Since the blizzard struck, many of us have been limited to the streets around our homes. We’ve heard complaints from neighbors in all parts, and everyone’s convinced that as bad as this storm hit Southern Brooklyn, their home, their block, their local thoroughfare were hit the worst.

Well, the hundreds of photos we’ve collected from readers tells another story: the problems on your block are plaguing every other nook and cranny of Sheepshead Bites’ coverage area.

We’ve put together an expansive gallery of photos from readers in every section of our neighborhood, be it Emmons Avenue or Avenue U, Nostrand Avenue or McDonald Avenue. We’ve got photos from Kings Highway and Marine Park and Manhattan Beach and Gravesend. And the photos are still coming in.

Meanwhile, conditions have not gotten much better in the two days since the storm waned. The response from the city has been to urge patience, with Mayor Bloomberg stating, “The world has not come to an end. The city is going fine.”

The world may not have come to an end, Mr. Mayor. But our patience is nearing it.

View the blizzard photos from users in Sheepshead Bay and the surrounding communities.

Carl Kruger

Source: NYS Senate

State Senator Carl Kruger slammed the city for its “colossal failure” in responding to the weekend’s blizzard, which left most of the area’s main roadways and many of its side streets impassible.

Kruger is demanding that the City Council’s sanitation committee immediately hold emergency hearings to discern the cause of the bungled response, which left the FDNY EMS with a three-hour delay for critical cases like heart attacks, and a 12-hour delay for non-critical cases as emergency vehicles struggled to get through streets.

“At 1 p.m. today there was already a backlog of 1,300 critical calls. How many people are going to die today because our streets haven’t been cleared?” Sen. Kruger asked in a statement yesterday. “When emergency patients have to be transported to the hospital on foot in New York City, you know you’ve got a problem. This is not a MASH unit in the Korean War.”

The state senator likened the city’s response to that of the “Lindsay debacle” in 1969, when Mayor John Linsday’s delayed actions paralyzed the city after a February blizzard. He also blasted the Office of Emergency Management’s “foolish” decision to deny the FDNY’s request to declare a state of emergency.

“This is an outrage,” Sen. Kruger said. “Forecasters predicted this blizzard days in advance. There was clearly insufficient planning, and New Yorkers are paying too steep a price. Someone has to be accountable.”

Reader Maribel P. sent in this photo of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue Z this morning, where a B36 bus has been stuck since Sunday. The bus is blocking off whatever traffic there might have been on westbound Avenue Z and southbound Nostrand Avenue.

Meanwhile, BrooklynQ is suggesting Avenue U and East 15th Street might be the worst intersection in the neighborhood, with Avenue U plowed but East 15th Street not, leaving a four-foot wall of snow blocking drivers.

Allan B. writes to us about Avenue X between Ocean Parkway and McDonald Avenue, saying that the entire stretch is blocked by buses and abandoned cars. He noted that the situation appears a little better this morning than yesterday, with only five stranded buses as opposed to nine.

Which got us wondering: what is the worst intersection in the area? We’re not just talking bad – we’re talking totally impassable, ne’er to be plowed, obstacle course of frigid death.

If you’ve got photos, link them in the comments. If you don’t have a place to put them online, e-mail them to me at nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Source: alancleaver_2000 via Flickr

Tuesday Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

Although called a ‘tax cut,’ the new law just signed is really not a tax cut. It is basically just an extension of the current tax laws with the only major change being with the estate tax, which doesn’t affect most people.

In other words, it’s just a ‘hokey-pokey’ and this is what it’s all about.

Continue Reading »

If you tried to wait for a bus on Monday, you probably either ended up walking or gave up and went back home. You probably didn’t get a train either, since all the lines in our area are either operating on elevated lines or in open cuts. The open cuts are even more difficult to clear than the elevated lines which will probably have service restored quicker.

Below is the current announcement on the MTA Website:

Due to the unprecedented severity of this storm, there continue to be major disruptions across our system to both subway and bus service. While there has been a resumption of some subway services, major portions of the system are still in the process of being restored, especially those lines that operate along tracks at grade or “open cut”. F Line service is now continuing to Stillwell Avenue and Flushing Line service is running between Times Square and Main Street. Service on the Staten Island Railway is suspended until further notice.

