why aren’t you outsuide playing in it you immature fool. You probably don’t pay property taxes here so you have no right to comment.

  • tracy

    I think I’ll stand out front of my house in Bklyn with a protest sign asking “where are the plows?”. Seems my tax dollars are not providing adequate service. If I had only seen a snow plow on Sunday then I would think that the city had prepared. But since I did not see plows, my conclusion is that the city did not want to pay over time and provide the critical services we needed to keep cars from being stuck in the middle of the street. I wonder how many people have died as a result of emergency services not being able to reach them?
    This is simply not acceptable and a failure of our emergency management planning ahead.
    I urge you to join the council woman from Queens that has stated she will formally investigate what went wrong with the city services during this snow storm.

  • Del

    Mayor Bloomberg is a joke proving once again just how incompetent he is. He was unable to get the city properly prepared to handle this snowstorm, which shouldn’t be a problem at all considering we get snow every year no surprise there. Of course Manhattan streets are cleared, but none of the outer boroughs are remotely close to being cleared. No plows have passed on ANY of my neighborhood streets, and being that its already been two days since the storm I think it’s an absolute disgrace.

    Considering the high taxes we pay to live here, there’s no excuse that in 2010 NYC still does not have sufficient equipment to even deal with a snowstorm. Putting shovels on the front of sanitation trucks is just stupid, these trucks are not made to handle that type of work.

    Bottomline, city officials responsible for the cleanup MUST be held accountable for this disgrace, NO EXCUSES!

  • Rachel

    I live in Bklyn , on Bay 10th ST and NO!! It is NOT plowed.. Non of the side streets are plowed and the ave’s have cars and trucks stuck all over..

  • Bill M

    Nothing is plowed near McDonald, Ave R to Ave N area in Brooklyn. And to add icing on the cake, I just saw them writing parking tickets. Epic failure.

  • june

    Why all those smart people did not put salt down before the snow came and during the snow. Things would have been very different with the roads. I am a hospital worker. I live in ROSEDALE and not even Francis Lewis Blvd is cleared. I have to work at 11pm tonight and dont know how I am going to get there. I live on Memphis Avenue can someone help by cleaning my street so that I can get to southern state parkway. Too many CAPTAINS and no CREWS thats why the ship sink.

  • Cory

    I live across the street from a senior citizen housing where people need to leave by ambulette. They make so many movies in Greenpoint Brooklyn. They put nothing back into this neighborhood. Shame, Shame, Shame on you Michael Bloomburg!

  • Frank

    I live in the Park Slope/Windsor Terrace area in Brooklyn on East 4th Street and Vanderbilt Street. All the side streets in this area have not been touched. Im also a liitle ticked off with the mayors sarcastic smile and bad attitude he just showed while giving his speech. The mayor and all the big wigs in sanitation should be let go just like an athlete when they let their team down. Sorry mayor Bumberg we dont have billions of dollars like you to help us get around in this weather.

  • Joy Ligon

    Can someone please tell me when the streets in Jamaica Queens will be cleared, this is hindering us from going to work. Our bus is not running. 311 is not working so please stop telling people to call. The streets I am referring to are 177th street, ruscoe street, and 106th street

  • Ray Harney

    Brick,NJ ..our road,Sanford Road, is the last road in the town where Brick meets Howell Twp. and WE ARE NOT plowed at all,EVER,SO FAR as of th afternoon …..We have both medically and developmentally disabled family homes on THIS street

  • Sam

    Midwood section of Brooklyn is buried! E13,E12E,E14! Are unplowed with 20 inches of snow! I can’t get out! Mayor Bloomberg is doing a poor job compared to Rudi Goulliani in the ’96 storm. I guess I’ll have to wait till spring to get out.

  • The Truth

    A Goldman Guy? Investment Banker? Better yet some UNION guy retired of course.

  • Lila

    I live in Sunset Park, BK. I don’t care what the major said. No streets haven’t been plowed here at all. My husband hasn’t been able to go to work, he can’t move the car and the trains are a mess. No excuses for this MESS!!!!

  • Delia Vitale

    I live in Sea Gate in Coney Island & no plows yet and no buses. Even the trains weren’t running!!!

  • chris

    So, I just called 311. They said that Aleternate side will be in effect tomorrow. Are they Crazy. Hope they change that tonight – have no where to put my car. Guess if it remains in effect, I’ll just get a ticket – this way the city can pay for overtime for our “amazing” sanitation workers

    • CM

      The city needs $$$ of course they wont plow streets, now they will be able to ticket everyone.

  • Fro Stythesnowman

    Same here in Queens. 12:00 noon on Tuesday, and there has yet to be a plow come down our street in Rego Park. Sidewalks were all cleared yesterday by homeowners (and renters), but you can’t a car out of the driveway. Buses are sporadic at best. Many lines not operating. You can walk a mile to the subway, but then might end up shivering in a car all night for 8 hours.

    • John

      Although Bloomberg and the NYC administration is a failure and complete disgrace the people of the borroughs are also to blame. There should be some kind of neighborhood group that takes all avalible snow blowers and able body people and put them to work street by street, then bill the city a certain dollar amount per hour. DOS are usless right now and the poeple need to take this into their own hands and override NYC.

  • Nobody Important

    Bloomberg your a f’n disgrace and anyone who voted for you deserves whatever misery they are going through.

    • Mike Diana

      Amen, hope u vote for him a 4th term

  • Joy Ligon

    Can someone please tell me when the streets in Jamaica Queens will be cleared, this is hindering us from going to work. Our bus is not running. 311 is not working so please stop telling people to call. The streets I am referring to are 177th street, ruscoe street, and 106th avenue.

  • becky

    Still no q15 bus service since the snow started. NYC had plenty of warning for this storm. No plows within 24 hours? He is ridiculous claiming that is is because of stuck cars. There are no stuck cars on my block. He needs to come out to NE Queens…if he can get through our unplowed streets.

  • tom Dalton

    look at what they did to where cars park. not near curb in alot of streets now thanks to protected bick lanes its a tight squeeze with no snow for trucks . now they have a problem getting down streets

  • Henni

    Hey wait a minute. I live in Manhattan and my street was only just plowed about an hour ago. Doesn’t much matter what borough you live in, we all have the same person to blame – Bloomberg. Let’s not forget that.

  • midi-man

    Yep I blame Bloomberg also. he has done nothing but increase property taxes, gave the MTA more money and this is what we get. Noting in return He is a big rip off like Madoff.

    He is more worried about renaming the bridge to Koch which was another horrible Mayor and does not deserve anything
    named after him except a trash can.

    Beside that they city does not have the money to plow the street but does to rename a bridge?

    Mayor Mike where is your Head up you’re a$%.

    • Vicky C

      Bloomberg should be removed from office! The corruption and incompetence is beyond belief. We just called a local sanitation and they confirmed what we are saying…Bloomberg has laid off countless sanitation workers! We here in Little Neck had our trash cans removed from the streets! He also says to ride public transportation and he cuts service!! Does he think we are all insane? I have had enough of this CORRUPT LIAR…BLOOMBERG MUST GO!!!


    Utica Ave – not plowed no buses . MTA suggests you walk to the subway

    Clarkson ave – not plowed

    The streets between Lenox and Clarkson – not plowed. Sidewalks have been cleared but you have to walk in two feet of snow to cross the street.

    • Roadman

      My daughter got stuck on the B46 from 11:30 PM Sunday to 7 am Monday morning and this third world Dictator, Mike Bloomberg, is talking patience. He did not salt the street before the storm, he did not place snow plows at strategic locations but he will tow our cars and fine us for not cleaning our sidewalks. He will blame the EMS workers, the citizens of Brooklyn,

      Ask this third world dictator next week how much in fines the city collected by his strategic move in delayed response.

      Brooklyn, get ready to pay hefty fines for your vehicles and sidewalks.

  • sam

    The streets of crown heights are not cleaned!!!! its been 48 hours!!! what is this suppose to mean? ? where is the mayor?????????? its time for him to go home!!!!!!!!

  • aaron

    Maybe he should start plowing the streets that people don’t die of heart attacks, my Street was not touched yet….

  • Dennis

    The Sanitation Dept. is the biggest racket. I happen to know for a fact that even on a normal day, the Sanitation Dept., in many cases, doesn’t work even close to an 8 hour day. They could be finished in 3 hours and spend the rest of the shift in the garage, watching TV, playing cards or sleeping. What a ripoff!

    • Dennis

      Oh, and by the way, after this great street cleaning service we’re getting here, does anyone know when trash is going to be picked up again? Oh, I forgot, the garbage trucks won’t be able to get iinto my block until we have snow removal.

      • DP

        AMEN! you speak the truth & nothing but the truth


    Why isn’t anyone talking about the real reason why the strrets haven’t been cleaned? It’s because the Sanitation Department is conducting a SLOW-DOWN because of all the talks about demotions and lay-offs! We had more snow in February and didn’t have any problems cleaning the streets.

    • The Truth

      If that is the case then fire everyone and start the hiring process over. In this job market you will find more people able and willing to work a full 8 hours and not whine. Switch all the UNIONS to a 401K plan then NY can hire many more and do away the NYPD and the FDNY welfare pensions. Teachers too.

      • FDNY Medic

        Truth, I agree with you 100% with Sanitation but since FDNY doesn’t have snow plows or snow tires, it was the Bloomberg Administration and Sanitations job to make sure that the roads were at least passable for ambulances heading to emergencies and I mean real emergencies, not people calling for a freaking headache, fever, cough, and stomach ache.

        and Truth, it sounds like you work in the private sector and your own 401k is in the toilet. EMS pensions are no where near firefighter, sanitation and pd pensions

  • Jessica

    The streets of Whitestone are AWFUL!!!!! I would really like to know when the streets will be plowed. I pay so much taxes here and receive NO services. Manhattan is not the only borough of NYC. The last time I checked Queens is also part of NYC. It’s true- NEast Queens really doesn’t benefit of any services. What a shame!!!

    • Rachael

      Your right. There are no buses running at least not in Red Hook. Was out at 5am this morning until 6:23 no buses. Have been waiting at my door to see if a bus comes by, but to no avail. Haven’t seen a bus down in Red Hook since Sunday. Nothing on the website from MTA or CBS News and its now 10:32am. Did they forget Brooklyn.

    • The Truth

      Funny but there is a Sanitation depot in College Point. Off with Mikes Head. He must have diverted most to Manhattan to get ready for New Years Eve. This guy should be tarred and feather. Sanitation Dept needs to fired if they started a work slowdown. Hire good people who will work the full 8 hours and not whine.

  • Jane

    LOL – that made me smile after my 3 hour commute this morning,

  • becky

    Tried calling 311 to report the fact that my block and my neighborhood of Whitestone like the mayor said. You can wait for hours. No one answers the phone. We have not seen a plow or salt spreader. There has been no mail since the psot office can’t even get through. Reminds me of Mayor Lindsay. Mayor Bloomberg should stop hiding in Manhattan and see what is going on in the outer boros. The services provided in NE Queens are awful.

    • Phil

      I did the same. I called 311 like 12 times and after going through all the menu options, I was put on hold forever. I went to the 311 online and submitted a complain. I never seen this in NY before. 24 hours after the snow precipitation stopped still all local streets in are blocked.Is New York Manhattan only ?? what a shame

  • The Truth

    Off with Mike’s head. Wall St Executives line them up and use one sht. Pension cost too are destroying this City and Nation. See Greece, Ireland to begin with. Some US Cities already trying to go into bankruptcy.

  • Dennis

    It’s now Tuesday, Dec. 28, 9:20 a.m., does anyone where the plows and salt spreaders are for Whitestone. What a disgrace! Nothing caqn get through these blocks still.. No mal delivery, no nothing. Well, I guess we should all follow the adviice of our Mayor, go out and see a Broadway Show. Yeah, sure.

  • patricia

    WThe town of hempstead has not sent a plough on many side streets in elmont!The main roads have been somewhat ploughed, but who do we get to them if the side streets are unpassable. So much taxes for nothing in Elmont. What’s the town supervisor doing. I don’t get paid unless I go in to work- my job does not give snow days. we need to have the side roads cleared here in elmont

  • DavidInBrooklyn

    To all the idiots who voted for hizzoner and all the fools who vote for politicians that cut middle class taxes by pennies and billionaire taxes by millions: enjoy the snow. This is what you get when the little people hand over power to the very rich.

  • J

    Hey, Mayor Bloomberg, I’m sure you’r street has been plowed, as well as the street where the mosque is to be built.

    • Alice

      Not only that,try and send an email to 311. It won’t go through and you can ‘t get through to 311 by phone either! So much for citiziens’ hotlines.

  • life is good

    This is Mayor Bloomberg’s version of “Let them eat cake” … Poor little rich kid just plain out of touch. Middle class people are suffering and in some cases dying and he suggests that folks come out and travel to a Broadway show? I hope the media doesn’t let the $800 million City Time scandal slip away … maybe some of that swindled (under Bloomy’s nose) money could have been used to beef up the public safety agencies staffing during the storm. At least Bloomberg got John Lindsay off the hook from the 1969 blizzard.

  • wsticky

    Only small guys pay taxes, according to the rich. You only have responsibilities, not rights. You want services, be a part of Bloomy’s community (sorry Italians, Irish, Blacks, Asians, Polish, Russians and others, you are not part his community), friends (sorry guys, you are too poor to be his friends).

  • Alice

    48 hours into this mess and our street in Gravesend, Brooklyn has not been plowed even once. This is disgusting, a travesty and reminds us of Mayor Lindsay’s strom “cleanup” in the ’60s. Shame on you, Mayor Bloomberg.

  • Marlene


    • riri

      get a grip Marlene,most of SI has been plowed.

      Mr Liberal, no trains to get into the city to see a show.

      • Fed Up

        Most of SI plowed? Certainly not by the Sanitation Department! Rather by neighbors who get together and plow themselves out! Time to cut our ties to this bloated NYC bureaucracy with labor unions who have feathered their own beds on the backs of taxpayers – 20 and out at 3/4 pay and benefits, can’t fire inept teachers that suck up valuable resources, where does it end?.

    • Arlene

      I live by the Staten Island Mall and no streets here have been plowed yet. I saw 4 sanitation plow trucks just sitting on RIchmond Avenue not being used.
      It is a disgrace.

  • riri

    Why is CBS so worried about Ozone park. CBS posted on other weather boards asking people who live in Ozone Park to contact them.
    Don’t we count also CBS.

  • john

    It doesn’t help that he is not allowing sant workers to do overtime. When one shaft is done they go home, can’t work overtime like in the past.

  • Frank White

    No way to get to work in Manhattan from Mill Basin, Brooklyn. There are no express or local buses running, and even if the local was running to the train station, the Q train is not running. So I will miss a days pay today as I have no vacation time left with only 3 days left in the year. This is an absolute disgrace, the outer boroughs exist too Bloomberg.

    • KAS

      I agree with Frank White, no way to get to work from Rockaway, no B, Q or buses to anywhere-lose a few days pay, no one cares

  • riri

    All Mr Mayor cares about is clearing out Times Square.

    I’m a single parent and I need to get to work on mass trans but also need my car to get my child to day care.

    Is Bloomberg going to pay me the money I lose because he droped the ball on clean up.

  • Jose

    Mayor threatens to fine homeowners who do not clean their sidewalks but how about us fining the mayor for now plowing our streets. Other states must laugh at how poorly we handle 15-20 inches of snow. Mayor you get a F in performance.

    • A & J

      Well said, Jose. Fat chance, though, of the Mayor acknowledging his mismanagement. The buck stops at the Mayor’s doorstep. The Sanit Commissioner Dougherty talks a good game, blames homeowners for shoveling snow in to the streets. Where do these birdbrains want us to shovel the snow if the sidewalks have to be cleared??

  • the bandid

    our fearless leader dont care about nothing outside of manhattan, the hell with everybody else, let the little people keep paying taxes and fines, his rich friends dont have to worry they all live in manhattan.

  • Michael H.

    Dept of Sanitation, the MTA and the Mayor’s Office need to get their act together and quit making excuses for a lackluster response to this blizzard. My secondary street still has yet to see a plow. We just waited an hour on the corner of Nostrand and U waiting for a bus, ANY bus, to take us to one of the running trains. Nothing showed. MTA supervisors rode by in their warm and comfy SUVs, not even bothering to stop and tell us whether to keep waiting or just go home.

    How long do we have to wait, Mr. Mayor?

  • Frustraded

    It’s really funny. Mayor Bloomberg announces that the city will be giving out fines if we don’t clear our sidewalks. Should we fine the cIty FOR not cleaning our streets? last I checked, my taxes are fully paid, and I am sure many other people’s taxes were paid. Brooklyn has barely been plowed, and Blomberg has the audacity to tell us to have patience? he should admit he blundered and then getvto work.

    • lulu

      Or how about they start fining businesses like Verizon who have the corner of 16th Avenue and 72nd Street in Brooklyn, but couldn’t be bothered to shovel anything. People had to walk in the street or over the mound of snow to get to the train station.

  • Sanman

    It’s ashamed, no doubt we are understaffed, uncoordinated and just plain old unfair. I have to walk an hr to catch a ride into manhattan and then clean up and plow streets, when the dept does. Not care about any other neighborhood but high profile, big money making spots. I’m embarrassed to say those 2 men are my coworkers but I dont know the whole story. They might have been rookies, or unqualified operators of those pieces of equipment. You all in Brooklyn heights and manhattan should have some some reserve as to be so quick to call us ny’s dumbest. Walk in our shoes, deal with our foremen, our chiefs and our commissioner and not to mention our mayor and deputy mayor.

    • FDNY Medic

      Sanman, your collegues picked the worst time to pull a job action to get a point across the Mayor’s office. Half to the city’s ambulances were stuck in the snow because of unplowed streets. People who really needed ambulances didn’t get them and died. People who really didn’t need 911 called for bs like headaches, toothaches and stomach pain, which resulted in ambulances getting stuck on unplowed streets for hours. There was one FDNY EMS station that they got snowed in, ambulances units at the station couldn’t get out and ambulances that needed to get insided couldn’t get in. Sanitation and the Bloomberg Administration should be ashamed.

      • FDNY Medic

        and some of my collegues caught Sanitation guys sleeping while streets remained unplowed……smh

      • Maalox

        Sorry but Unions only have this as their motto:
        PAY ME or I don’t work and when you do pay me I don’t have to work. You can’t fire us.
        All I can think about is Good Fellas
        You need your street plowed? FU pay me
        You want me to do my job? FU pay me
        You actually want me to earn my bloated salary? FU pay me

  • Vicki Dansereau

    All lines tie to my neighborhood. The N,R, B,D,Q, F. Can’t at least one line, with the section that is open be cleared? That is a lot of lines, and a lot of commuters. At least clear one line, and the public will find a way to continue the commute. Meet us half way here.

  • Leticia

    I live in Midwood Bklyn the Q/B trains are not running. The streets look treacherous and I need to get to work in LIC. Officials say be patient, its hard when I lose pay every hour I’m stuck in the house. I see the streets are clear in Manhattan, can we get some help in Brooklyn, I pay NYC taxes too.

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