Thursday, March 16, 2017

DPW Not NWS Decides When It Stops Snowing

Clear the parking lot but fuck the sidewalk.

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.

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. 

Empty building, no one home.  
Last storm the sidewalk in front wasn't shoveled.
Any guesses if it will be this time?

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.

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. 

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