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Neighborhoods give city crews mixed reviews on clearing streets

(Published February 24, 2003)


As road crews worked overtime last week to clear a 16.1-inch snowfall and drifts from city streets, The Common Denominator asked residents to e-mail us their comments on how well the Districtís snow-clearing efforts were going intheir neighborhoods.

The citywide effort got decidedly mixed reviews. What follows is a sampling of residentsí comments, with the date and time each message was received.


2/18/03 8:42 PM

I think they are doing okay. It is a lot of snow and I feel theyíve done their best. However, we live at the corner of 14th and Holly Street NW. Holly has not been plowed but 14th Street has had a city truck go up and down once. So why not Holly? Is there something here? I am working hard on opening Klingle Road and so, just maybe Dan Tangherlini and all his people who want Klingle closed for good are making sure Holly Street isnít plowed. Just kidding!

--Paul McKenzie


2/18/03 8:45 P.M.

The snow removal in Chevy Chase is going slow on residential streets. Blocks that have their own private arrangements have cleared streets. Major streets such as Connecticut Avenue, Western Avenue appear to be quite clear. I understand that McKinley Street ( a bus route) is clear. Minor arterial streets such as Nevada Avenue, Broad Branch Road are only somewhat passable. Most residential streets that I have observed still need work.

--Allen Beach


2/18/03 9:01 PM

I am a resident of Shepherd Park. Our street, Northgate Road, has not been cleared. We have only seen one small truck with a plow, and we arenít sure it has anything to do with the city. People are still getting stuck in the snow in the middle of our street.

Generally, we are very dissatisfied with the snow removal service we received in Shepherd Park, but we realize that this last storm is completely beyond the cityís ability to manage. I cannot speak to the inequities of snow removal in D.C., not having had the opportunity to see what service other neighborhoods receive. I CAN say that I am unhappy with the service here, but then again, we are recent transplants from Cleveland, where they are a lot more experienced in dealing with winter.

--Mike Binder


2/19/03 1:17 AM

13th Street NE was cleared very much on time, I think, but Newton was still impassable this morning when I walked down to the Metro station. I was glad to see it plowed this evening when I came home. Iíd like to suggest that the city add the block between 12th and 10th on Newton Ė the last block going downhill to the Metro Ė on the urgent list, since so many people need to make their way down that street to the Metro by foot and find it hard to navigate with the slope. I fell as I was walking down it Ė thankfully into a soft snow bank Ė but I am not looking forward to getting down it tomorrow, after a freezing night, with a suitcase, which is what I need to do. I would much rather it be fully cleared and sanded, not just scraped.

--Anne Anderson


2/19/03 6:49 AM

Around here, plowing has been sporatic on the residential streets, but on Sunday a snowplow did come through some of our streets, even my isolated little block. Lots of us who park on the street dug our cars out yesterday and are hoping the plows donít come through and heap snow on them again. So we werenít exactly anxious for the plows to return yesterday. After weíre gone to work, no problem.

I do hope DPW will start to prioritize residential streets by their steepness. Our hilly streets really need plowing more than the flat streets. In Hillcrest (hence the name?) we have five or six very steep hills -- Westover Drive, Fort Baker Drive, Park Drive, Hillcrest Drive, to name the top four.

I want to put in a good word for Safeway at the Good Hope Marketplace. I donít know about other Safeways in the city, but ours deserves kudos for staying open through most of the storm. I thinkthey had to close a few hours early on Sunday, but other than that, they hung in there. I understand that some employees spent the night in the store so they could open early the next morning. As you know, we have precious few grocery stores east of the Anacostia River, so the Good Hope Safeway is extremely important.

--Kathy Chamberlain


2/19/03 6:49 AM

Here in the Petworth neighborhood there has been little or no snow removal or cleaning of the streets. I live at 8th and Varnum Streets NW. We have seen no trucks at all at this time; however two police units came yesterday and assisted a gentleman with a four-wheel drive up the hill and he made a path that helped others to go up the hill. I am very concerned about the drains and sewers, especially since itis supposed to rain on Thursday or Friday. The city (contractor) came through last year while paving our streets and covered one of our main drains. We have contacted the city and talked with several people but they never came back to uncover it. The result of that is that several people have backups in their basements, I am told. Often, we are the last in the city to get snow removal. I hope that isnít the case this time.

