Snow began dusting the city Friday morning, less than two weeks after a post-holiday blizzard paralyzed the city and its airports for days. Reeling from criticism over a slow cleanup, city officials put GPS devices on sanitation trucks and quality-of-life teams on the streets and promised to do a better job.
“I realize there were problems with the city’s snow-cleaning efforts,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose reputation as a pragmatic manager took a hit from the cleanup failures. “We want to assure all New Yorkers that we are doing everything in our power to make sure we don’t experience those kinds of problems again.”
Three to 5 inches of snow were expected in the city, and heavier accumulation of 6 to 12 inches is forecast in parts of upstate New York, where dozens of schools were closed.
Last month’s storm dumped 2 feet in some places, and a new poll found Bloomberg’s approval rating took a hit after the chaotic cleanup. The Marist College survey of registered voters found that 37 percent said he is doing a good or excellent job, and 60 percent rate it as fair or poor.
That’s a major dip from October, when 50 percent rated Bloomberg as good or excellent, and 45 as fair or poor.
When asked specifically about how he handled the snow cleanup, 71 percent disapproved and 21 percent approved. The poll questioned 439 registered voters on Wednesday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
The late-December storms in the East also caused the cancellation of more than 10,000 flights and delayed travel plans for hundreds of thousands of passengers. With Friday’s snow in the forecast, major U.S. airlines were again warning of delays and cancellations and waiving the usual fees to change flights.