Traffic moved briskly the day after the Blizzard of 2016 on Metropolitan Avenue and 80th Street — two of the main roadways through Middle Village.
But one only had to turn a few blocks down to find residential side streets that were, as of 4 p.m. Sunday, completely impassible — and seemingly untouched by a plow or salt spreader.
Walking down 79th Place by Juniper Valley Road, adjacent to St. Margaret Church, parked cars were encased in mountains of snow. The drivers that had to dig them out, however, didn’t get very far — as the street itself had about a foot of snow covering the pavement.
Neighbors young and old labored to at least dig their vehicles out before eventually moving them later this week. One resident told this paper they had not seen a snow plow on that block since 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning. PlowNYC, the city’s official map tracking the movement of Sanitation Department plows and salt-spreaders, indicated the street had been plowed at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Two blocks to the west, on 78th Street between Juniper Valley and 66th Roads, a group of people worked to free a yellow cab that became stuck in the snow-covered street at about 3 p.m. Two vehicles were behind the stuck taxi, and their occupants got out to assist neighbors in shoveling the snow away and eventually pushing the taxi forward. According to PlowNYC, a plow visited the block a half-hour later.
But just around the corner, 66th Road between 77th and 78th Streets was a winter wonderland. The street looked almost untouched since Friday, covered in lumpy, footstep-laden snow perhaps a foot high.
Without a car or a snow plow in sight, some youngsters took advantage of the soft, snowy street by playing a game of touch football. Nearby, a woman labored, shovel in hand, to clear snow off of and away from her car.
“This is the forgotten street,” she said, noting that a Sanitation truck attempted to come down the block from 79th Street earlier that morning but didn’t go any further than half the block. PlowNYC indicated 66th Road had been visited by a plow at 7:32 a.m. Sunday.
Just to the south of Metropolitan Avenue, the block of 67th Road between 78th and 79th streets — where FDNY Engine Company 319 is located — was relatively clear of snow. Around the corner on 78th Street, however, vehicles spun their wheels heading down the snowy roadway and neighbors dug deep to free their cars.
Across the neighborhood, some residents that we spoke with were hesitant to cast blame for the situation. But everyone had the same wish: that the plows would come to quickly clear the streets and bring things back to normal.