--Rev. Sandra Butler-Truesdale


2/19/03 7:53 AM

There has been no sighting of a plow on the 1400 block of Primrose Road. If you do not have an SUV, your choice is to walk in the tracks left by the SUVs that busted out yesterday after you dig out to the tracks.


2/19/03 8:22 AM

The alley behind the houses in the 7100 block on Alaska Avenue and 16th Street is never cleared, even though that roadway is the only way we can get our cars out onto 16th Street or Alaska. No parking is ever possible on 16th Street now that repairs are being made, and even when that isnít the case, parking is only possible during fixed hours. People living in the houses affected have parking lots and garages in back of their houses for good reason and, except for times like these, that arrangement serves everyone well. I have written a note to DPW requestingthat they clear our alley, even though I know they are overwhelmed with work at this time.



2/19/03 8:50 AM

Well, here we are, Linden Place NE awaits that snowplow, which we have seen move around and near us. After several calls to the CommandCenter, being transferred to the Call Center on two occasions and talking to the plow drivers ourselves, still trapped on Linden. The 600-700 blocks of 13th and 12th streets need to be plowed better than what they were.

At 1:30 p.m. yesterday, I called 911 for smoke in manhole covers at 12th and Linden Place NE. After waiting on hold for about four minutes I hung up and called the dispatcher directly because I couldnít afford to wait longer for the police dispatcher to pick up. Responding personnel do their jobs Ė the problem remains coordination of EMA, Police Dispatch accessibility, etc.

Thatís why I continue to say we are not ready for a terrorist attack. The commitment of lead officials is there, but some of the support personnel that have to make all of the right agencies come together is still not operational.

--Robert Pittman


2/19/03 8:52 AM

I think they are doing fairly well considering the task at hand. Yes, there are some streets that have not yet been plowed, and that is frustrating, but seeing as how the plows have to (A) Get there after they are done with the dozens of OTHER streets, (B)Get around the dozens of cars (some just abandoned at an angle in the middle of the street...I actually saw a plow look up a street in Cleveland Park, but decide it was impassable even for him with the cars strewn about). I think we all need to practice patience and common sense. Yes, there are few places to park, but is leaving your car in the middle of the street overnight really going to help the snow removal efforts?

--Matthew Grant


2/19/03 8:55 AM

Here it is, 9 a.m. Wednesday and the plows have not yet made an appearance on Locust Road. One plow did go through 13th Street between Kalmia and Eastern (part of a route that ordinarily carries traffic from Alaska to Eastern) at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Thatís it. There may be a DPW plan for snow removal, but the reality seems to be the usual ďGod sent the snow, God will take it away.Ē

Radio news yesterday (NPR) stated that New York City, with many more miles of streets, had plowed every street at least once. According to friends and family who live in Manhattan and the far reaches of Brooklyn, this is true.

--Georgianna McGuire


2/19/03 8:59 AM

In my opinion, DPW snow removal in ANC 3G07 hasbeen excellent. Streets that were snow-packed in previous storms are relatively clear. 38th Street, which I live on, had always been the last cleared. This morning you could see the pavement.

I do have two storm related complaints, and they do not involve DPW snow removal.

1) People are parking on the corners making getting around difficult. This morning, at the intersection of 38th and Kanawha, there were two large SUVs illegally parked in the corner no-parking zones. The police need to enforce this.

2)My bad neighbor award goes to the private contractor who plowed the 3800 block of Jennifer Street. He did a beautiful job of clearing Jennifer, but he dumped half the snow on 38th Street! The curb of 38th Street between Jocelyn and Jennifer now has a 6 foot high, half-block-long pile of Jennifer Street snow. This blocks the sidewalk and curb lane. I hope there is a law against this and that someone gives the perpetrator a citation.

