New York City faces salt shortage, commuter students face obstaclesPosted on February 13, 2014 | by Caren Doueiry
With the decreasing temperatures, impending snowstorms and a shortage of salt stockpiles, NYU commuter students are having trouble travelling to school.
According to The New York Times, last winter the Sanitation Department used almost 350,000 tons of road salt but began this winter with only 250,000 tons. In recent weeks, the department has had to add to its stockpile.
Sanitation Department spokesperson Kathy Dawkins said the city currently has enough salt.
“The Department of Sanitation has about 135,000 tons of salt on hand, an adequate amount for this coming storm,” Dawkins said. “The Department is able to receive additional deliveries of salt from its contracted vendors.”
NYU has been monitoring weather conditions and making decisions on class and university closings accordingly, notifying its students through social media and email about cancellation statuses. Commuter students who experience difficulties have been instructed to contact their instructors if they are unable to travel to classes.
Many commuters are experiencing difficulties traveling to campus through thick snow and ice. Some students, like CAS freshman and commuter Louise Eltvedt, said they noticed smaller amounts of salt in comparison to other years.
“I notice a shortage of salt a little, mainly because I notice shopkeepers or hired personnel shoveling snow where salt hasn’t been put,” Eltvedt said.
CAS freshman and commuter Paula Burgos said she is concerned with current travel conditions and fears for her and other commuters’ safety while traveling to campus.
“There are so many things that can go wrong just getting to my car or to the bus stop,” Burgos said.
Students who travel long distances are taking extra precautions during their travels and exercising caution because of the conditions.
CAS junior and commuter Kevin Benitez said the lack of salt has led to more ice on the road.
“I’m very wary of the weather when I’m commuting, I always make sure I’m wearing my boots to be careful,” Benitez said.
Beyond safety concerns, commuter students said their commute will become more time-consuming as they try to maneuver through thick ice and snow on the streets.
“If salt stockpiles were depleted, it would at least double, if not triple my walking time to the train station, and walking on the [road] is obviously not really an option in the city,” Eltvedt said.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Feb. 13 print edition. Caren Douiery is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.