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How have the mayor and council handled the snowstorm?

Send your thoughts and photos to Post reporter Sandhya Somashekhar or post them in the comments below.

For reference, here's what we wrote over the weekend:

Feb. 5: D.C. government closing at 2 p.m. for storm; residents must move cars off snow routes

Feb. 5: Fenty: Stay off the city streets tonight

Feb 7: D.C. Council member: City offices should close Monday

Feb. 7 Big changes to D.C. trash collection because of snow

And don't forget that there's more snow on the way this week.

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  February 8, 2010; 1:50 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Big changes to D.C. trash collection because of snow
Next: D.C. to reinstate snow emergency at 4 p.m.


I think, overall, the DC government is doing a good job. HOWEVER, keeping the government open today is ridiculous. My street hasn't been plowed, metro isn't running. I couldn't get into work today if I tried. Many businesses follow the DC government's lead. Fenty backed himself into a hole by repeatedly promising Monday. Aim lower and exceed expectations. He set it for Monday - so he FAILED.

Posted by: BrentwoodGuy | February 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'd say they're doing really well with the snow removal, considering the amount we got. Our neighborhood streets have seen plows at least three times (during storm, after storm, and again today). They could use more salt and a wider course to get closer to two lanes, but all told as good as can be expected.

The school open/close fiasco though deserves marks down.

A- on snow, B+ overall.

Posted by: ah___ | February 8, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

ah__ what neighborhood do you live in? mine has not been plowed once.

Posted by: elanvital1 | February 8, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

It's great that *some* neighborhood streets have been plowed, but it's sad and irresponsible to see so many emergency routes frozen and difficult to navigate. These streets were designated "emergency routes" to ensure that if you have an emergency, our first responders can get to you in a timely manner. Quite honestly, it was pathetic to see numerous fire engines struggle to get through the streets around my building (all on emergency routes.) Yes, we would all like to see our neighborhood streets plowed, but in a storm of this magnitude, it is in everyone's interest to diver all resources to emergency routes. It must be noted that if these streets had been cleared, most people would be within three blocks of a route. That could have allowed our grocery stores to restock, and give us hope that the incoming storm will not completely shut down the city again.

Second, it was irresponsible for DC offices to open and for Fenty and Rhee to have even considered keeping DC schools open for Monday. While I understand a lot of our students depend on the free food program to get a meal, it is irresponsible and highly unprofessional to put their safety and wellbeing in danger. I'm glad they eventually decided to close the system. However, their announcement prior to Metro's announcement illustrates how the Fenty and Rhee administration have become detached from reality and their constituents.

Taking into account the fact that the Fenty administration has failed to ensure the safety of our citizens, children, and workers, the administration has failed. I question their ability to adequately respond to a major disaster.

Posted by: der24 | February 8, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Typical city failure. Had city plows hit the residential streets once or twice, they would have cleared much of the snow. What we have now is a dangerous layer of thick ice and huge rutted areas.

Walking on a major road today for an hour - I did not see a single plow. After 24-36 hours, every street is a snow emergency route. If my neighbor cannot get out, that is an emergency.

I also fault the city for not taking care of its own public sidewalks. When Metrobus reduces schedules and roads are dicey, we cannot even take to the sidewalks.

Posted by: DanDC681 | February 8, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Considering the storm, I think DC has done a passable job, but they need to plow a number of streets still. My street hasn't been plowed since Saturday. The street is 3-4 inches of packed snow/ice. It's dangerous and I've seen a few cars get stuck and slide their way through the street.

As for Fenty - he gets an F. Closing the schools was an easy decision considering how bad the streets have been. To say they re-evaluated the condition of the streets when they changed their minds leads me to believe that they never checked in the first place. I'm not sure what Fenty is trying to prove, but it could have potentially risked a number of children's lives.

After metro decided to keep above ground stations closed -- closing DC govt just made sense. It's simply dangerous for DC govt employees to hit the streets...the highways and dc streets were not safe. I made it into work today and 3/4s of the office were out b/c they couldn't make it in b/c of the metro/bus situation. The Fenty administration continues to disappoint. It's time for a change!

Posted by: dcresident12 | February 8, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I would also love to know where the streets have been plowed (and multiple times at that!). Our street in Woodley Park right off of Conn hasn't seen a plow yet. There is no way I could move my car if I wanted to. All the more frustrating that Conn is clear and free all of 10-15 feet away.

Also the sidewalk across the bridge between Woodley and CP is just one snowy/slushy mess. It clearly hasn't been cleared since the storm ended.

