Guest of the Stable: The Jolly Green Giant on the Blizzard

With all the pixels spilled on the blizzard’s impact on Hoboken, MSV decided to hijack the points posted in the comments here by the Jolly Green Giant – Kurt Gardiner of the Hoboken Journal as he methodically balances out first hand accounts with additional background.

In fact, MSV doesn’t know anyone who invested as much time out on the streets as THJ and it shows with the excellent photo essay he posted yesterday.  When not taking pictures, the giant was working with other Hoboken residents pushing out dozens of cars stuck in all points of town.  A City Hall source indicated dozens of vehicles were stuck all over town and creating a logjam of problems for the plows to clear the streets.  THJ noted one problem of a vehicle on upper Park in his pictorial as well with Councilman Peter Cunningham working to get it removed.

Based on the reports in Jersey City and the problems in NYC, it appears the people driving were a major factor in making things far more difficult as cars were stuck and then abandoned all over the place.  The State of Emergency called in Hoboken was ignored by those drivers who expected their vehicles would get through the snow.

Hoboken fared far better overall with operational normalcy within 24 hours.  The best comparable storm – 1996, shut down Hoboken over days.  Back then, Mayor Anthony Russo prevented cars from even driving into town while snow was removed from the streets and dumped into the Hudson River, an EPA violation.

The Jolly Green Giant offers some Paul Bunyanesque insights and suggestion on the  blizzard.

I gave the City a C minus on Hoboken Patch for its snow removal efforts. The best possible grade any city could get would be a B anyway given the amount of snow that fell and the wind. The timing of the storm being on a holiday weekend did not help either. 

Sure the City could do better. Should we hire more people back to sit around and wait for the big storm every 15 years? Most tax payers would not like that option. 

Areas for improvement: 

1) More plows sooner 
There intially was a subcontractor for plowing and they could not keep up due to the heavy volume. The solution was to bring in more plows with another contractor and the City did but perhaps not soon enough. Had the storm been only 12 inches they probably would have been able to keep up. Bam, one area that can be improved. 
2) Fire Mile Square Towing 
This vendor was not up to the job and did not have their plows running fast enough. In one case they showed up with the wrong kind of truck. The performance of Mile Square Towing appears to be a breach of contract and that led clogged up many sections of Park Avenue as well as between 8th and 9th and Bloomfield. Say bye bye to Mikie Squared Towing Company and results will be better next time. 
3) Get businesses to cooperate rather than have Mike Novak using his position of Chamber of Commerce President to slam Zimmer. 

While Mike Novak was twittering away some businesses were doing a great job removing snow from the sidewalks and others were not or could not. Understandable. Mike Novak didn’t offer anything but negative twittering and Facebooking. Other business leaders need to step up and work with the City to help clean the sidewalks better next time. Mike Novak’s leadership is not up to snuff and a bunch of stiff drinks won’t improve that situation any either. 
And finally 4) Get people to not drive in the first 24 hours. Jersey City ambulances did their part to clog Hoboken streets. At least 4 emergency vehicles were stuck from JC and none had snow tires. Many other drivers without 4WD and even with 4WD got stuck. Juan Melli wasn’t bullshitting that this caused problems with snow removal. I saw it first hand and either single handedly or with help pushed out dozens of cars that were stuck. I may not agree with Carmelo Garcia on politics but he was helping push cars out too rather than twittering negativity and offering no solutions like Mike Novak. Many other fine Hoboken and non-Hoboken residents helped as well but the sheer number of cars getting stuck was really hindering plowing efforts. I saw this first hand.  Trying to get to Carlos bakery is not essential transport. Those people should have not been on the road. 
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