--Cris Fromboluti


2/19/03 9:27 AM

I live in the 2800 block of Jasper Road SE and my street and the ones above and below me have not been touched. Johnson Junior High School is across the street from my house as well as Shaw United Methodist Church and nothing has been done. This morning I walked to Stanton Road and Bruce to getthe bus and along Stanton Road wasnít bad. However, Turner Elementary School is on Stanton Road and nothing had been done in that neighborhood either.

--Kerron Weston


2/19/03 9:37 AM

Much better than in prior years. Most side streets in ANC 3G05 were plowed (single lane) late in the day on Tuesday, Feb. 18th, including some major streets like Nevada Avenue -- I would have thought they would have gotten to Nevada earlier, but given the Districtís history during the last number of years, it truly is an improvement.

--Jerry Levine


2/19/03 10:04 AM

Snow plowing is going better than in previous years in my neighborhood. Smaller streets such as Legation have had at least one pass. I havenít seen snow removal. Most smaller residential streets are passable although only one lane is clear. Of course the cars along the streets are still pretty much blocked in.

For pedestrians, most neighbors have shoveled. Walking from Connecticut Avenue along Military to Wisconsin, I found only 15 percent or so of the walkways unshoveled. The street corners are difficult to traverse though. Walking along Connecticut, the apartments have done a good job shoveling as have most of the merchants. A few need reminders.

--Robert Gordon


2/19/03 11:08 AM

Overall, my assessment is that the city has done pretty well so far. I live in the 1400 block of Lawrence Street NE and our street was relatively clear when I left this morning. As I drove across town to an appointment in Northwest and then to work in Dupont Circle, I found the side streets to be in fairly poor shape. A few surprising trouble spots on main streets were the 1600 block of U Street NW (in front of the fire station) and Connecticut Avenue just south of the big bridge over Rock Creek Park. Today should be a big test -- many of the intersections where side streets meet snow routes should surely be priorities.

My complaint was late Tuesday afternoon, when a city plow made its way up Lawrence Street and spent perhaps 20 minutes clearing a parking space for our neighbor. I guess I canít say the driver did absolutely nothing else, but my impression was that the rest of the street was not improved, while my neighbor ended up with a nice spot for her van, courtesy of the city.

I expect there are rules against city plows being used for personal jobs. I donít think thereís anything to be done about this case (especially since our block is in pretty good shape anyway) but it is the kind of incident that continues to tarnish the way we all view District government.

--Eric Stockton


2/19/03 11:23 AM

Despite wonderful community efforts in doing walkways, entrances, and steps, Shepherd Elementary School in Northwest D.C. is not ready for student return. Snowplows, even where there were no cars parked on the street, did not plow curb to curb. Because of that there is no place for teachers to park. Neither DCPS nor D.C. government small plows have come to do part of the playground so staff can park. Most neighbors have worked to clear sidewalks throughout Shepherd Park, but not all. Side streets have one track down the middle. Lots of cars are still snowed in.

--June Confer


2/19/03 11:31 AM

The snow removal in Adams Morgan was spotty, but Iím willing to give them until tomorrow to make a final assessment on it. Of major concern though is the snow the plows pile up around intersections. Itís difficult for pedestrians and cars alike and I fear will only get worse with this weekendís rain. While we appreciate all the work the city does to keep federal Washington running, letís hope they bring some of those front-end loaders and trucks up into the neighborhoods to clear out the major piles of snow.

--Mindy Moretti


2/19/03 11:43 AM

We was shocked, stunned and amazed to see two--not one, but two--city plows clear California Street on Tuesday. That was three more than we expected to see. And they came one day early! A private company also appeared with a small electric plow and a shovel brigade. Its crew shoveled pathways from residentsí steps to the street and plowed at least my section of California. When I asked who had hired them, the crew chief said it was a big office building on 18th Street. A big office building? In Adams Morgan? I donít think so. ...But whatever/whoever it is, weíre eternally grateful. Or at least until the next Big Dump.

