A poor plow job after this month’s bomb cyclone created a major traffic bottleneck in Marine Park along Avenue U between the neighborhood’s eponymous green space and the Salt Marsh Nature Center.
The thoroughfare was throttled for the week or so it took the snow to melt because the plow from the Parks Department — which is responsible for clearing the park-straddled stretch between E. 33rd and Stuart streets — reduced the normally four-lane avenue to just two lanes, annoying some Marine Parkers.
“It caused a lot of traffic around here,” said Marine Park resident Tara Silvestry.
Locals complained that lane reduction complicated traffic and created safety issues. One resident said the snow pileup blocked the bus lanes and access to the E. 33rd Street bus stop.
“If the bus has to let you off in the middle of the street, it’s not safe,” said Barbara Wagner. “There are a lot of elderly people and young mothers with kids in Marine Park who use the bus. It’s about safety.”
Wagner said she is concerned, but hopeful the city does a better job when the next snow storm hits the area.
Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park) confirmed that his office fielded complaints about the poor plow job in the days after the blizzard.
“People have been complaining about snow on Avenue U,” he said. “It made travel very difficult.”
The traffic has eased since snow from the bomb cyclone has largely melted away, but Maisel said he plans to contact the city before the next storm to make them aware of the issue.
The Parks Department said that clearing Avenue U along the park is a priority for them.
“NYC Parks crews and our partners work diligently to remove snow on the perimeter of parks following a snowstorm, and the Jan. 4 storm was no exception,” said a department spokeswoman. “We prioritize parks adjacent to transportation hubs and civic centers, high-traffic sidewalks and malls, and jointly-operated playgrounds adjacent to schools.”