Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ask Bryant Park: How Do You Manage Snow Removal?

Each snowstorm presents a new set of challenges, whether accumulation, duration, wind, ice, or other factors. Keeping six acres of park space and thousands of linear feet of sidewalk clear is a challenge, but we rise to the occasion. Here's an inside look at how we manage snow removal at the park.

The whole park was white on Sunday morning after the snowfall stopped.

Our general snow plan
Public safety is our number one concern when managing snow. Bryant Park manages the sidewalks on 42nd Street, 40th Street, Fifth Avenue, and Sixth Avenue (some of the most heavily-used sidewalks in the city) that form the park's perimeter. We dedicate our snow machines and manpower to those sidewalks because they serve many more pedestrians than the park's interior. After our crew has cleared sidewalks to a safe level, they direct their attention inside the park. That includes access to our amenities, including the park bathrooms, Winter Village Rink, and the Bryant Park Grill, which typically stay open as long as possible during snow. If snowfall is ongoing, these priority sidewalks and pathways are maintained, and other secondary paths, including our allees and less-used routes within the park, are tended to only if the priority paths are safely cleared.

As the saying goes, many hands make light work. Our Sanitation Crew has a fleet of machines, including snow blowers and brushes, and even a snow melter, to make the arduous process of snow removal a little less difficult. (The snow melter machine melts down snow so it doesn't sit in large piles around the park; the melted snow drains into the sewer.) In this teamwork spirit, our Sanitation Crew is sometimes joined by helpers from our executive office or other seasonal workers to make sure the park can be safely used by the public as soon as possible.

The Sanitation Crew worked throughout the storm and after to return the park to its normal order. If you recognize the text on the photo as being from Snapchat, you're right--follow @bryantparknyc on the app for exclusive photos and videos from the park. 

Snow removal during Jonas
This weekend's snowfall dumped a record amount of snow on New York City. Storm Jonas saw snow for approximately 24 hours, with heavy accumulation and high winds that quickly covered the just-cleared sidewalks. The Sanitation Crew worked during the storm to manage priority paths, and after the storm to do a complete dig-out of the park. And no, sadly, we didn't use the snow melter (though we did use our other snow machines)--there was simply too much snow for the snow melter to be effective!

The Rink was closed during the storm, but when Jonas subsided our rink operator worked hard to clear snow. Unlike the park, which has space for snow piles, snow must be completely removed from the rink--that means all the piles of snow had to be shoveled by hand, all while standing on ice! Now that's a tough job.

Considering how many tons of snow covered the park, it is remarkable that the park and rink were completely open to the public by Sunday afternoon. We are extremely proud of our Sanitation Crew and appreciative of everyone who worked together to get the park back to business as usual!

Park operations were back to normal by Sunday. 
This couple was able to take stunning wedding photos.  

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