Joanna Smith

Like most New Yorkers, I am on our streets every day.  I walk my kids to school.  I head to the subway.  I tend to the street trees and sidewalks on my block.  I run errands around my neighborhood.  I ride the bus to appointments.  I stop on the corner to chat with neighbors.  I hop on my bike for short trips and drive my car for longer ones.  At the end of the day, my family enjoys sitting on a bench and watching everyone else using the street in a myriad of ways.  I want to feel and know that we are safe when we are doing all of the above.  

Too many people senselessly die on our streets every year.  Too little is done to enforce traffic laws and investigate crashes.  Too many productive hours are wasted stuck in traffic or waiting for public transit.  Too many opportunities for saving lives through improved street design and infrastructure become mired in bureaucratic quicksand.  New Yorkers demand that our elected officials do everything they can to calm traffic, and make New York a place where people want to live, work and visit. 

StreetsPAC will ensure this happens by informing voters exactly what candidates propose to guarantee that the safety and well-being of New Yorkers, as they go about their daily business on our streets, comes first.  StreetsPAC is poised to help the most committed candidates financially and with volunteer power.  Together, we will transform our streets into economically vibrant, welcoming, safe public spaces.

NYC Needs a Comprehensive Snow-Removal Policy

Yesterday's snowfall – while thankfully not the blizzard that many outlets predicted – served as yet another reminder that New York City lacks a comprehensive system for clearing snow from intersections, crosswalks and catch basins.

SlushPuddleNYT.jpgWhile the Department of Sanitation did its usual yeoman's job of plowing and salting the city's streets, too much of that plowed snow ends up creating headaches for pedestrians, and for less able-bodied New Yorkers, dangerous and impassable obstacles.

As LTV Squad's Joseph Anastasio pointed out a year ago, snow removal at intersections falls into a responsibility black hole, and too many property owners skip shoveling their sidewalks because fines are low and enforcement is almost nil. He offers up a plan that largely puts the onus on the citizenry, which may or may not be the best plan – but at least it's a plan! And here are three suggestions from Streetsblog's Ben Fried for improving upon the current situation.

Given its role in creating laws, the City Council needs to tackle this nagging problem head-on. Sign the petition to ask the Council to initiate a comprehensive plan for improving snow removal in New York City.

247 signatures


To the New York City Council:

New York City needs a comprehensive snow-removal policy!

While the Department of Sanitation does an excellent job of plowing streets, the city has no equivalent process for clearing intersections, crosswalks and catch basins. We've all encountered mountains of snow and ponds of slush when simply trying to cross a street, but what's annoying for the nimble and able-bodied can be dangerous and impossible for the elderly, the disabled, young children or parents pushing strollers. Clear streets are not enough if they can't be crossed by pedestrians!

We, the undersigned, urge the Council's Transportation and Sanitation Committees to craft an overhaul to the laws governing snow removal.

Photo: Joshua Bright for The New York Times