Grove Street is a one way street that because of its location, sees all of the emergency traffic from the Police and Fire Departments as well as ambulances responding to the East side of town. Yesterday Mayor Thane issued a citywide state of emergency which included no parking on city streets from 9PM Tuesday, February 1, 2011, until 12 Noon Friday, February 4, 2011. I was peeved as I had just finished shoveling out my car and sidewalks, only to find that I could not park in front of my house! I looked at the list of approved parking areas provided on The City of Amsterdam website and none were nearby
Ironically, there is a huge parking lot adjacent to the Goddess of Mercy Temple that was not plowed and another parking lot adjacent to my house that was not plowed. The later is a story in unto itself as it was a NYS sponsored DOT project for the City of Amsterdam. It is composed of four lots, two of which were somehow sold to a private individual at public auction for $400. The City refuses to take ownership of the remaining two lots, resulting in absolutely no maintenance of either the lots themselves or the adjacent sidewalks. In the diagram below, my house is to the left of the parking lot, next to the half of the parking lot that is privately owned.
I called the City of Amsterdam Department of Public Works yesterday and requested they plow the lot so the residents of Grove Street would have a place to park. The person on the other end of the phone was polite and stated the priority were the roads and he would relay the message to the Foreman. They never came. I even tried to flag down the City plow truck as he passed down Grove Street but he just shook his head and kept on going. I shoveled out the City’s half of the parking lot myself, but it was not enough to accommodate all of the vehicles. A neighbor joined in with her son and we began shoveling out the other half of the parking lot. My neighbor called a relative with a plow who came by and finished the job.
This was an opportunity for the City to shine and help out some residents in need. It would have taken all of 10 minutes to plow this lot. Now we did not get all the snow that was predicted but we still cannot park on the street and I still have four-foot snowbanks that extend eight feet out into the roadway. Time to take some Motrin and get out there to do it all over again!