Days after the final flurries from the Blizzard of 2016, residents of Woodhaven feel that they have been given the cold shoulder from Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Sanitation Department (DSNY), as many of their streets have yet to see a snow plow.
Residents have taken to social media to show their displeasure with de Blasio and DSNY, posting photos of the blocks across Woodhaven that have been buried in snow since the onset of the storm.
“We thank the many hard-working personnel of the Department of Sanitation,” the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) said in a statement. “That said, we in Woodhaven are extremely disappointed by the city’s performance during and after the blizzard. Even now — 54 hours after the snow started to fall — dozens of blocks in Woodhaven still have not been plowed once. Sanitation trucks have been stuck on our streets for hours. There was no reason for the city not to plow many of our roads a single time during the travel ban, while other areas were plowed multiple times. We have been overwhelmed with messages from justifiably frustrated residents. We hope Mayor de Blasio realizes that this performance in Woodhaven deserves a failing grade.”
Now, two days after the storm has passed, Woodhaven is beginning to see some progress on its streets.
“We are seeing some progress today as today drags on. Some streets that had not been plowed once have seen a plow,” said Alex Blenkinsopp, director of communications for the WRBA and a Woodhaven resident. “Of course any progress is welcome. There are still many streets as of 1:30 p.m. that have not yet been plowed a single time. We’ve received numerous reports from frustrated residents as they continue to pour in.”
Blenkinsopp reported that cars have been getting stuck on unplowed streets in Woodhaven, and the WRBA has received calls about Access-a-Ride buses having been stalled in streets with passengers aboard.
During de Blasio’s news conference on Monday afternoon, he addressed the situation in Queens, announcing that more resources will be sent to the borough to help with cleanup efforts.
“It is good that the mayor has acknowledged that more work is needed in Queens, but it still doesn’t answer the question of why we didn’t receive this effort, while other boroughs did,” Blenkinsopp said. “Why does it seem that Woodhaven was ignored? That is a question that we don’t have an answer to. Some neighborhoods in Queens and elsewhere were plowed several times. It makes us feel like we are second-class citizens when resources need to be taken from other boroughs to help us.
“So many Woodhaven residents are grateful for all the hard work, especially from the workers at the Department of Sanitation,” Blenkinsopp added. “It’s obviously not an easy job and we appreciate their work.”
The residents of Woodhaven will now have to wait for the plows to come around.
“With something like this, it is better late than never,” Blenkinsopp said.