Another Snowplowing Genius
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- March 24, 2017
(Note: You getting sick of all of these posts about sidewalks not properly cleared of snow? I don't have a car: I mainly get around on foot. I'm getting really tired of this bullshit. With this problem the city guns its engine in neutral, making a lot of sound but going nowhere.)
Now this is really Plattsburgh City Smart [TM]. Another snowplow operator has created a snowbank blocking a sidewalk, this time on Lozier Place.
On the other side of this small mountain range the sidewalk is clear. The snowplow operator just pushed the snow so far, stopping at the neighboring driveway. Brilliant. A cleared stretch leading to a dead end. I've seen pedestrians get annoyed when they start down one of these dead ends and realize they have to backup and go around. At least the property owner has a open sidewalk in front of his place, just perfect for his own benefit but not for others.
Time to send out info to property owners and snowplow companies for hire to stop this nonsense. Of course this is logical, plain common sense, but not Plattsburgh City Smart [TM].
Are You A Spry Senior?
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- March 23, 2017
Here's a another snow hurdle blocking a sidewalk, this time on Court Street. Once again a snowplow cleared out a parking lot but left an obstruction. But most Plattsburgh City senior citizens are in optimal health: they can easily leap over any high snowbank to avoid the risk of walking in the street. (As for the disabled -- well, they don't count, do they?)
The snowbank was found at the entrance to the Catherine Gardens complex. The property provides housing for senior citizens. Also note the Senior Citizens Council of Clinton Co., Inc. owns the property.
Plows blocking sidewalks with impassable snow banks wouldn't be a problem if the city spent a little time and money informing everyone about the situation. Sending a letter to each property owner on how snowplowing must include clearing the sidewalk would help.
In the meantime have fun leaping like an Olympic athlete. If you're able.
Flipping Off The Leprechaun
Discover Plattsburgh Irish Fest Saturday 3/28/17
Can you flip the leprechaun into the target bowl and win a prize? You have to put the hammer down hard to play
Not The Same World
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- March 20, 2017
Life can be very difficult when you depend upon wheels, not legs.
This afternoon I saw a power wheelchair user having trouble moving along on a sidewalk section. A pile of snow blocked most of the sidewalk even though sidewalks are supposed to be cleared the entire width.
While an able bodied person could just step over or around the pile the wheelchair user was forced to drive off the pavement, one wheel plowing through the muddy ground. She was lucky: the weight of her chair didn't sink the wheel too far down, preventing her to move.
She had to use the same maneuver two more times along the same sidewalk, working around snowpiles.
Her only other option was to back up and take her chances in the street. I know someone with a power wheelchair who was forced to use the street one time due to an impassable sidewalk. A person in a passing car yelled: "Get out of the road, retard!"
So how are things in your able bodied world?
What's The Story Behind This Monster?
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- March 18, 2017
This impressive mass is straddling the sidewalk in front of the CEF Library System building on Oak Street. Wonder how it got there.
What A Load: Plowing Through
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- March 18, 2017
Well the sidewalk at 173 Margaret Street is now open for pedestrians. I don't know if the property owner got the word about his responsibility to clear the sidewalk but a pickup truck with a plow showed up this evening, shoving away the deep snow. It took some time with the driver backing up and pushing forward repeatedly but the job was done. Kinda heavy-handed compared to a snowblower but I'm not complaining.
Maybe after the next storm it won't take a complaint to get the job done.
The sidewalks in these photos are now clear of deep snow. But to produce such results you have to file complaints to the Plattsburgh City Department of Public Works, 563-7707. After DPW sents out an announcement that a storm is over property owners have to clear sidewalks bordering their lots with 24 hours after the announcement. The infirmed are excluded from the ordinance.
What A Load
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- March 18, 2017
Yesterday it appeared that a front end loader was clearing the snow blocked sidewalk in front of 173 Margaret Street.
The front end loader did an excellent job of clearing the driveway to the around the building. The building used to house bank offices but is now empty.
