Readers’ Scoop: Why Don’t They Use Salt?

snowtrucks lkwd_wmDear Lakewood Scoop,
I have noticed that there has been a lot of discussion & complaints on this web site as to who is to blame for the poor quality of the snow clearing by the Township. However, the big question that is on everyone’s mind has not yet been answered. Why doesn’t Lakewood use salt?? Like everyone else in town I noticed the trucks spreading sand with raised plows during the height of the storm when there was very little traffic on the roads. Now I do not claim to be an expert on snow removal but I highly doubt that any cars had better traction in the snow after an additional 15 inches had fallen on top of the sand.
We all noticed the State & County roads as well that were long ago cleared down to the blacktop.
I would love to hear an explanation from someone with any knowledge as why this town doesn’t use salt.

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  1. All of the County & State trucks put the METAL to the ground & you can see sparks. Lakewood knows how to purchase the high tech trucks but refuse to put the metal to the pavement. The 5 inch metal that scrapes the pavement is replaceable & has floaters.

    Cleaning snow takes expertise.

    Perhaps it should be contracted out.

  2. the cost of salt is not so high. it the road repairs and how the roads are built. salt ruins your shoes , clothes , and the road. its from the main causes of potholes. then you want to know why its costing millions to fix the roads. or why there are so many potholes that are killing your cars. so the next time you are sliding all over lakewood for 3-5 days a year think about the other 360 days that you are not driving over NYC style potholes.

  3. Funny how they spent $26 million of our tax money on the new Public Works complex yet they are cheap on the salt!!!!
    and lakewood has its share of potholes regardless of not using salt..
    the LPW just dosent have the know how to plow the roads and john Franklkin should own up and apologize for the lack of clearing the snow.

  4. It’s time for new management at the public works. Enough of wasting our money on buildings & weatherization systems and lets start actually CLEANING the streets!!!!!

  5. Were are u people getting ur info.

    We use salt. We use sand. The sand is dyed red so u see it. When we don’t dye it u complain we dont use it.

    Salt and Sand are mixed together in the loads, wetted w/ liquid salt then sent out.

    If u want to see the process, come down to DPW and we will show u first hand.

  6. The reason u saw us sand/salting as the storm started and our plow blades up is you need a minimum of two inches of snow before u can plow it. The salt and sand on the roadway before accumulation helps break the bound between the snow and roadway so we can push the snow off the road.

    All this is available on the internet for u to check.

    It was a major storm 24″ – Monsey got 8″, Boro Park got 8″

    All the vehicles hitting the road Saturday Night after Sundown getting stuck disrupted our ability to clean roadways. When u park a cars on both sides of the street we can’t clear it properly/

    If everyone parked on one side of the street we could have easerly avoided this whole mess. NYC, Monsey have alternate side of the street parking so u can clear the middle and one side, then the cars dig out and tmore so the can clear the remaining side.

    If u are being honest, in NYC w/ parking on both sides the sanitation trucks come down the center of the street and bury both sides and the parked cars.

    Being from Boro Park myself I have been buried many times.

  7. 1) We don’t need you to dye the sand red!
    2)If you had more trucks would it have helped, or do you already have lots of trucks which you couldn,t use?
    3) How about personnel? Are you shortstaffed, or are they dyeing the sand?
    It was a bad storm, and no doubt you have done your best once the storm hit, but there is no reason not to accept that maybe resources have been mismanaged, wasted at worst or could be better used next time?

  8. To Fedup.
    Thank you. this is what we were waiting for. someone with answers!
    nothing fancy.
    Thank you for responding and thank you for your work!!

  9. The sand is colored when we receive. Minimal cost, but we get lots of calls when we used uncolored. We had all plowing trucks in use. We don’t use sanitation or recycling vehicles as they are still needed to pick up. NYC doesn’t pu when it snows, We have the staff but a large storm like this strains our resources. THere is always room for improvement, and we learn from each storm. Also as the town growns and adds roads we don’t get additional equipment or manpower. We are always adding roads, never losing them.

    We try to be service orientated but we still have to answer to the policy makers (heads), we are only the hands, arms and legs.

    Most of the commitments are make without any of our imput. Yet we have to find a way to try and get it down.

    The superintendents, foreman and all dpw employees are just as disappointed in our failure to provide u with good service.

    Many times we are handcuffed and blocked from doing it as affectively as we can.

  10. Hey, how about a thank you for the DPW for working through the night to get the streets as good as they were. Perhaps a little less complaining and a little more gratitude is in order.

  11. You are obviously a devoted worker. Thank you for caring.
    The decision makers need to show the same devotion you do.
    Thank you once again for your responses and honesty. We need guys like you.

  12. you say “Many times we are handcuffed and blocked from doing it as affectively as we can.”
    Can you please expound? Why in such an emergency with Langert out there for 6 hours wpould you be handcuffed?

  13. “We don’t use sanitation or recycling vehicles as they are still needed to pick up.”