--Molly Pauker & Willie Schatz


2/19/03 12:18 PM

Iím a pedestrian and Metro bus and train rider. I appreciate the cityís plowing bus routes first.
Access to side streets is, of course, important for emergency vehicles, but, besides that reason, why is it more important to plow streets than ensure pedestrian safety by plowing sidewalks and bus stops? Many D.C. residents donít own cars.

Many neighbors in Mount Pleasant are very diligent in shoveling their sidewalks. Iím not sure whoís
responsible for shoveling the walks where Park Road cross Rock Creek--the National Park Service or the
District--but no one does.

--Steve Hill


2/19/03 1:04 PM

Iíve lived in Shepherd Park for 16 years and I must say that snow removal afterthis storm has been much better than in years past. I make this comment living on a road in the community that was skipped by the plows due to cars obstructing the plowsí access. As of this writing, the plows havenít been back around to my street.

So I applaud the District with improving their snow removal efforts; however, in comparison to neighboring counties (Shepherd Park residents walk to the Silver Spring Metro), the service remains poor. Weíve gone from terrible to poor.

--Patrizia Bailey


2/19/03 2:57 PM

This was better than í96. Having said that: After clearing 14th Street (one lane) to Alaska, a snowplow was stuck, blocking the access to Alaska from 14th Street. There was not a pattern to the snow removal after major streets were cleared. Some cross streets with traffic lights at Georgia or 16th Street were left snowbound until Wed. a.m. Conditions were still treacherous for folks trying to get to work on Wed- whether by bus, car or Metro.

The plows seemed to have no regard for the impact of their snow mountains on access to Shepherd Elementary School. Determined parents cleared sidewalks, but the walls of icy snow left by snowplows at the corner entrances to school grounds were nearly impossible to cut through. It would seem that plows would consider the storm drains before blocking them with snow. Ditto for bus stops.

--Andrea Young


2/19/03 8:59 PM

FYI, Iíve been down in Southwest for the last four years. I was stunned to see a snowplow actually come down N Street, the one block west of 4th Street SW, twice during the storm. Itís a dead-end street with a brick divider in the middle and usually is among the last to be cleared.

--Joann Scott


2/19/03 9:39 PM

Snow removal efforts were less than stellar for Ward 7ís Westover Drive and 31st Street SE citizens. Westover Drive sits on one of the highest elevations in the city and is basically a circular drive with one way in and one way out. In other words, it is not a through street. The steep hill at the entrance to 31st Street poses a particularly dangerous challenge to residents when it snows and the streets have not been plowed.

On the occasion of the 2003 winter storm, the snow stopped coming down on Monday, 2/17, before noon. By Wednesday morning, almost 48 hours after the winter event, citizens of Westover Drive were still imprisoned at the top of their hill, unable to get out for any reason whatsoever. Despite multiple calls to the Districtís call center by several citizens, no action was taken by DPW to alleviate the situation -- no plowing, no salting, nothing! It was not until Wednesday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. when the plow trucks finally arrived and plowed enough snow aside to allow one lane of traffic to pass.

This situation must not be repeated. We were fortunate this go round that no oneís home was set ablaze and that no one became ill and required the services of an ambulance. With no other route of escape, the citizens who live on the hill at Westover Drive are living in a very dangerous situation every time it snows and DPW fails to act in a timely manner. While other District residents boasted of tremendous response time in getting their streets plowed, this street East of the River was repeatedly ignored after multiple pleas for assistance from desperate citizens.

--Paula Spaulding


2/19/03 11:35 PM

I canít say enough. My hats off to Mayor Williams. In 1996 I has house-bound for something like 10 days with a toddler and no way to get my car out. This time my street was plowed several times as the snow fell and several more after. They didan astounding job. Today they were cleaning up where they could around parked cars and where cars had moved, to make the street wider. I actually asked a snow plow driver if he would clear our side of the street if I got neighbors to quickly move four cars. He was fabulous and in no time we all worked together and now have more than little car cubby holes. We have our whole end of the street back!

