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Weigh in On Snowy Commutes

What's the best way to get commuters home safely in a storm?

Earlier this month, in advance of a major snow storm, Governor Cuomo announced that he was closing the Long Island Expressway.

On Tuesday, the LIE remained open as snow fell.  This week's storm started earlier in the day and heavy snow fell at a time when commuters were going home, rather than the overnight hours when the LIE closing took place.

At the same time, there were heavy delays for many commuters and it took hours for them to get home. 

We want to know what ideas you have to make snowy commutes safer. Should major highways always be shut down until they're passable? Should they always be kept open? What can be done to get more people to take public transportation when snow is in the forecast?  Should employers be more flexible about releasing workers during storms?

Let us know in the comment section below.
Cheap Sam January 23, 2014 at 07:57 AM
The Town of Hempstead has finally figured out the secret on how to plow the mean streets of Seaford. First...don't plow the side streets during the first day while the snow falls. Wait at least 24 hours so the residents who pay some of the highest taxes in the country get totally pissed off because they can't get off of their unplowed street. Second...send 2 pick up trucks at the same time with snow plows on them to do the task of one pick up truck so you can blow the Sanitation departments snow removal budget by mid January on overtime expenditures. Third...when the two trucks drive down the street, have one truck drive with the plow in the down position plowing only the middle of the street and have the other truck drive with the plow in the up position making sure they only make one pass and then scurry away to the nearest Dunkin Donuts for a much needed brake. One could only assume that it took too much effort to press the "DOWN" button/lever to lower the plow. This technique took years to master, and a Snow Removal Committee of political cronies must have been appointed by the "Picture Taker" Katey Murray. All at the expense of the tax payer of course. It's a privilege to be a resident of the Town of Hempstead! And yes, I will be moving out soon. PS The above event regarding the plowing actually took place. A video tape can be provided upon request. Even the break at Dunkin Donuts.
Lorraine DeVita January 23, 2014 at 08:42 AM
LMAO! Best reporting of the actual FACTS for the entire year! I personally like the neighbor who is a County employee WITH a county truck complete with a PLOW, driving around with the plow in the UP position. Just cruising the neighborhood except of course when it comes time to plow his driveway!
Cheap Sam January 23, 2014 at 08:52 AM
And what about the Seaford Fire Department plowing their friends and families driveways. Please explain that.
Lorraine DeVita January 23, 2014 at 09:14 AM
See that doesn't bother me at all. They are volunteers! I figure they donate their time and risk their lives and bent over backwards during Sandy so if they want to plow out a friend or family member what's the harm.. The PAID COUNTY employee really annoys me though.
Christopher Wendt January 23, 2014 at 10:48 AM
...and now, to the question asked by the writer of this post: "What's the best way to get commuters home safely in a storm?" .............................................................................................. #1. Keep commuters home during the storm. .............................................................................................. #2. Seriously encourage and incentivize commuters to use mass transit instead of driving before, during and immediately after a storm; for commuters who do not have a mass transit option between their places of work and their homes, see Option #1, above. .............................................................................................. Employers can help: mine did an early dismissal on Tuesday and a delayed opening on Wednesday. We found overnight parking for some employees who decided to leave their cars in the city Tuesday night. A few people decided to stay in hotels in the city. A lot of car commuters took the railroad, subways and buses to and from work on Tuesday and Wednesday. A significant number stayed home either or both days, either working from home as they may have been able, or, taking a floating holiday or vacation day. .............................................................................................. Our company's position, reiterated before each storm, is that our employees' safety is our paramount concern, and, that there is no substitute for good personal judgment about whether or not, or how to get to and from work in the face of a winter storm.
Kevin B January 23, 2014 at 11:23 AM
