Concerned about the potential impacts the federal travel ban could have on New York City’s economy, Council Member Dan Garodnick chaired a hearing on the subject, where speakers said the ban has already caused financial losses.
Speakers from different organizations testified against the ban, with the takeaway message being that not only would it cut off access to business opportunities, but that New York has already suffered because of the ban — even without it having gone into effect. Garodnick, who chairs the Council’s Economic Development Committee, has openly blasted the president’s order as the “Muslim Travel Ban,” as it aimed to suspend entry to the United States by visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries. While federal courts ultimately were able to temporarily block the executive order, “the damage was done,” Garodnick said. He also referred to a more recent ban of electronics bigger than a cellphone on flights to the United States from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa.
“Let’s get real,” said Garodnick. “Prohibiting a business traveler from accessing a laptop or tablet during a 13-hour flight does more than create an inconvenience. It means an entire day of lost work — and productivity on the plane.” He also argued that any motivated terrorist would just find a way around the rule, anyway.
The snow at around 11 a.m. (Photo by Sidney Schneck)
Mayor de Blasio has just issued a travel ban for New York City. The mayor restricted travel in all cases except emergencies beginning at 2:30 p.m. today. The latest forecasts anticipate approximately 20 to 25 inches across New York City. The mayor also urged Broadway theaters and restaurants to close for the day.
“New Yorkers should head home now,” de Blasio said in an official statement. “We need cars off the road so that our equipment can do its work and keep streets passable for emergency vehicles. Travel conditions are dangerous, and we want to keep all New Yorkers safe until this storm passes. This travel ban is mandatory as of 2:30 p.m. today.”
UPDATE: The travel ban was lifted on Sunday at 7 a.m.
In addition, the MTA has also just begun a service shutdown.
I an email to neighbors, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association shared the announcement from the Transit Authority.
“Because of the winter storm, an orderly shutdown of all local, limited and express bus service is planned to begin at noon. Please adjust your travel plans accordingly.”
UPDATE: As of 7:45 a.m. Sunday, all MTA Bus and Access-A-Ride service was restored. Commuters have been warned to expect residual delays. All elevated MTA subway lines will resume service Sunday, January 24, at 9 a.m.. Metro-North Railroad service will begin restoring service at noon. Long Island Rail Road is still suspended and is expected to be restored Monday morning, January 25. Expect residual delays and check MTA for updates: http://alert.mta.info/.
UPDATE #2 at 9:02 a.m.: The outdoor sections of the following MTA subway lines will remain suspended until further notice due to on-going snow clearing operations: A, Q, N, L, S (Franklin Ave Shuttle) and Staten Island Railway. Additionally, bus customers should expect delays and service changes throughout the day. For the latest information on subway service and bus routes visit: http://www.mta.info.
Additionally, The New York City Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Department of Sanitation, on Saturday announced that Alternate Side Parking Regulations will be suspended Monday, January 25 to allow for snow removal. Payment at parking meters will remain in effect throughout the city.
UPDATE: ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk sent out an email on Saturday evening to brief tenants on the status of snow removal and other issues.
“Dear Residents of Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village,
“The snow continues to fall at this hour and it is reported we are to receive even more snow before it tapers off around midnight.
“The PCVST team has been at work since midnight to stay on top of the snow removal. Right now, we are focused on clearing the drivable roads ensuring access for emergency vehicles along with terrace level entry and exit points. In addition, we are clearing the perimeter sidewalks but struggling to keep them clear due to drifting snow off of 1st Avenue and 20th street. Know that over 50 of our team are out in the storm operating machinery and shovels to keep the roads and pathways safe.
“Inasmuch as Mayor de Blasio has asked everyone to stay inside, for those who do venture outside, be warned that there is significant black ice (under the snow pack and covering cleared areas) and snow drifting. Conditions are dangerous and we also encourage everyone to stay inside.
“With the expected termination of the snow around midnight, the team will continue to work into the early morning to clear roads and paths in preparation for the tomorrow’s activity. Our equipment will continue to make noise and as such, we ask for your forgiveness.
“PCVST’s Sunday services operation will be limited as we return the complex to normalcy. As always, the resident services representatives are on the phone to take any emergency calls. We ask that any non-emergency calls be held until Monday simply because we are not sure how many associates can make it to PCVST tomorrow. Trash pick-up today was extremely limited and it is expected that tomorrow’s pick up will be as well solely due to the sanitation team assisting with snow removal. As for all other services and activities (Oval Concierge, ICE, Oval Café, etc.), it is a fair assumption that they will not operate tomorrow but will return to normal operating hours on Monday.
“We are grateful for your patience and want you to know that the dedicated associates of PCVST are tirelessly working to get us back to normal as quickly as possible.
“Please reach out to me or anyone on our team if there’s any way we can assist you at the Resident Services number of 212-420-5000.”
UPDATE on Sunday evening: Hayduk sent out an updated memo to tenants on the status of snow removal and to warn motorists not to double park on the Loop Roads or they will get towed.
“Dear Residents of PCVST,
“Thank you for your continued patience as we clear roadways, paths and sidewalks. As of this hour, the team has made great progress but our director of horticulture (and snow removal), Chuck Hartsell, reports we’re at the 75%-80% mark. The remainder of the clearing will be a bit slower due to the volume of snow restricting the use of plows. We’re focused on widening the drivable roads but must use the smaller equipment that lifts and removes the snow. In addition, we continue to salt all areas and the melting process will be expedited as the sun hits these areas.
“All terrace level entries are clear but in some cases, such as the buildings on 1st avenue, the main entries remain under significant snow. Once the bobcats are finished with the road widening, they will move over to the few entries that need removal. We will be out with the equipment until midnight so we ask for forgiveness for any noise created.
“Regrettably, some residents are double parking on the loop roads. Those vehicles will be towed as we cannot risk emergency vehicles being restricted from passage. If you are or know of said owners, ask them to remove them immediately. We also ask residents to refrain from leaving boots and other items in the hallways. The porters are on their normal schedule but sanitation removal continues to be restricted. We’re back to normal tomorrow.
“Also, with the warming temperatures, icicles and snow are falling from air conditioning units and window sills. Please, proceed with caution whenever exiting or entering the buildings.
“We’ve opened Playgrounds 1 & 7 along with the perimeter areas of the Oval. These areas have seen some great snowmen and igloos. I’m confident the next generation of New York’s engineers and creatives are coming out of Stuy Town and PCV.
“ICE was opened a couple of hours ago. Andrew and the ICE team dug out the equivalent of a speed skating circle for skaters. We expect to have the full rink open tomorrow by 4pm. The tented basketball courts are open as is the Oval Café. All other amenities will be open tomorrow with business as usual. Lastly, our resident services team remain on the phones if you should need anything at 212-420-5000. We ask once more to hold off on non-emergency requests until tomorrow so we can focus on the clean-up.
“This has been an epic 48 hours. I’ve learned (to no surprise) that those who serve you: the porters, the sanitation team, the horticulture (snow removal team), public safety, resident services and those who lead them, care so much for the residents that many have worked 24 hours straight to ensure your safety and limited interruption to your Sunday. I come out of this proud to be a part of this team. ”