Once again we come upon the issue of winter weather safety on the roads and sidewalks of our city. Here is a list of issue that needs to be addressed:
1) Small streets such as Jefferson Street need to be plowed to the curbs not to within a foot or two of it. I was on a bus today on Jefferson Street when 3 Emergency Vehicles attempted to turn off of Crescent St. on to it enroute to an emergency at the Racino and the fire truck could barely get past the buss since there was still piles of snow at least a foot deep between the clear part of the road and the curb. The bus was pulled over as far as possible to the right side of the road.
2) All along Broadway bus stops and cross walk curb cuts have been blocked in by the city plows and or Broadway Business. The bus stop in front of Uncommon Grounds is not clear so people have to walk over snow banks to reach the bus as well as having to wait in the street to be picked up. This s a busy stop for Skidmore students and @#$% last week a disable Skidmore student in a wheelchair boarded the bus from this very location. Today if that student wanted to board the bus there would be no way to access it since cars park in front of the bust stop and there are no clear curb areas for that person to wheel their chair down to get to the road.
3) City plows have pushed crap from the roads back into handicap curb cuts all over this city making it impossible for disabled persons to use these curb cuts to cross streets.
4) Some property owners are still ignoring the city regulations that require them to clear sidewalks surrounding their property. Such as the sidewalks down Church St. from Central Ave. to Outlook Ave. I know the city says we can report these property owners but most of us don't have time to go down to City Hall and fill out a complaint.
It is not the residents of this city's fault that the City's Snow Removal Budget may have been exceeded. Sorry to say but the budgets for snow removal have been decreased over the past few years since we did not get a lot of snow and the City Administrators decided to pocket the difference from a NORMAL snow year to what they currently permit for funding. If a snow removal budget is not fully used it should be put into savings and held until the next winter season and so on. It should not be allowed to be used for any other projects. I expect all city DPW employees including Commissioner Skip himself out helping to remove snow. I do NOT want to see DPW crew sitting at Stewarts for more than 15 minutes total. Get the giant snow blower out and clear Broadway and other streets ASAP so that people can park and traffic can flow safely. If Albany can clear their streets in a timely fashion why can't Saratoga Springs? We are paying taxes to the city for such things as snow removal ad we deserve prompt, efficient service for our tax money. We are NOT paying for the DPW GOONS to sit around and drink coffee at Stewart's or Dunkin' Donuts. Same goes for our Police Department. Get out and give us our taxes worth by doing your job properly. When Albany declares a SNOW EMERGENCY it affects ALL streets not just once with odd/even parking arrangements. They tell people that for a 24 hour period parking on a specific side of the street through the entire city is off limits so snow removal crews can get in and clear things up Then the next day the opposite side of the streets are done. I don't care if people on Broadway are going to complain that they can't park on one side of the street for a day. We have numerous public parking lots so use them. Don't make me have to bring this issue up to our local TV stations too. I am not afraid of making out City Administrators look like fools in public. The administrators are here to do their job that the tax payers hired them to do which is to keep us safe and represent us in our concerns about the city.