The winter of 2013-2014 was one of the harshest in recent memories. For those who live on Delano St. in Poughkeepsie, NY, it was a mere disaster.
The one way side-street, off of Delafield Ave, serves as a residence area for no more than 3 houses and 8 apartment complexes. With the only parking lot being a locked up, abandoned school lot, the residents were forced to all park on one side of the street, in accordance with the town laws. Since the parking is scarce, the residents of this block were at their boiling point during last year’s winter season.
“It was ridiculous,” said Tom Selasco, 32 year old resident of 33 Delano St., “If you don’t shovel out your car and move it somewhere in the early morning hours, you would get plowed in.” He said he would have to wake up around 4 a.m. on the morning of snow storms to see how much he had to shovel away from his car that the plow left there. He also said, “I wouldn’t just do my car though, I would have to help the elderly women who live on this street too.”
The residents of Delano St. needed a solution to their problem, and it came from the help of the Rossi family. They have owned one of the top rated delicatessens in the Hudson Valley Region since the seventies, which is located at the southern facing corner of the street. “I had to talk to the town of Poughkeepsie multiple times for them to give me permission to open that abandoned parking lot at the bend of the street,” Roberto Rossi said, co-owner of Rossi’s Deli.
The plethora of customers that visit Rossi’s at all times of the day served as another problem. The customers took up parking spaces on Delano St. that the residents needed. The residents were then forced to drive around the block and park on Delafield Ave., a very busy main road. This means that when a resident parked on the main road, this left an open spot overnight. Alice Digiacoppo, living in the apartment building on 26 Delano St., explains that “when everyone wasn’t pulled into every possible spot on the street, that was the worst. That meant there would be a whole spot that would be covered with snow from the storm and the plows. It was such a pain to clear out those open spots in the morning.”
The locked up parking lot served as property to the abandoned school, adjacent with Delano St. The Rossi family has the key to the parking lot, but the town of Poughkeepsie would not allow them to open it because they are liable for what happens in it.
“After multiple talks with the town,” said Rossi, “They finally allowed me to open it. It was our only option really.”
“It was a relief that we could finally not worry about our cars overnight,” commented Selasco on the opening of the parking lot. “Then what we really had to start to worry about were the sides of the street. There were like six foot walls of snow and ice. It made the already narrow street almost impassable.” The tough winter, which accumulated almost 65 inches of snow last season according to Kingstonsnows website, continued to make travel difficult for these residents of Delano St.