We’re Talkin’ Sneckdown

Queens. Photo: @Streetfilms
85th Street and 34th Avenue, Queens. Photo: @Streetfilms

New York City was spared the brunt of winter storm Juno, and with streets in better shape than expected, there are already enough photos out there for our inaugural #sneckdown round-up of the season.

A portmanteau of “snow” and “neckdown,” a sneckdown occurs when driving patterns delineated in snow reveal excess street space that might be reallocated for traffic-calming. For a primer on documenting sneckdowns where you are, check out the article in the latest ioby community projects newsletter from Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson Jr. We’ll add that, if you’d like to see your photos published on Streetsblog, it’s helpful to include a location in your tweet or Instagram.

We’ll be on the lookout for more post-Juno pics. In the meantime, here they are: from NYC and beyond, the first sneckdowns of winter 2015.

Prospect Park West and 16th Street, Brooklyn. Photo: @dnielsonmoore
Prospect Park West and 16th Street, Brooklyn. Photo: @dnielsonmoore

Varick Street, Manhattan. Photo: @BrooklynSpoke
Varick Street, Manhattan. Photo: @BrooklynSpoke
11th Street at Hudson Street, Hoboken. Photo: Alexandra Aiello
11th Street at Hudson Street, Hoboken. Photo: Alexandra Aiello
15th Street, Washington, DC. Photo: @KG_DC
15th Street, Washington, DC. Photo: @KG_DC
W. Oxford Street entrance to East Park, Philadelphia. Photo: @bikemamadelphia
W. Oxford Street entrance to East Park, Philadelphia. Photo: @bikemamadelphia
  • ahwr


    Mayor: So, let me just quickly follow up with – yeah, but I just –
    let me clarify, and then we’ll take your next question. The – first of
    all, on the point – and I have spent many a day digging out my own car,
    when I had my own car – and the point is, I know it’s tempting to put
    snow into the street. This is a – it’s a huge mistake, given the amount
    of snow we’re going to have, to put the snow back in the streets. I’m
    going to ask all of my fellow New Yorkers, when the time comes to dig
    out your car, move it in between cars, move it in the sidewalk, but
    don’t put the snow back in the street.

  • Andrew

    Move it in the sidewalk? Ugh. Walking after a snowstorm isn’t challenging enough without the mayor’s help?

  • Joe R.

    My first inclination would be to ask the mayor why clearing sidewalks isn’t a municipal responsibility the same as clearing streets? It shouldn’t be incumbent upon the whims of individual property owners to keep the sidewalks clear. This is something the city should do as a matter of course, the same way it clears streets.

  • Real New Yorker

    Good luck, people in wheelchairs, the elderly, parents, and the majority of New Yorkers! If only there was some sort of elected official who had the courage to defend your rights.

  • Jonathan R

    This is the most pro-bicycle thing I’ve ever heard from Mayor De Blasio.

  • Tyler

    Why did you have to include a picture of Dub Pies? I’m working, and hungry and I can’t get there right now. I hate you. :-p

  • D’BlahZero

    First, I do appreciate the ‘don’t throw the snow in the street admonition.’ This is yet another way owners of personal automobiles have a negative impact on others. It is an incredible pain in the ass to be riding down a reasonable cleared street only to encounter the refrozen detritus of some idiot who dug out their car into the street. On the scale this typically happens, from my experience as a cyclist and driver, it’s a minor irritation while driving, but a serious mater on a bike – especially considering one will typically be taking the lane at the time.

    That being said, I fully support your point about sidewalks. The half mile walk to my child’s school in the morning is on sidewalks that are fairly well cleared. But there are significant gaps of dangerous ice. Virtually none of the more than a dozen curb cuts are suitable for strollers, elderly, or anyone with a physical limitation. We hear about the DSNY heroes who drove plows all night, but this Wednesday morning, you’re at the mercy of random property owners on your walk to school. Idiotic.

  • peterG

    Yes. And pay for it with a street frontage tax on all lots. No reason for high density areas to subsidize low density parts of the city.

  • Joe R.

    I doubt we’ll need any new taxes. This is something which might cost some tens of millions a year. It’s also something the city should already be doing for the high taxes it collects. You can squeeze it out of the budget, or better yet pay for it with cuts elsewhere, particularly in the NYPD. There’s probably enough bloat in the DSNY budget to pay for sidewalk clearing.

    The stuff about high density areas paying for low density areas is largely bogus if you add up the total tax receipts, not just property taxes. A lot of high density areas tend to be lower income. In many cases not only do quite a few residents not pay much in taxes, but they receive different forms of income supplements. When all is accounted for (total tax receipts less spending) I somehow doubt any one type of area is either heavily subsidized, or heavily subsidizes other areas.

  • peterG

    Yes let’s find another way to subsidize the suburbs in the city. Like we don’t already do that enough…

  • Joe R.

    Show me the numbers. Until you do your claim is crap.

    And where are these “suburbs” in NYC? Maybe some parts of Staten Island where mob bosses have McMansions on 1 acre lots might qualify but that’s about it. 20×100 or 40×100 lots typical of homes in most of the city give you population densities of 10,000 to 20,000 per square mile. That qualifies as heavily urban by most definitions.

  • peterG

    Sure. Lots with five hundred square feet of sidewalk cost more to clear if more live on the lot. Makes sense.

  • iSkyscraper

    Reality: putting snow in the streets is the appropriate measure in Manhattan, as the city’s design leaves nowhere to put the snow. If it goes in the streets it quickly disappears as it is ground up by traffic, at any temperature.

    Yes, not great for bikes, but as an engineer it seems that street removal through traffic is the most efficient way of getting the snow out of the way of pedestrians, cars and, eventually, bikes too.



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