--Cindy Snyder

Near Tenley Circle

2/20/03 12:42 AM

Snow removal was fine until the mayor got back from Puerto Rico and diverted every plow to the main thoroughfares only. We saw one three times during the worst of the storm, then he returned and we havenít seen a plow since, and itís now the wee hours of Thursday. The second biggest debacle was the sidewalk at thepublic library. It is still only about 2/3rds cleared, but no one worked on it at all until Wednesday some time after 8:30 a.m. I just walked home from the subway at 11:45 p.m. to see a beautifully cleared Connecticut Avenue, only to climb through knee-deep piles of soft, slippery snow well out into the road from the curbs at Newark Street NW (almost looks like plows turned around on Connecticut there, the piles are so high!), and turn onto Macomb, and find it still slippery and pretty impassable. One lane. No plowing today. Who are we clearing these main thoroughfares for if we canít get out of our residential streets? The commuters? When they chip in and pay taxes for our services, then I will grasp why they might be a priority, but until then, letís plow secondary and residential streets while weíre doing the main ones. Thatís how plowing during this snowstorm started, and weíd probably all have been served better if thatís how it continued.

--Karen L. Davis


2/20/03 2:25 AM

Believe it or not, I actually saw a snow plow on my street! After living on this block for 10 years, I finally saw one. I have been searching and searching for one. I had to call all my children around to show
them what a snow plow looked like in real life, not a photo from the news or in my guidebook of extinct
items. It only came around once, but, it was a thrill of a lifetime.

--P. Chittams


2/20/03 7:21 AM

Virtually none of the pedestrian crosswalks across major thoroughfares such as Connecticut Avenue NW have been cut through the snow. Walkers therefore perch precariously on 4-foot high snow mounds next to 45 mile per hour commuter traffic, waiting for cross walk lights to change. This will cost the city plenty when the first traffic fatalities result from lack of pedestrian access to the curbs at crosswalks.

--David F. Power


2/20/03 6:50 AM

No city plows on Appleton between Reno and 38th NW. Everyone on our block paid $25 for a privately owned snowplow to plow our street, which was NEVER plowed during the huge fall of (I think)

--Deborah Fort

2/20/03 8:59 AM

††† The mayor promised a plow down every street by midnight last night. Clearly, he didnít mean MY street. The 2300 block of 41st Street NW is still impassable. In fact, most of the streets in my neighborhood are.
--Wendy A.F.G. Stengel


2/20/03 9:52 AM

Most of the north end of Mount Pleasant is still unplowed, including the ever-dangerous 17th street entrance to Rock Creek Park/Piney Branch Road, as well as Monroe Street, Newton Street, Brown Street, and 19th Street east of Park Road.


2/20/03 10:39 AM

I live on Hurst Terrace NW. It has not been plowed at all, neither have the other side streets. There is a school on the corner (Key Elementary) and the snow has not been shoveled or plowed there on Fulton Street either. It would make more sense to stay home than to spend the five hours it takes to get downtown and back home.

--K. Sternberg


2/20/03 11:41 AM

Today, Thursday, has arrived and there has been no District-sponsored snow-removal on our street, Hillyer Place. There has only been perfunctory plowing by District plows on 21st Street, at the west end of the street, and on Connecticut Avenue on the east end. A group of us collected $20 apiece from Hillyer Place neighbors to hire aprivate contractor to plow our one-block-long street and the alleys behind our houses. We did that in desperation, after it became obvious that it would take a lot longer for the District to get a plow in. To their credit, I will say that the main auto thoroughfare of Connecticut Avenue, which is in an underpass at Hillyer Place, was clear of snow on Monday. However, the portion of the avenue that is above ground had nothing but the ruts made by venturesome drivers.

Perhaps Washington should adopt the practice of cities in snow country, where, after three inches of snow have fallen, plows begin to circulate. That makes it possible to use plows with smaller blades, since less snow must be moved. Sure, it makes for overtime for the crews that drive the plows and for the other crews that mount them on the trucks. But that would be a lot less than my $20 that it took to get a semblance of cleared snow in our street.

--Philipp H. Klein


2/20/03 11:43:31 AM

Being the good citizen that I am, I thought I would get a jump on the snow removal process. So, on Sunday evening, when we got the first break from the snow, I spent about two hours shoveling all of the snow away from the two cars that I own, which were parked in front of my house on 17th Street SE. I completely cleared the snow, shoveling it onto the sidewalk, not out into the street. If the roads were clear at the time, I could have driven away.

