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Poll: Do You Believe There Was a Slowdown?

Patch asks if you believe the Dept. of Sanitation engaged in a willful slowdown of snow removal services during last year's blizzard.

It was this very time last year that Queens was covered in over two feet of snow.

At the same time, Manhattan was well on its way back to normalcy, but not Bayside streets, which were not fully plowed until almost a full week after the storm.

During a City Council hearing in January, Brooklyn Councilwoman Leticia James blamed the poky cleanup effort on . Councilman Mark Weprin, D-Little Neck, believed the trucks were just .

The Bloomberg administration had said that the snow came down too heavy, too fast. And there were many cars left abandoned in the middle of the road that blocked plows.

Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, had a different idea altogether.

Halloran went public during the storm cleanup with allegations that  workers came to him, professing that they were told to be  in their efforts.

The motivation, Halloran alleged, was the slated demotion of 100 DSNY supervisors—of which only 50 were ultimately demoted.

A report published this summer by the City's Dept. of Investigation, . Those Halloran cited as sources, did not corroborate his story.

"Obviously, some of the information the sources told Halloran wasn’t what they told the DOI," said Halloran spokesman Steven Stites said in June.

The DOI's review of video footage from around the city found that approximately 30 of the city’s 265 plows were observed with blades in upright position, eight of them found to be because of “minimal” snowfall.

In Northeast Queens, many people reported seeing snowplows travel with their blades upwards, while roads remained covered and impassible to emergency vehicles. One of them was Chair Jerry Iannece.

"While we are happy that there was no wrong doing, it still doesn't take away from the fact that the Department of Sanitation did a terrible job,” said Iannece, who does believe the DOIs findings.

“The report highlights some serious deficiencies, mismanagement, and employee misconduct, such as drinking on the job," said Halloran, referring to an incident in Brooklyn. "The fact that it doesn’t come to any definite conclusion that rises to the level of a concerted action is a reflection of the DOI’s imperfect data."

You can view photos from the historic .

Tell us what you think in the comments section, and by taking our poll.

Additional reporting by Adam Lombardi.

Steve C. December 28, 2011 at 02:13 AM
I know what I saw. I live in the outer area of Little Neck, Queens and with plenty of snow on the ground, I watched three plows come down my street with the plow in the 'up' position. I don't have to guess here. I saw it.
Peggy December 28, 2011 at 02:48 PM
I know what I saw also, three times I saw plows on Francis Lewis Boulevard, two Northbound, and 1 Southbound, with the plow RAISED so as not to push any snow. As for my street, I didn't see a plow or any evidence of a plow the ENTIRE month of January.
Geraldine Spinella December 28, 2011 at 02:58 PM
i think we are talking about snow not mail. In any case, people saw what they saw. I took hot tea, sandwiches and a book to the city bus driver stuck in the snow on 23rd ave for two days. He was told to stay with his bus and no one came to get it out. He used the bathroom in various private homes. I saw plows passing him by. We saw what we saw and you don't tell people not to believe what they saw. You need your own comedy show. You just proved the slow down was fact with your postal comment.
Mitch Schwadron December 28, 2011 at 09:35 PM
I saw sanitation trucks driving back and forth on my block with their plows raised, DOT wasn't plowing, but neither was DOS.
Queens Voter January 03, 2012 at 11:34 PM
It's outrageous how the media and others lambasted Halloran for coming forward with what he was told by the DOS sources. The sources were probably afraid to tell DOI about the slowdown because they were threatened with ramifications on their job. It's no surprise that Iannece states that although he feels DOS did a poor job, he agrees with DOI's findings that there was not a deliberate slowdown. After all, he has designs on public office and wouldn't want to completely alienate any of the unions.
Mira January 22, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I just cleared the door to my car and wanted to warm it up while I was clearning the rest of the car. I saw a plow turning onto the street. I had nowhere to go. I was stuck in snow myself. Frantically I was waiving at the driver of the truck to stop or at least wait for me to get into the car. He did not even slow down. I threw myself against the car and I felt the mass of snow he was pushing against my back. He was THAT close! I have a black jacket, there is no way in h--- he did not see me!!! I am 5" tall, so the snow came up to my back. Thank God for the snow, the plow could have hooked my jacket. When I called the sanitation dept. to report it, they asked me if I got the licence plate or the number on the truck!!!! Yes, that was my immediate concern at the time. They knew very well who was working where and at what time. To this day, I received no reply from the city.
Ryan J. January 31, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Its 1 year later and I still havent seen a snowplow on my block.

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