Sanitation does my area in Wantagh and does a fantastic job as they do with several people I have talked to in other towns including Seaford. It, to me was a poor decision not to re-salt the street post-storm, however, I would hope they re-salt today. Perhaps even cleaner streets would be possible if homeowners removed their cars from the streets and more importantly snow- throw their snow back on their front lawns instead of their street, and let nature melt it on your front lawn instead of paying the highest rates in the area come spring.
Jack Healy January 23, 2014 at 03:28 PM
You hear so much about NYC and it’s favorite snow plowing strategy. What about the Town of Hempstead? I bet if you check the streets in Levittown you will find them meticulously plowed when and during a snow fall. Here in Seaford it looks like they forgot us. One plowing during the storm. No sanding. The streets are in a terrible condition. When are they going to treat us like we should be. This happens every significant snow fall. Maybe they should deduct the cost of there no plowing from our taxes. How do we manage to get our fair share of the plowing when we need it?
Patrick M January 23, 2014 at 04:57 PM
And it would probably help keep the streets clear if everyone with a snowblower didn't toss all the snow right back into the street after the plow comes by.
Cheap Sam January 23, 2014 at 07:48 PM
The Seaford volly's may in fact dig out their own homes but they also dig out their buddies, families, and friends. And that's a fact. And that's just the tip of the ice berg as to what the Seaford Volly's do.
Cheap Sam January 23, 2014 at 07:49 PM
And the Seaford volly's also push the snow with their plows into the middle of the street and on others property.
Patrick M January 24, 2014 at 04:19 PM
The Seaford "volly's" also pull strangers out of burning houses. They can do whatever they want with their own time...they're not being paid. Those volunteers also park at the aforementioned homes and often drop whatever they're doing with their buddies, families and friends to respond to emergencies so it is a good idea to have access to cleared parking spots wherever they go in Seaford.
Cheap Sam January 24, 2014 at 04:57 PM
Yes they can do whatever they want on their own time...just not with the equipment that my tax dollars are paying and maintaining. The EXTRA wear and tear on the equipment and use of gas to fuel these vehicles has to be paid for somehow. And what else are the Volly's doing that we don't know about with our tax dollars? I see this gratuitous snow plowing to a select few because it's out in the open. I can only imagine what else is going on. Try booking the room in the Volly's firehouse for a special occasion (Birthday, Holiday Party, Sweet 16, etc...) and watch the run around you will get. Apparently my tax dollars that paid and maintain this building are only for the Volly's use. It's people like you that let the motto of "Volunteering" and "Not getting Paid" that allows the Invisible Cloak to be cast over any wrong doings that may be going on and let these organizations continue to waste my money. Don't forget, the Volly's CHOOSE to volunteer and they know all the responsibility that goes along with VOLUNTEERING. On a side note: If there weren't volunteers on Long Island, we would have a PAID Department creating 1000's of local jobs. What a shame. Local governments love these Volly's.
Patrick M January 24, 2014 at 05:47 PM
"Imagine" and "may" are the key words in your implicative sentences because they let the reader know that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. And who do you think pays the salaries where there are PAID departments? You were already complaining about the taxes being too high.
Patrick M January 24, 2014 at 05:51 PM
How many hands does it take for you to count the amount of times YOU have pulled strangers out of burning buildings? I was just using it as an example. They also extricate strangers from crushed cars, resuscitate unconscious strangers, educate strangers on fire safety, etc often in the middle of the night, halfway through dinner with their families or after a long day at work.
Patrick M January 24, 2014 at 05:56 PM
But you are right, I do watch too much TV. I can't get enough of those Everybody Loves Raymond reruns. I've seen every episode, but they still make me laugh.
Kevin B January 24, 2014 at 05:58 PM
1000's of jobs, absolutely. And millions in salaries, benefits, etc, like all gov't entities. If you are so worried about what they use tax dollars for, why don't you join them and/or run for Fire Commissioner. My guess is you might not even be registered to vote. They are volunteers and in most cases do a better job than paid departments. I myself sometimes question what they do or don't do with our equipment and then say to myself that I am not a Fire Dept volunteer, and don't dedicate my life to saving lives, so who am I to criticize. And how about the amount of homeowners who fail to fulfill their responsibility to shovel out hydrants forcing the volunteers to go out and do it with our equipment.

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