    There was no pickup Saturday and Sunday.
    I understand it takes some time to get plows on and off the trucks, but it would have still been worth the effort for a storm of this size.
    Also, We could have skipped Monday pickup and done it Tuesday like a holiday week. I know there is a holiday at the end of the week but again this was a once in a few years storm that requires extra effort. As for the money to fund all these extra overtime hours, I am sure the town would be willing to forgo July 4 fireworks and other township fun days for an extraordinary circumstance such as this storm.

    Thanks for all your efforts.

  14. we appreciated Mr. Langert coming out to see first hand what it takes to try and get the job done.

    Pls let me clarify “being handcuffed” – When the powers approve a community but won’t inssit on proper trash areas, when the powers approve parking on both sides of the street during snow removal, when the powers allow developers to build minimal parking spaces in tightly packed areas.

    Don’t get me wrong people need to let somewere, but the qualiity of that home and community needs to be considered also. One less townshouse allowing for addistional parking, proper trash pickup areas, small recrreation areas for children make a big difference.

  15. All the excuses are fine I just see that the county roads where done perfectly (and I didn’t notice any more or less potholes than the city streets )
    I plow for a living and one thing is for sure if I would have done a job like that on someones parking lot I would have been fired on the spot why is the township not held to the same standard anyone that didn’t do what they where supposed to do or didn’t show up when they where supposed to should get the boot and that should go all the way up the line

  16. Fedup,
    while your comments make a lot of sense, the fact is that at 12:00 when there was at least 4-5 inches on the gropund allready, I saw a truck spreading sand on squankum & 13th with its plow raised. Just a few feet away, County Line, kennedy & Squankum north of County Line were clear down to the black top.
    If salt is being used together with sand – why do the township roads have a sheet of ice while County & State roads are clear? This simple question is not being answered! I can come down & see how you mix the salt & sand etc. etc. but I don’t see clear streets!

    As far as the comment above about only slipping & sliding for 3-5 days a year – that has to be the dumbest comment yet. First of all it’s gonna be a sheet of ice for the next 3 weeks. Second – do you realize how dangerous it is and how many people will be getting hurt slipping, sliding & COLLIDING?

  17. New idea– lets all move our cars to one side of the road, or park in our driveways when its well known fact that snow is on its way. Then the big green plow truck can get by to do its job the first time. then everybody get to see the big green truck in the first 24 hours. Now was that hard?? then move the cars to the other side or the road and the big green trucks comes back and cleans the other side of the road.
    That was easy- wasn’t it
    Maybe the planning board shouldn’t allow any more homes unless they can fit TWO cars in the drive way or just let the police enforce the parking rules during snow removal and tow the perps that cant read the red and white signs posted all over the town

    Flash the Big “H” into the dark sky – Herschel we need your help!!!! Where are you- get those roads klean

  18. My fellow citizens,

    I believe the last snow storm of this magnitude was in 1996. Can you imagine the outcry if the town expended the resources required to handle a storm like this for a once in a decade (+) event? I don’t think any of the whiners would buy a fifteen passenger van for a family of four. The town should be managed with the same sense of economy.

  19. Someone mentioned this earlier, but I didn’t see you respond. Why don’t the township plows plow down to the blacktop? why are they leaving a few inches of snow that then gets packed down and becomes like sheets of ice?

  20. “but the quality of that home and community needs to be considered also. One less townhouse allowing for additional parking, proper trash pickup areas, small recreation areas for children make a big difference”

    I just have one comment to make about this. Your BOSS, John Franklin, sits on the planning board, and he has for years, He can convince the board not to approve these developments. He is pretty vocal when it is a little guy that is trying to get something approved, and good for him. But when it is one of the big boys, he is asked and he responds that he has no problem. I know this is true, I was there at one of the meetings when one of these outrages were approved. Now I don’t know why this is, I will let others draw their own conclusions, but the fact remains that the DPW has no one to blame but themselves.

  21. Alternate side has been cancelled in NYC since the storm started and dropped 11-12 inches (not 8 inches) thru today. With people parked on both sides of the road, sanitation vehicles did a highly effective job by Sunday afternoon on all highways and most avenues. By Monday morning everything was properly plowed with continuing cat & mouse plowing to clear the additional snow that people keep tossing back dangerously into the street. Most garbage pickup was reasonably delayed a day with minimal stink in the winter. When we had 2 feet a couple of years back, things took a lot longer. I’d cut the Lakewood Dept. of Public Works a little slack, but I can’t say I feel confident about any superior performance on its part at this huge snowfall in the Lakewood area.

  22. The LAC negotiated for snow removal for the developments, but no new trucks were added so as to remain “revenue neutral”. Of course, that impacted service for the rest of the town dramatically by adding nearly 20% more streets to plow.

  23. Blame it on 24″ but last year when we had about 16″ it was almost as bad. I have lived hear for 6 years and they are as bad as they were then. So much for “learning from each storm”. I saw them come down my block when there was at least 4″ on the ground and plow was raised and they were droping their cocktail. within 20 min you didnt even know they were there. But i do have to say that all you morons in your camrys and other little 2 wheel car vehicles, next time use your brains not only did you probably make a bad situation worse by getting your cars stuck you delayed emergency vehicles from getting to where they needed to be. Next time skip the pizza on motzei shabbos and spend some time with your familys. Or just get a 4×4.

