With over two-feet of snow (Central Park measured 25.1 inches), you’d think New York City would be stopped in its tracks. Not so. The city was up and running the very next day. This is due to pre-planning and snow removal crews that know what they’re doing.
The city-wide 24-hour travel ban helped in the clean up. I had to laugh having read a piece calling the police hauling away 25 drivers who disregarded the ban evidence of a “nanny-state”. I’m pretty conservative politically. Yes, there are a few of us in New York City. Let me tell you, the travel ban is not evidence of tyranny. Seriously, we must use some common sense. Eight million people live in New York, with over 6,000 miles of the world’s busiest streets, 840 miles of subway tracks (much of it above ground in the outer boroughs) , not to mention railway tracks anchored to Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station.
The 25 drivers who ignored the travel ban should be ticketed and fined. The Sanitation department had the Herculean task of plowing and salting not only the major avenues (some of them four lanes), but also the side streets and dead end streets. This they did in 24-hours. Plows and sanders shouldn’t be slowed down by selfish drivers on the road, or have to go around those vehicles. With freezing temperature and winds whipping snowfall sideways at speeds up to 40 mph, police had to deal with the homless who were in crisis during this blizzard. The gas and electric companies had to come to the aid of buildings that had lost heat. The travel ban was for the public good and of public safety. By Sunday, the next morning, anyone who had to report to work, could. Residents could get to local stores, if need be. It wasn’t business as usual, but it was on its way back to normal.
With a city the size of New York, the only way to deal effectively with a blizzard or hurricane is to have a travel ban during the worst of the storm. That’s the how essential city services get out in front of it. However, just to keep things in perspective, this wasn’t the worst NYC blizzard on record. February 11-12, 2006 recorded a record 26.9 inches of snow; and December 26-27, 1947 recorded 25.8 inches.