City responds to plow complaints after dire emergency

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Neighbors in Buffalo want to know why their street wasn’t plowed when a resident collapsed from a heart attack. The emergency became dire on Tuesday, when an ambulance couldn’t get down snow-clogged Bush Street in the Black Rock neighborhood.

A good samaritan jumped into action during the incident.

City Hall said Bush Street was not neglected, it was just that plows couldn’t get through.

“Three times we tried to get down Bush,” said Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak. “Our plow drivers would go down there. The cars would be blocked in.”

Frank Sloan, who suffered the heart attack, had to be lifted onto neighbor Gary Heard’s pickup truck, which took him to the ambulance. Heard had helped keep his friend conscious until first responders arrived.

Black Rock resident Paul Block said much of the congestion is due to cars parked illegally.

“I have called 3-1-1 on a number of occasions about the parking there,” he said. “Nothing seems to get done.”

Parking is tight, for example, at establishments like Nick’s Place at the corner of Bush and Amherst Streets.

Owner Peter Ananiadis said he asks customers not to park illegally.

Ananiadis explained, “When we see them, we tell them. We ask them to move them, and people are wonderful. They do.”

COMMENTS | Still having snow plow problems? Leave your comments below this story.

Plows respond to Bush Street.

News 4 brought all this to the attention of City Hall Thursday. Just a short time later the plows were on Bush Street. An illegally parked car still had to be moved for the plows to advance.

City Plow Driver Garrett Buchnowski said, “So we’re asking everybody, if they can, whenever they can, move their cars. Do it for us so we can get out and get everybody straightened out for the city.”

The city is aware of a slew of complaints about side streets not getting plowed.

Stepniak said, “Any snow event, I’ll never say that we’re perfect, because we always look at things that we could do a little bit better.”

Stepniak is asking drivers to try and park close to the curb. He said, “In these cold, cold temperatures that we have, with this volume of snow we have out there, it’s important for residents to understand and try to get as close to the curb as possible. So when our plow drivers are curbing, we’re not trying to put snow in your driveway. We’re just trying to get that curb opened so you can get over as far as you can, to allow that truck to get down, or that high lift in a lot of these cases. The high lift in a lot of these cases can get down there. Inches in this case matter.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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