SCARSDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s a jungle out there at some Westchester County bus stops. They’re filled with grass and weeds tall enough to almost hide the benches.
On Thursday night, the county offered an apology to bus riders, and an explanation.
That was after CBS2’s Tony Aiello demanded answers and got action.
It looked like a green tide ready to engulf a bus bench. Grass and weeds almost a foot high was choking Bee-Line bus stops along Secor Road in Scarsdale.
At the intersection of Secor and Hazleton the grass was so high, it was literally growing through the wire mesh of the bench.
But a look across the street showed a bench clear and easily accessible, maybe because the adjacent homeowner took the time to mow.
To be sure, the overgrown stops weren’t particularly busy, but riders and residents said the county could do much better.
“I think it’s really horrible. What people pay up here in taxes, that’s ludicrous to have something like that,” one resident said.
“Those weeds should not be there. You have mosquitoes, you have ticks bugging you,” another person said. “You don’t want that.”
A county official spoke to CBS2’s Aiello about the situation on Thursday afternoon.
“Of course we’re deeply apologetic,” said Bud Nicoletti of the Westchester Department of Public Works. “We have 3,300 of these bus stops.”
Nicoletti said things never should have gotten this bad. He blamed days of rain messing up the mowing schedule, while boosting the growth of grass and weeds.
“For roadside maintenance, the workload for those two crews just quadrupled or more in scope,” Nicoletti said.
The county said bus operators are encouraged — but not mandated — to report bus stop issues. In this instance no one called in to alert maintenance.
But within an hour of CBS2 bringing this to the county’s attention,a crew had whacked the weeds, freeing the benches from the grip of the grass.
The county said it recently hired an extra crew to keep up with maintenance at 3,600 Bee-Line bus stops and shelters.