SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The street is still covered with snow and ice, and people who live on side streets packed Springfield city hall Monday night to voice their concerns to the head of the DPW.
One by one, city residents lined up to express their outrage over the condition of city streets in Springfield.
Gerry Reardon told 22News, “Our street is about three feet out on one side and about four feet out on the other from the curb, which makes Crest Street pretty much down to one lane.”
City councilors and the head of Springfield Department of Public Works heard from more than a dozen city residents. Many of them had the same concerns as many 22News viewers, who flooded our newsroom with pictures of side streets that were impassable. Some worried about emergency vehicles being able to travel down their street.
Joe C. Long Jr. told 22News, “Hypothetically, if some people are in need of their service, how are they going to get there in a timely fashion?”
Others said the season’s first snowstorm wasn’t much different from other storms last year.
William Blatch said, “It’s time that we brought some attention to this situation because we’re dealing with the safety of our children back and forth to school, as well as people being able to efficiently get to work.”
DPW Director Chris Cignoli told 22News, “Well it’s about 22 percent of them really. Because we’ve gone out and we’ve done our evaluation. And we have our guys driving around. It’s 25 percent of them. And as I said in the meeting, it’s basically the ones that were at the end. They were the ones that have a lot of cars parked on them, but it was basically the roads at the end once they were all driven on. And those are the ones we’re concentrating on right now.”
Councilor Orlando Ramos asked Cignoli if the DPW needs more money. Cignoli said no, but he did admit his department needs more independent contractors to help with the snow.
The city plans to continue holding meetings like this one, in an effort to avoid this for future storms.