When I woke up Monday morning, I found that the snow plows had done a great job clearing a lane down 17th Street, but to my horror, they had completely refilled the area that Iíd previously cleared around my two cars! And to make matters worse, they had plowed more snow in place of what was previously there! You would think that they would have noticed that I had obviously shoveled a path around my cars, and therefore, would not just plow new snow into the cleared area! Nope.

So, I spent another three hours Monday morning, again shoveling the snow away from my cars, and my sidewalk. While I, and my neighbors, were shoveling away the snow, the snow plow trucks were coming down 17th street, plowing snow right back onto our side of the street and into the areas that we were in the process of clearing! They did this as we were standing there shoveling snow away! This, of course, required us to keep re-shoveling moresnow. The next time a snow plow came down the street, I literally stood in its way, forcing it to go around me and not shovel more snow my way.

At one point, two plows came down 17th street. The first plow moved some snow from the left side of the street (where no cars were parked) and deposited it into the middle of the street. And then the 2nd plow, which wasright behind the first one, deposited that snow to the right side of the street (where all of the cars were parked and where my neighbors and I were attempting to shovel the snow).

Once I finally cleared the snow, I removed my car, ran some errands and returned home. When I returned, I found once again that the snow plows had deposited MORE snow into the area that I cleared. So much so that I was notable to park, and had to spend another hour in the evening clearing more snow.

This whole process was absurd and ridiculous! I imagine that others experienced the same type of issues, and I think it was an outrage. There must be some written procedures outlining snow plowing practices that areresident-friendly? I will give them some credit though Ė the main streets were plowed pretty quickly Ė unfortunately at the expense of the early birds.

--Bryant Young

2/20/03 1:43 PM

Presuming that others will comment on streets and walkways, my comments focus on issues pertaining to those of us with special needs, specifically the pavement cuts or dips used by those in scooters or wheelchairs.

Just as we hear special requests to clear the area around fire hydrants and mail boxes, it would extremely helpful for the message to include clearing the pavement cuts. Broadcast journalists, weather reporters, PSA. There are any number of ways that word can get out if an effort is made. It simply boils down to awareness.

--Cecily Robbins


2/20/03 5:32 PM

I live in Southeast on M Street, right at Minnesota Avenue. Seriously, the only time we have a snowplowcome down the block in the 10 years I have been living here is when the neighbors pool their money and hire one. Most recently, whenever you want to find a snowplow, they hide beneath the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge at the exit for Pennsylvania Avenue from the Southeast/Southwest freeway. This afternoon about 11:30, I saw three plows idling under the bridge. I guess next time I need to take a digital picture.


2/20/03 7:46 PM

Congratulations, Mr. Mayor. Itís Thursday night here in Fort Dupont, Ward 7 -- more than 72 hours after the snowfall. Your administration forgot us. Too bad we canít forget you in the next election. Next time, do us a favor and enjoy your vacation.

--Yulonda Queen


2/20/03 8:40 PM

Still no plow on First/Van Buren NW - despite a councilman first asking Ms. Hotaling on Feb 15 to make sure our neglected neighborhood was not overlooked -- like it is year after year. She assured him it would be taken care of and it has not -- eight plow trucks have been in the neighborhood but without their plows down. This writer chased one down last night and he promised to do the neighborhood and First Sstreet but did not .

--Jude Payne


2/21/03 9:51 AM

Problems with the D.C. governmentís handling of snow:

         Snow Emergency parking restrictions are lifted, but parking lanes are not clear. This results in people parking their cars in the travel lanes on major thoroughfares.

         Many, if notmost, sidewalks abutting property owned by the D.C. government have still not been cleared as of Friday, Feb. 21.

         Many, if not most, sidewalks abutting property owned by the federal government have still not been cleared as of Friday, Feb. 21.

         Many, if not most, sidewalks abutting property owned by the WMATA (Metro) have still not been cleared as of Friday, Feb. 21.

