Crime Down, Bills Up: How Snow Affects the City
(New York Times) — With no snow for days, and none in the immediate forecast, the city is moving out of its period of being buried, which began the day after Christmas and never seemed to end. But as the snow melts, and as city officials tally the cost of this record-breaking winter, other price tags are becoming clear — whether they be financial, emotional, even electrical. And some of the numbers are good. Many major crimes were down, even way down, during the snowed-in weeks. The Empire State Building weighs 365,000 tons. Imagine sanitation workers lifting it. They have come close, figuratively speaking — the city’s Sanitation Department has spread 332,486 tons of salt on the streets so far this winter. Now imagine Citi Field, the Mets’ stadium in Queens — sanitation crews have cleared enough snow this winter from city streets to fill the stadium more than 4,200 times. New York City makes about $350,000 a day from thousands of parking meters. Because of the snow, parking-meter regulations have been suspended for 12 days since the December blizzard. The total bill comes to roughly $4 million: the estimated amount the city has lost in parking-meter revenue. The city has already spent its entire winter snow budget — $38.8 million. A spokesman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the administration was still calculating the city’s total bill and expected to have a figure soon.