Mayor Bloomberg is earning better reviews for today’s snow removal after a sluggish effort last week prompted widespread and often fierce criticism.
A lighter snowfall ensured a much easier cleanup–the Weather Channel estimates that New Yorkers ended up slogging through a little over two inches of snow–but the city, eager to appear vigilant, had prepared a robust response for any amount of snow.
Queens Councilman Dan Halloran, who last week told the New York Post that sanitation workers were sandbagging the clean-up, praised today’s preparations.
“The city did what it was supposed to do, they were prepared, and they’re staying on top of it,” said Halloran. “When you contrast the small amount of snow today with what we had last week you see how much more we could have done and needed to do to be prepared.”
Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield, who in the aftermath of the Christmas blizzard penned a letter in the Daily News savaging Bloomberg’s “failure, [for which] millions have suffered,” emerged from a meeting with a deputy mayor optimistic about the city’s “serious commitment” to avoiding another fiasco. He also spent part of the morning at a sanitation depot in his Brooklyn district, where he noted a bulked-up staff and swift deployment of salt spreaders.
“Obviously we’re not dealing with the same kind of snow, but that being said there’s a marked improvement in the preparation of sanitation workers and facilities,” Greenberg said. “It seems like the administration is trying to learn more from the lessons of last week’s disastrous storm.”
The outer boroughs in particular became emblems of the city’s winter ineptitude in late December, with streets still buried days after the snowfall. Queens Councilman Peter Vallone said the city made a point of correcting this.
“I have been checking my district and there apparently are about as many plows and salt spreaders as there are cabs in Manhattan,” Vallone said. “It’s overkill today, but it’s the mayor sending the message they won’t make the same mistake twice.”
Other critics, like Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James, said today’s storm didn’t make for a good measure of whether the city had corrected the problems.
“Compared to the blizzard, it’s not much of a storm,” she said. “I would hope they would be salting the streets, but it’s really not anything to compare to what we experienced during the holiday.”