Once again a driveway takes complete priority over the sidewalk. Most of the sidewalk is still blocked by deep snow. And the loader made it worse by piling up snow across the sidewalk. But at least the driveway is open for non-existent employees and customers.
Property owners have 24 hours to clear sidewalks bordering their lots after a storm has been declared over by the Plattsburgh City Department of Public Works. The image above was taken today around 1:45 PM, more than 48 hours after the declaration. Will this property owner be fined? Warm weather today is melting some of the snow but not enough to properly clear the sidewalk.
It's unfair that other property owners with only shovels and small snowblowers make the effort to clear their adjacent sidewalks while someone who can afford to hire a front end loader can't pay extra to clear his own sidewalk.
2 PM: NO - 12 NOON: YES
I just came across this announcement online from Plattsburgh City Department of Public Works:
Department of Public Works
February 16, 2017 4:39 PM
Official End of Snow Event!
The City of Plattsburgh's official end of snow event is 12:00 PM on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Per city ordinance all sidewalks must be cleared by 12:00 PM March 17,2017. Enforcement of this ordinance will not be enforced on the infirmed.
That's odd. I was told by the Building Inspectors Office this afternoon -- around 2 PM -- that it wasn't accepting any complaints about unshoveled sidewalks because DPW hadn't offically announced the storm was over. So how can the snow event be over at 12 noon today but no one at the BI Office knew about it two hours later?
Check the time when the notice was issued. 4:39 PM. Better late than never I suppose.
Since it's now permitted I'll call back tomorrow and read off my list of problem spots. I love saving time.
Mountain Not Molehill
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- March 16, 2017
In a previous post I talked about a mountain of snow blocking a Miller Street sidewalk after the Press-Republican parking lot had been snowplowed. Here's an image taken this morning that does a better job of depicting the problem. Until this obstruction is removed pedestrians will have to chance it and walk in the street.
DPW Not NWS Decides When It Stops Snowing
According to the National Weather Service it stopped snowing at the Plattsburgh International Airport on Wednesday, March 15, at 4 PM. It could easily be stated that the "Stella" snowstorm was over at that time.
|Clear the parking lot but fuck the sidewalk.|
But it's up to the Plattsburgh City Department of Public Works to decide when to declare a storm is over. As of 2 PM today (Thursday) no such decision has been made by DPW.
When DPW deigns to declare the last storm over property owners have 24 hours to clear snow from sidewalks adjacent to their properties. If declared tomorrow (Friday) the 24 hour waiting period will be extended into the weekend. Will anyone be around during the weekend to make sure the sidewalks are cleared?
With the last storm the declaration was delayed so long that the weather warmed up and the snow melted away, giving scofflaws a Get Out Of Jail Free card. This time with the great amount of snow on the ground and the weekend forecast this might not play out the same way.
It's been calm today, no drifting snow. Many property owners have cleaned the sidewalks adjacent to their lots but there are too many spots where pedestrians are forced to walk into the street -- risking life and limb -- because of sidewalks blocked by deep snow. The worse spots are where someone spent the money to snowplow out a driveway or parking lot but decided not to spend one dime to clear the sidewalk. In fact some snowplows made the obstructions worse by piling up snow across the sidewalk.
|Empty building, no one home. |
Last storm the sidewalk in front wasn't shoveled.
Any guesses if it will be this time?
I have a list of 12 problem spots. If DPW remembers to declare the storm over tomorrow I can submit my list then. Or DPW could wait until Monday to make a declaration. There's nothing stopping it from any arbitrary decision.
The standard should be what NWS reports as the last snowfall. But Plattsburgh City exists within its own unreality bubble. For decades it has been wanking around with the snow removal problem, talk, no action. Pedestrians and disabled people are forced to take a chance in the street. They can only hope a driver isn't inattentive especially while chatting on a cellphone.
Back in the 1980s a college student was killed, struck by a car, because she was forced to walk in the street due to snow blocked sidewalks.
