Ruth Ann Orlansky: Time for city, DPW to change way snow removed

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
To The editor:

My “misery loves company” feeling set in after I read the Gazette’s Feb. 22-23 article, “Mounting mountains: Snow lingers downtown.” I feel very bad about the businesses not getting proper service from he DPW, but the residential “customers” do not have it so good, either.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, I woke up to a 3-foot mountain of compacted snow completely blocking my driveway. When I called the mayor’s office to complain, I was connected to various DPW people who essentially told me that there was nothing they could do about removing it. When I told them that I was 62 years old and that my wife was 69 years old, and that I did not have a snowblower, I was advised to borrow one from a neighbor or to call a snowplow service. Hello? I thought my taxes paid for street cleaning, not driveway blocking. My City Council representative told me that she constantly had her driveway blocked by DPW’s “street cleaning,” and had received many complaints like mine. The message I got was that this situation had always been this way, and that there was no changing it. I might have found this “idea” valid if I had not come from a town in upstate New York where, even after the heaviest snowstorms, my driveway was never blocked and downtown areas were completely cleared. What has happened to our “can-do” spirit? Perhaps we can start improving DPW “service” if the mayor’s office, the City Council, downtown business representatives and other stakeholders got together with the DPW to work out some way that snow could be quickly cleared from all streets and residential driveways not be blocked. Why not try to change things? It’s worth a shot.

Ruth Ann Orlansky