As I posted on Sunday, citizens of Jersey City have been irate over the city's poor snow removal program, bombarding the city's Facebook page with complaints like this one from yesterday:
My street is so bad couldn't get out of my spot to take my daughter to daycare and go to work. I was stuck half in the street and half in a spot. A tow truck happened to come by and wasn't able to pass so he dragged me out. I went around the corner to Patterson St and it was a sheet of ice. ALLL ROADS SHOULD HAVE SNOW REMOVAL. No fire truck would be able to turn down streets like Pierce Avenue.
Or this one from yesterday as well:
This is a joke. My street wasn't plowed on Friday and it hasn't been plowed today. It's a solid 4 inch sheet of ice. I don't care if you're out of salt. You can at least plow. And we wouldn't be in this mess if Fulop would just hire workers to shovel the drains clear since so much did melt on Friday but had nowhere to go so it just re-froze. Iv'e been trying to call the stupid Resident Response line for days now and it always takes me to the voicemail no matter when I call. He's a terrible mayor.
Fulop declared a snow emergency on Sunday and requested residents refrain from driving in the city because he couldn't get the ice and snow removed from the city's streets, further angering residents of Jersey City who had to get around the city.
He finally announced a full snow removal plan that was to commence on Tuesday February 17:
Snow Removal Operations to Begin Tomorrow on Main Thoroughfares; Residents Reminded to Not Park in Front of Hydrants or Within 25 Feet of an Intersection
Mayor Steven M. Fulop in coordination with the Office of Emergency Management announced today that City will begin implementing a snow removal plan for the main thoroughfares and commercial districts that will have the snow hauled to vacant City, County and State property.
Commercial and main streets are being targeted, as these areas provide access to the daily needs of residents such as supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and other small businesses and services. Clearing these areas will also improve conditions for emergency responders to move throughout the City.
"We thank residents for their patience during what has been one of the harshest winters on record," said Mayor Fulop. "With everyone's cooperation, this can be a seamless process that will help improve the mobility of both pedestrians and motorists as well as ease parking conditions."
According to the NJ.com, here's how that snow removal program is going:
For days, Jersey City residents clamored for the city to remove the mountains of snow from last week’s nor’easter – and the storm before that, and the storm before that. The snow piles have effectively turned parts of Bergen Avenue into a one-way street in either direction, and they are making it impossible for some residents to find parking spots.
But now that crews are finally at work using snowplows and dumpsters to pick up and remove the snow, motorists are griping that the daytime operation is clogging city streets. Traffic backed up on Montgomery Street about half a mile yesterday as crews removed snow near Summit Avenue, and Journal Square was bumper to bumper yesterday afternoon and this morning as crews disposed of snow in that section of the city.
Alexandria Jerez, 32, of Fairmount Avenue, is among the motorists fuming over traffic snarls caused by snow removal. She said Bergen Avenue was a nightmare yesterday and Summit Avenue was “pretty bad” today.
"It was ridiculous," she said. "It was so ill-planned."
Ward C City Councilman Rich Boggiano said his phone was ringing all day from residents complaining about the traffic problems in Journal Square. Snow removal, Boggiano said, should have happened in the late morning and early evening, not during rush hour.
“It’s a disgrace,” said Boggiano, who has been generally critical of the city’s snow response.
City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said the city opted to carry out snow removal during the day instead of at night because the noise would be a "huge quality of life issue."
“While we understand that traffic has resulted from the snow removal, we are working as fast and as smartly as we can to remove the snow without further disrupting everyone's lives,” Morrill said.
Fulop has been busy announcing an endorsement of Ras Baraka in the Newark mayor's race and giving a lecture at Rutgers that many see as publicity for a future run for governor.
Meanwhile back in Jersey City, the mayor oversees a snow removal program that is, in the words of Ward C City Councilman Rich Boggiano, "a disgrace."
Mayor Steven Fulop should spend a little less time playing politics and a little more time tending to his city management.
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