Editorial: Winter Response to Outer Boroughs Insufficient

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By The Editorial Board

Fordham students trekking up Fordham Road to the D train on the way to internships or out into the city may have noticed something happening that is a little odd for New York: people helping each other through snowbanks and down icy stairs. With all the snow blanketing the city, New Yorkers have really banded together to help each other make it through this winter. They need to stick together because the city is doing little to help the outer boroughs, particularly the Bronx, remove the snow and ice.

On Feb. 12, The New York Times published an article about the slippery conditions on the Grand Concourse and other parts of the Bronx, New York. The city has not been plowing nor salting these areas sufficiently, and many public walkways have been completely ignored by snow clearing crews.  Although it is the responsibility of businesses and landowners to clear the snow on their property, there are many publicly owned pieces of land that the city is obligated to clear, and it has failed to do so.

Not only is this oversight an annoyance, but it is also truly dangerous.  Much of the snow has, since falling, become compacted and icy.  This makes these public sidewalks nearly, if not fully, impassable.  This is an issue in itself, but what is more concerning is the disparity between the boroughs in regard to snow removal.  In the New York Times piece, one older Bronx man makes the point that, “If this was Park Avenue or Fifth Avenue, they’d take care of it.”  Sadly, he is correct.  Such blatant disregard for New Yorkers’ safety by the city government would not occur in Manhattan, N.Y., nor would it continue to occur for multiple snow storms, as it has in the Bronx.

Given that the new mayor, de Blasio, is from one of the outer boroughs, it does not seem unreasonable to expect him to serve all five boroughs equally.  Manhattan does not get neglected by snow clearing crews, so the Bronx should not be neglected.  Bronx residents must walk and utilize public transport as much as residents in other boroughs, so they should not have to tip toe across snow-covered sidewalks and slip down iced-over stairs into the subway station.  The mishandling of snow clearing is unacceptable, but the discrimination against certain boroughs is wrong.

Fordham students have more to contend with than unclear city streets, unfortunately. Rose Hill has turned into a skating rink itself after major snow has hit the campus. While the roads have been passable, sidewalks have remained covered in ice and slush, sometimes for days after the snow fall. As a primarily walking campus, Rose Hill needs its sidewalks and the areas around residence halls clear for students. Hopefully this winter will be over soon, but, in the meantime, we all need to get by, and the city and the university need to help us do that.