Limited-stop bus service remains suspended. All local buses are making every stop, but are running with delays due to hazardous road conditions and express service is operating but with delays. However, there are still many streets that are too difficult to navigate, which has resulted in suspensions of some routes and or route segments. Remember, if you don’t have to travel, don’t. If you do, please check the Current Service Status on www.mta.info.

The local buses statement, however, does not apply to Southern Brooklyn because a dispatcher reported that most if not all of Brooklyn bus routes are suspended for the night because 70 percent of the Brooklyn fleet is stuck on city streets.

Service should resume later today as the streets are plowed but with major delays. If you need a train, your best bet would be to take the B44 to the IRT or a crosstown bus to the F Line. Check the MTA website before heading to find out if Brighton service has resumed. Judging from past major storms, I am predicting Brighton service will resume by the evening rush hour or as late as Wednesday morning.

The writer, Allan Rosen, is a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981). For a complete list of his contributions to Sheepshead Bites, which includes many articles about the bus cuts, MTA and DOT, click here.

So this one’s not in our neighborhood, but no one has picked up on this video yet and it needs to be highlighted.

In a public display of true incompetence, a Department of Sanitation plow working in Brooklyn Heights ripped open the back of a Ford Explorer earlier today. The plow got stuck on a narrow street and another truck came by to pull him out. Obviously neither of the two geniuses operating the vehicles did very well in geometry, as they fail to see that the angle they’re pulling at is going to slam the plow into the back of a parked Ford Explorer nearby.

Luckily for us, a resident living above this mess foresaw it all happening and did what all good citizens do: pull out a video camera and let the action unfold, all while dishing out swear words and wearing nothing but underwear.

So, here’s your warning: there’s a lot of hilarious commentary cursing in this video. And you got a flash of this guy’s boxers.

Lest anyone worry about the owner of the Ford, it turns out that the owner is… well… you and me. According to the description on the YouTube video, it was a city-owned Department of Buildings vehicle. So taxpayers just funded the destruction of a vehicle paid for by taxpayers that will need to be replaced by taxpayers. And, of course, I bet the drivers got paid overtime.

I went down Sheepshead Bay Road this morning to get a better gauge of how the blizzard had affected the neighborhood’s commercial centers. What I saw wasn’t pretty. Scratch that, it was very pretty, but it didn’t say much for how our city handled the storm. And, if the reports I’m hearing from neighbors across Sheepshead Bay, the problems documented here are commonplace.

See our photo essay about Sheepshead Bay Road after the blizzard.

I just received this from Notify NYC:

Notification issued 12/27/10 at 12:05 PM.  The City is working to dig out from the storm. Major roadways will be plowed and salted first, then crews will address local streets. If you see a street that needs plowing or salt please report it to 311.

Now, it goes without saying that just about every street in Sheepshead Bay is in need of plowing. In fact, I’d say every street in the borough. No doubt that they are going to be flooded with calls.

What do I suggest? Call 311. Like, right now. Perhaps if there’s a higher volume of calls from our area, they’ll give us additional priority. That’d be nice, right?

blizzard 2010 brooklyn sheepshead bay

Dozens of commuters milled around the Sheepshead Bay train station at around 10:30 a.m. this morning, making phone calls and chatting about alternate ways to get to their destination. An MTA representative informed them that the agency has terminated all bus service in the area, and B and Q lines are not running south of DeKalb Avenue.

The city is also telling residents not to attempt to drive or leave your home if its not absolutely necessary. So stay home, watch a movie and drink some hot chocolate. But make sure you also shovel your walkway…

After much consideration (hah!), we’ve decided that it’s going to be a snow day for Sheepshead Bites. Like the rest of you, we have a mountain of snow in front of our homes to deal with, and we’re going to treat ourselves to some hot chocolate afterwards.

Of course, we may have some posts up here and there. And if you’ve got any breaking news for us, call or text (347) 985-0633 or e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Don’t forget to send us any photos of the snow, which we’ll put together into a user gallery. Thanks!