         The D.C. government has asked for volunteers to clear snow around schools. The city has workers whose job descriptions include this task. D.C. needs to do the work that our taxes have paid them to do.

         D.C. schools are open on Friday, Feb. 21, although the streets and sidewalks are still not safe for young children. I suspect the sole reason is a numbers game, i.e. they want to get a school day in so they will have one less to make up. Childrenís safety does not seem to be a consideration in this instance. I would suggest that they could have opened the high schools but left the elementary schools closed.

         It does no good to clear main roads when many residential streets have still not even had one pass by a plow. The city should come up with a plan to plow and sand all streets to make them passable before it starts clearing main roads all the way to the pavement.

--Buddy Yingling

Western Avenue


2/21/03 11:57 AM

Snow is a discipline which shapes the character of people who live in or come from snowy places. It is futile to expect those who do not get enough of it for their characters to be shaped by it to know how to deal with it.For the mayor to promise every street to be plowed 60 hours after the storm ends is like expecting the rain to fall up.

--Dino Drudi


2/21/03 12:40 PM

1) In Mount Pleasant nobody can move their cars anywhere, so what can be done? Result of plowing here has been one- lane roads.

2) Some people left their cars abandoned here and there, so a plow couldnít get through if it wanted to.

3) It might be shrewder in future to plow the alleys (so people with alley parking garages can use them) AND maybe to warn everyone not to park, say, on the right side of the street, on a given night, so that plows can be somewhat effective.

--Chris Anderson

2/21/03 11:39 PM

I live in Hawthorne part of Chevy Chaseómy street (below) and the adjoining street (Dogwood) have not been plowed at all as of now, Friday p.m. I have reason to go to Perry Place every day. The 1300 block not only has never been plowed and two feet piles of snow remain in the middle of the road, but the alleys behind the houses are in better shape than the roads. Five days should be enough to handle these streets!

--Maureen Flanagan


2/22/03 8:49 AM

For those of us who lived through the Marion Barry years, snow removal was great. By normal standards, however, I think DPW created a real mess by making Park Road essentially one way near Rock Creek Park. It would have been better for them to have left it unplowed, if they lack the capability to make it two way. And of course the side streets and alleys in my area were untouched.

--Vincent Macaluso


2/22/03 1:31 PM

We live on a one-block-long, one-way street. That means we are probably dead last on the priority list. So, I was delighted, and then disappointed, when I saw two small D.C. government trucks with plows on the front come down Sigsbee Place on Thursday, threefull days after the storm ended. There were two: the first one kept getting stuck in the snow ruts on our street. This driver got out, freed his wheels and kept going, getting stuck at least three times. He was not plowing. He did not even plow at the endof our block where there is a wall of snow and only a 6 foot pass in the middle. For residents of Sigsbee, turning onto 12th Street NE, which is a snow emergency route, is dangerous because of this wall. The second plow truck stopped behind her stuck partner, and spewed blue ďsalt.Ē That was it. One pass through, two trucks, no plowing, some salt. I found myself saying, why did they bother?

If the trucks had been a bit more careful plowing 10th and 12th Streets on either side of our little street, the entryand exit would be much safer. The neighbors basically dug each other out, but each drive down Sigsbee ran the risk of slipping sideways into a neighborís car. We have the sense we are totally on our own. For a blizzard that occurs every six or seven years, I can understand a lack of thoroughness. Aside from medical personnel and patients, and the very poor, most of the rest of us can just relax and lose some annual leave. But even a plow down our street right NOW, in the midst of pouring RAIN, would help us get out of our street.

Compared to 1996, in which the city got a D-, Iíd give us a C. Maybe a B is the best we can hope for, given how few resources there are for blizzards and how few blizzards there are here. (Global warming is beginning to sound cozy!) But a B would be grand.

--Jane Lincoln


2/22/03 3:46 PM

Snow trucks in 1300 block of 28th at about 12 midnight Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday, well after a Department of Navy truck driver sped and slid on the icy street into my parked car Thursday afternoon, of course, damaging the right front.

--Jr. Walton


Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator