Elinor Tatum | 4/12/2011, 5:28 p.m.
The snow fell on Sunday. And as a result, by Monday, the city was at a standstill. Streets were impassible. Mass transit was at a halt and, most disgusting of all, people were dying as 911 was backed up by thousands of calls.
This all occurred as Mayor Bloomberg simply said, "There's no reason for people to panic," and, "Far fewer people are seriously inconvenienced by this storm and its aftermath than otherwise might have been."
I would like to know what the "otherwise" looks like. As far as we are concerned, the fact that sections of Brooklyn and Queens are still not plowed, the fact that major arteries to hospitals are still not easily passable, are a great concern.
New York is a great city, and as such, 20 inches of snow should not shut it down. Thank God the storm occurred during one of the slowest weeks of the year--but come one, New York is a city that never sleeps, and Monday it was forced into hibernation.
People could not get out of their houses. Ambulances were stuck in the snow in every borough. Passengers were stuck on the A train for six hours. Cars were abandoned by frustrated drivers across the city.
Sanitation trucks were stuck, as were city buses and other emergency vehicles. Paramedics were instructed to do abbreviated CPR according to some reports, and people were dying because they could not get the medical care they needed. One woman was forced to have her child at home, another lost her newborn, and yet another barely made it to the hospital.
We know that when a few inches falls in Atlanta or Washington, it is a disaster. But, come, this is New York. We are better and more experienced with this kind of thing. There isn't a chance that we could be stumped by something like this--at least until now. What changed? Was it the fact that so many city workers have been laid off that there is no one to do the work? Is it the fact that the mayor does not think that getting New Yorkers from point A to point B is that important? Or perhaps he has been spending too much time huddling with his so-called advisors, planning to buy a quixotic presidential bid the same way he bought a third term as mayor.
And in addition--have you seen the bike lanes? They have caused even more snow trouble. How do you plow them?
The city is a mess and we get to thank emperor Bloomberg, who essentially on Monday said to New York, "Let them eat cake." He left all of us in a lurch and he just went along on his merry way. I guess that is what we can expect from a limousine mayor who jets away for private weekends at his multimillion-dollar island retreat at a moment's notice.
Bloomberg finally admitted on Tuesday that the situation was bad and that he is trying to fix it, but come on. Couldn't you see that earlier? It was kinda obvious. However, when you are a billionaire, I guess the color of your glasses are rose colored--or perhaps perpetually green.
Let the dig out continue.