Gee, could this become a liability issue if someone is hurt or killed?
|Now here's a easy stretch of sidewalk that you can just saunter through. |
Where's The Sidewalk?
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- Feb. 15, 2017
If you're going to hire someone to clear your parking lot with a snowplow they shouldn't create a white mountain blocking the sidewalk. This definitely forces people on foot to risk life and limb by walking in the street. Pile the snow away from the sidewalk. Shovel out a pathway so that pedestrians can walk through.
Time for the Press-Republican (news)paper to write another blazing editorial about property owners not keeping sidewalks adjacent to their lots properly clear of snow.
Now check out this photo that shows a high pile of snow obstructing a sidewalk. Who is the property owner who hired someone that created this problem? The Press Republican, of course.
International Women's Day Rally
Trinity Park, Plattsburgh City, NY
Beyond Back Of The Bus: Just Stay Off The Bus
(C) 2017 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- Feb. 23, 2017
At first it seemed like any other time when Debra Buell used a county public bus.
When the bus arrived the driver used the special lift to get her and her power wheelchair on board. Then he secured the wheelchair.
This takes time. But two women sitting in the front of the bus were annoyed. Apparently it was a life-or-death situation for them to be somewhere else without any delay.
Debra tried to ignore the women and their rude comments. But the women kept on, saying that people like Debra should just use the special paratransit service. After all, they thought, only the able bodied should ride on the regular bus. Without catering to someone in a wheelchair the bus would run on schedule.
The women kept complaining when more time was taken to drop Debra off at her destination.
Debra shared this story today at a meeting of public officials and advocates for the disabled held at the Clinton County Government Center. She told her story without any anger or bitterness even though such feelings would be understandable.
There was no justification for the two women to insult and debase someone deserving equal treatment. A selfish nasty person deserves an appropriate comeuppance. Poetic justice.
Maybe a car accident or an incurable disease will disable both women. If not the aging process will bring about chronic infirmities. Walkers or wheelchairs should be waiting for them in the future. Limited mobility would force them to confront the same challenges people with disabilities face every day.
One can only hope.
Icy Sidewalk Causes Crash, Damaged Wheelchair
(C) 2017 Luke T. Bush
Patti King shares her experiences at a meeting of public officials
and advocates for the disabled.
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- Feb. 23, 2017
Patti King was trapped in her home for two-and-a-half weeks. Why? Because someone didn't properly clear a wintry sidewalk.
This morning Patti shared her story during a meeting of public officials and advocates for the disabled held at the Clinton County Government Center. Among the issues discussed was the topic of assessable routes.
For decades the city has been pushing property owners clear snow from sidewalks adjacent to their properties. Most comply with the regulation but it only takes one to not to do his duty and an accident ensues especially when a pedestrian is forced to use the street.
One time a Plattsburgh State college student was walking in the street due to a snow-blocked sidewalk. A car struck and killed her.
And accidents can happen even when someone stays on the sidewalk. One slip: a broken leg or arm.
Or in the case of Patti King, a damaged power wheelchair that she depends upon for mobility.
She explained she was carefully moving along near the corner of North Catherine and Cornelia Streets, watching out for icy spots. Despite her caution her wheelchair slipped, crashing into an icy snowbank. The impact broke the fork holding one wheel and her chair was bent. Patti was able to get back home with her wheelchair scraping along.
Power wheelchairs are more difficult to fix compared to manual ones. Without her means of mobility Patti was forced to stay home for days on end, unable to move or do anything for herself. Her wheelchair is only partially repaired. It might take up to three weeks to fix it.
As a North Country Center for Independence board member she is more than aware of the wintry sidewalk problem. Then again for wheelchair users there are always problems even during the warm sunny weather. Years ago Patti had the right of way on a crosswalk and a driver clipped her wheelchair with his car.
Advocates mentioned during the meeting that some in the disabled community stay home because routes are inaccessible, even dangerous. Essentially they're trapped.
Revised 2/23/17 at 4:26 PM for accuracy.