Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Commons in the Snow

As a Midwesterner living in New York City, blizzards are nothing new for me. But this snowstorm that hit the Northeast has been impressive. In a 24-hour period the city got nearly 20 inches of snow – that’s almost an inch an hour. Back in Wisconsin and Minnesota, cities have the infrastructure to deal with that amount of snow, but here in New York City the storm has taken its toll.

New Yorkers are frustrated with the city’s inability to clear the streets; leaving many without critical services (like ambulances, police and firetrucks needed for emergencies).

It’s times like this when people remember how important investments in our Commons are. In times of emergency we realize that our roads, public transit and emergency services really are critical to our collective well-being; but all of these systems suffer when the tax-cutting ideology takes over. It’s no surprise then that the city’s response to the blizzard has been worse than in past years because of cuts to the city’s Sanitation department.

Still, even in the midst of a lot of rumbling and discontent about the city’s ability to respond to the snowstorm, there have been many stories and images of regular New Yorkers helping each other out. And it’s refreshing when the heroes are the men and women doing the back-breaking work to keep the city safe and streets clear.

1 comment:

Frances said...

Not to mention because no one will raise taxex there are 400 less sanitation workers in NYC.