Updated as of December 29, 9 a.m.:
The year's biggest snowstorm blew through Prospect Heights on Sunday night, but now, Tuesday afternoon, roads still remain unplowed and public transportation is messy and slow.
On Vanderbilt Avenue, only one lane in each direction has been plowed, forcing cars to inch along the thoroughfare. Carlton Avenue has been fully plowed, along with Washington Avenue, but so far it looks like the side streets have not been touched.
Most businesses have re-opened today, and residents and landlords have done their part in shoveling and icing sidewalks and stoops. Still, many cars remain abandoned, buried under inches of snow. According to one eyewitness, livery drivers are capitalizing on people's desperation to get to their destinations, picking up multiple passengers and charging them reduced fares.
A few pranksters have left their mark on Prospect Heights. A large snowman bearing a scarf, a carrot nose — and a fake summons for an open container – in front of a stuck plow truck on St. Johns Place approaching Franklin Avenue. One person walking by asked if it was a recreation of Tiananmen Square – when a Chinese tank was halted by a defiant citizen in 1989. Locals walking by keep adding to the snowman, laughing while commiserating on how the snow has brought the streets to halt. The snowman has a twin, standing next to a stranded bus, on Bergen and Bedford avenues in Crown Heights.
"You know you're (expletive deleted) when the plowtruck gets stuck," was overheard from a resident walking his dog on Franklin Avenue at St. Johns Place.
Huge snowballs "the size of a boulder" were spotted by Patch reporter H'Rina DeTroy at St. Johns Place and Washington Avenue, and at St. Johns Place and Underhill Avenue.
Some residents who left their cars to chance in the snow weren't so lucky, as yesterday a snowplow fishtailed and smashed into two cars on St. Johns Place and Washington.
Overall, the consensus was that the city could have done a better job.
"The city did an awful job," said Mike J., who declined to give his last name and had spent over an hour trying to dig his car out from St. Johns Place, between Washington and Underhill avenues.
"This is ridiculous, they definitely could have done a better job," said Tanya Johnson, a Canarsie resident who was in town visiting her mother on Sterling Place, at Washington Avenue.
Council Member Letitia James sent out the following statement responding to the City's snow removal efforts:
Days after the storm, snow in Brooklyn is still piled high and the streets are slick, and dangerous. Concerned neighbors and residents in the 35th Council District are reaching out to me questioning the delay of snow cleanup in Brooklyn. Apparently, the Administration has responded inadequately to the snowstorm, and streets are not passable to many in Brooklyn.
At this time, not enough snowplows are on the ground, and more cleanup efforts should be focused in the City's outer boroughs. Also, car owners are complaining that vehicles are buried by snow; it's difficult to locate cars, as well as dig cars out. Simply put, the failure of the Administration to declare a snow emergency was a major blunder.
Since calling 311 has proved to be no help for many people, Borough President Marty Markowitz also sent out a notice to Brooklynites, letting them know his office wants to hear your complaints (and will forward them to the Department of Sanitation). Call 718-802-3777 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still, Mayor Bloomberg defended his leadership and the City's response to the snow today at a morning press conference held at the Office of Emergency Management Headquarters in Brooklyn.
"Today, our number one challenge is stuck ambulances and abandoned cars and buses," he said at the conference today. "These abandoned vehicles are making it very difficult for our plows to move as quickly as they usually do, and that is one of the real differences between this storm and past ones that we've dealt with. It does take a lot longer for us to dig out and tow vehicles than it does to plow an average street in an average snowstorm."
Mayor Bloomberg also mentioned that as of this morning, over 1,000 abandoned vehicles have been removed from the Van Wyck, Gowanus, and Cross Bronx Expressways alone.
On the bright side, one resident spotted a restaurant deliveryman riding his bike down Carlton, so at least you can still order takeout (but you ought to tip pretty well). And as for the kids, they've taken to the streets with their sleds, so if you are able get your car out, drive slowly.
If you need to get somewhere by public transportation, here's the rundown on Prospect Heights area trains, according to the MTA (check the MTA site for the most recent updates):
- According to the MTA, the 1/2/3, 4/5/6 and A/C/E lines have resumed normal service.
- The B and Q lines are still suspended completely in both directions.
- The S shuttle is still suspended completely between Franklin Avenue and Prospect Park.
In addition, the following Brooklyn bus routes will not be running today: B1, B2, B4, B6, B9, B11, B13, B31, B35, B36, B44, B49, B61, B64, B67, B68, B69, B70 and B74. All other routes will come with delays.
If you need to get out of the city, there are still plenty of delays on the LIRR, though Metro North seems to be back to a normal schedule. NJ Transit is reporting few delays and changes, but at least the PATH is up and running between all stations again.
Alternate side of the street parking and parking meter regulations are suspended for Wednesday, December 29.
We'll keep you updated on the road conditions and subway delays as they continue.