Parked under ice

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

February 17, 2014 1:35:00 PM PST
So who would have thought that alternate side parking rules can be a kind of social engineering? In New York City, for those who aren't aware, the alternate side parking rules allow street sweepers to clean up the streets - one side on one day, the other side on the other day.

And in a city where parking garages are exorbitantly expensive, and parking spaces on the street are at a premium, it's quite a scene when the trucks come by, with people either having to move their cars (or risk getting a fat ticket), or sitting in their cars, moving them quickly out of the way for the street sweeper, and then joyously parking in the same spot again.

It's like an ugly dance. And the stress is palatable.

But suspend alternate side parking for, say, snow, and it creates its own kind of stress. And chaos. Alternate side parking has been suspended every weekday this month, and on only one weekend day - Feb. 1. The City - meaning the new Mayor - has done this, presumably, to make it easier on people to not have to dig their cars out of the snow. But by not requiring people to dig out their cars the City has made it very difficult - and at times nearly impossible - for people to dig out their cars.

The snow has, in many cases, turned to ice, and a mere shovel won't cut it, literally and figuratively. Ice axes are preferred, but, really, who has an ice axe just sitting around? Serial killers? Maybe. Everyday drivers? Not so much.

It's a public relations move more than anything - and when you see the mess the piled up mounds of icy snow have created, many are now wondering why and how this has happened. Go on any block, and you'll see some cars that are still snowed in, meaning their owners haven't tried to move their cars for several weeks.

Is it time to put an end to this? There are many New Yorkers who believe it is. As of this writing, alternate side parking rules are NOT suspended. But there is more snow coming, so who knows.

Another problem - all the garbage that is now under huge and high mounds of snow and ice, making the sidewalks even more crowded. Fortunately the garbage is frozen, so there's no stench. But it's a big problem. Tonight at 11, we'll have the latest on the mess that's been created by alternate side this month - this as Meteorologist Lee Goldberg tracks yet another snow storm blowing in to the tri-state. Just what we need.

And yes, potholes are also a big problem. Since the first of the year, the city's department of transportation has filled nearly 88,000 potholes in the five boroughs - including about 3,500 yesterday, many on the FDR, which resembled the moon's surface, it had so many pockmarks.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers is in Port St. Lucie as the Mets open spring training, and Laura Behnke is in studio with the rest of the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

And if you tire of the slippery slopes ? why wait for your news? @abc7ny has your news at 11 p.m. with @billritter7 and @sadeabc


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