CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Passing the buck is what many Long Island pedestrians and bus riders have been complaining is happening, when they report precarious passage along sidewalks, streets, and bus shelters.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday, complaints have been coming from across Long Island, where ice mountains from the blizzard late last month still blocked many intersections.
Seniors at East Meadow High School have been suffering through a treacherous walk to school, and they have no safe passage with unplowed sidewalks.
“It’s really slippery; it’s really dangerous,” one senior said.
“We’re supposed to get more snow tomorrow, so I feel like they should be taking more action to clear this,” another said.
“If you stand in the street, people might hit you with cars and stuff like that, because they’re just flying by,” a third said.
As they walked, the final insult was a soaker from a passing truck along the perilous Hempstead Turnpike.
Meanwhile, handicap curb cuts remained unshoveled in Levittown, and waiting for a bus meant standing in the street.
“Crazy — I did fall,” said Levittown bus patron Samir Pertaw. “Snow in the shoes — everything; freezing socks.”
Nassau County has contracted with a private company to clear sidewalks at all bus stop locations with benches and overhangs. Apparently, they missed some of them on Stewart Avenue in Plainedge.
Nyasia Davis said she takes her life into her hands.
“My whole body’s on the snow, and then I get on the sidewalk on my feet,” Davis said. “The bus just pulls off.”
NICE, which stands for Nassau Intercounty Express, is the private company that operates the bus system. The company does not have responsibility for snow removal, but said it has pitched in to help clear 300 of its 4,000 stops.
Locations that have only a bus stop sign and no shelter are the responsibility of the property owners.
Hospital worker Herbert Reynolds, who gets on the bus in East Meadow, wondered why the effort to make public areas safe seems so elusive. He said he climbs over snow mounds to get to the bus.
“It’s worse down the street because the mounds are higher, and I’ve seen people slip and fall,” Reynolds said.
Local officials CBS2 contacted were not eager to speak on camera, noting that sidewalks and bus shelters fall into “unique categories with no universal rule.”
Depending on the location, complaints need to be lodged with the local village, town, county, or state.
Public safety and code officers are supposed to make sure snow is shoveled within four hours after a storm, and to issue violations if it is not.
But walkers and riders told CBS2 that when they call to complain they are getting the runaround — passing the buck. They want a unified approach to snow removal and a countywide snow-ice complaint hotline.
Once a notice of violation is served, most towns and villages give a 24-hour grace period to comply with shoveling rules.