  24. Dear Mr. Fedup
    Carol St is a block that has “no parking during snow removal” signs. I am sitting here on tuesday night watching them finally plow. There were no cars on the street since Sat night.

    In 2003 we had 24″.

  25. everybody just chill out. It’s a lot of snow and alot of streets and limited manpower. and cars parked everywhere!! everyone wants THEIR streets done first!!
    Snow is a natural occurence, and we have to be a little more understanding. That being said, I come from Monsey and they did seem to have a better handle on the snow. Perhaps because they dealt with it very often. also, with the local climate we rarely get anything this serious, and it usually melts with two days after.

    I have been saying this for years, but there is too much overcrowding on many streets – too many homes per block, too many cars with not enough driveway space so people park in the streets hampering cleamup effors. SO for those of you who thought it was a good idea to build residential areas like that, now you know why it wasnt such a good idea. And if you benefit from it in some way, this is the price you have to pay! next time use some brains in the way neighborhoods are built – spread out the houses and build longer driveways.

  26. and by the way, Brooklyn is like 100 times worse so those of you who are touting the way things are done in NYC are plain nuts.
    over there the plows plow in the cars and you have to come and undig them – hardly anyone has driveways. then they throw all the snow in the streets and sidewalks where it freezes in bumpy lumps for pedestrians – and there are tons of them – to slip around on

  27. Please do not get frustrated. I for one, appreciate you taking the time to respond to the “readers scoop”

    The beef is not with you, or the plow driver, it is with the UPPER management of the public works dept. 

    The old cliche is correct: Proof is in the pudding.
    Lakewood has three types of public roads:
    state roads (ie Rt 9)
    county roads (  ie county line, central, hope) 
    and township roads (too numerous to mention)
    Of course, the brunt of the streets fell on Lakewood’s platter and while some commentators certainly don’t blame you for the problems (on the contrary; you are a standup guy  i wish all employees are as dedicated as you.)  Having said that please understand that some people believe that Someone in UPPER managerial position in Public Works goofed here.

    Although most don’t want his proverbial head on a platter, he or she should be man enough to say to you guys and the committee that mistakes were learned and we will do better next time. 
    A simple but true statement, and the entire community would be forgiving.  
    We all know there was TWO feet of Snow yet mistakes were made and if those mistakes would be acknowleged even Privately to the committemen they would be corrected for the next storm.
    Because in order to correct mistake you gotta believe things could be better (which I know you do)      
    Best of luck To you Fed Up and all of Lakewoods dedicated employees. And let’s hope during the next snow storm all people in Lakewood (both the residents and the dedicated PW employees) will be much more satisfied with the snow cleanup.
    As a resident of Lakewood I Thank you again for taking the time to respond to the questions on thelakewoodscoop.

    And by the way, you are 100% correct, some projects that come through the planning and zoning board should be carefully studied to ensure proper road saftey. And I’m sure they too read thescoop and see the problems of bad planning. 
    Best of Luck.            

  28. Every house and every Town House approved in this Town are really 2,,units. 4 cars per unit. Insane and dangerous esp. for our children’s safety. Oh ,that’s not important,$$$$ Talks, common sense walks, with densities that are Clearly dangerous,as seen by this storm. Blame the good folks in the public works dept. who worked day and nite to clear 200 miles of streets 2 foot high with obstacles everywhere!!!!! Spare me the blatant Stupidity

  29. who ever builds your development really doesn’t care if you get stuck in the snow or any problems you have after you buy, because he already has your money. So too bad so sad. The builders attorney or other “professional” usually testifies to the planning or zoning board that everybody in the community walks and they don’t use cars so they get a variance on parking requirements. Then along come the families with 4.5 children, and two vehicles and no place to park except in front of someone elses driveway, right on the corner, in front of the fire hydrant, or on the side of the street that says “no parking this side”. And it won’t stop because the developers are the ones changing the zoning because the more houses they can put on an undersized lot, the more money they make off of YOU. And like I said, THEY don’t care about YOU after you bought.

  30. Good thing the comittee voted for it because now with “smarth growth” they will have the streets cleared better because the developers will build “Smart”. Imagine how good it will be.


  31. Don’t forget the kids grow up and add some more vehicles per family. But let’s be realistic: The newer the project the greater the percentage of people that were away for Shabbos Chanuka. There were so many less cars in town this week than on a normal Shabbos. Hundreds more, at the very least, would have been parked on streets that required cleaning. It was easier to clean until the Chachomim needed to get out for Motzei Chanuka excitement. Most of the oilam that was away and able to, waited out the storm because of the treacherous conditions.

    At least we didn’t have the chillul Shabbos that a Friday storm led to earlier this decade. Learn from mistakes, plan ahead, and don’t forget to enjoy the niflaos haborei! Where are the pictures of all the beautiful snowmen and igloos that the children had so much fun making on Sunday when they had the day off? Can we only complain?

  32. snowmen? you wanna see snowmen? you call this complaining? we’ re just warming up. every 15 years when we get slammed by a big storm, we are going to kvetch like nobody’s business. after a few days, we will all revert to our old apathy. So don’t get worked up, No one really cares.

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