Posted by: lizanndc | February 8, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Fenty gets an F. I never expected all the streets to be cleared simply because of the volume of snow. However, with Metro operating with reduced services, what is the logic for openning the government? What a dolt!!

Posted by: Qwyz | February 8, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

For the people expecting the streets to be cleaned, why don't you have a 4-wheel drive truck, a snow blower? Would it be because it is silly to plan for a snow event as large as we had? Extrapolate your personal preparedness to the city level. Unless you want to pay the tax increase to cover the equivilant of a 4-wheel drive and a snowblower for every household, be thankful that the city is not spending this money on equipment that cannot be justified.
I give the mayor an A- for not better explaining why city offices were open with metro essentially shut down, and city crews cleaning the streets an A+.
Capitol View
Ward 7
Washington DC

Posted by: streff | February 8, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Those removing the snow are doing the best job they can for the amount of snow that fell on the city within a short time.

As for Fenty, he has once again FAILED!! His wishy washy decision making with the schools is irresponsible and down right stupid. I concur with most of the other posters that with the metro and most of the public transportation not working it is a no brainer that DC Gov't should be closed. It is time for a change!!! Out with arrogance!!!

If anyone gets a chance, check out Fenty on the local Fox news. He was asked if he heard from any upset employees in relation to not closing the gov't...he said NO. The reporter said they have heard and showed several clips.

Fenty is an arrogant and irresponsible leader that this city does NOT need. I didnt vote for him in the primary, but did in the general. I will vote for ABF (Anyone But Fenty)

Posted by: DCJUSTICE | February 8, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Fenty: Don't PRETEND to open the DC Government offices. Either do it or don't. You said the DC government was open today. I kept calling the DCRA main switchboard and nobody answered; I kept calling the Office of Tax and Revenue, but nobody answered. But you said the government was open, so I trekked all the way to 941 North Capitol Street only to get past security and find locked doors and shrugs from ineffectual disaffected DC Employees. You are doing nobody (including yourself) any favors by claiming the government is open when, in fact, nobody shows up for work and citizens mistakenly believe you at your word!

Posted by: capitolhilllawyer | February 8, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

what response? No roads plowed. No control over bad driving and cars getting stuck everywhere.

Posted by: shnook1 | February 8, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

No control over bad driving and cars getting stuck everywhere.
Posted by: shnook1
That sounds like a problem of citizens that the government isn't going to be able to do much about.
I love the folks in my Ward who think that the city should have 24 inches of snow cleared in less than 48 hours when we get around 16 inches in an average year!
If you want your street cleared faster than it is, I suggest you start screaming at your councilmember to have taxes raised; income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, ....

Posted by: streff | February 8, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Honestly I would have to give the city officials a D but the individuals who are executing the plan an A. As many have previously stated, it is ridiculous that the DC Gov't was open, especially when you consider that the Federal Gov't was closed. My street has yet to see a plow and a car is stuck in the middle of the street which would cause havoc in the event that an emergency vehicle had to drive down. I tried to do my civic duty and call 311 but after finally getting a human voice (7 minutes and counting) I was promptly disconnected. Look I am not asking for miracles, I am just asking for a semblance of a plan. Did I mention that my street, which is directly off of N. Capitol has yet to see a plow!

Posted by: bigant_md | February 8, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: VICTORIA1960 | February 8, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: VICTORIA1960 | February 8, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid I have to agree with Victoria1960.

The Mayor and his shiny waxed head has appeared dumb and dumber during his frequent TV appearances, applauding the hard work of the snow plow drivers (which is fine but hardly requiring a TV apppearance) and then repeatedly asserting that things would be back to normal, including the D.C. Government, by this morning. Totally lame.

And Chancellor Rhee obviously is not telling the truth when she tells the Post today that her late hour decision Sunday night to close the schools today had nothing to do with the teacher boycott underway. It's amazing that it took the teachers' job action to get her attention. Does she not look out the window?

Stay tuned for more meaningless photo ops by the mayor and more cliff-hanging decisions by the Chancellor as the snow returns on Tuesday and Wednesday. That seems to be their pattern, and the Fenty/Rhee team has turned the first storm into a governance debacle and is setting themselves up for a replay.

Posted by: JohnRDC | February 8, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I give the government a B. My street has not been plowed once by my Takoma pool was plowed and open today. The manager told me ALL pools opened today. For that I give Fenty a B.

Posted by: gretchendutchrt73 | February 8, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Based on their response to the storm - not 1 plow seen since last the storm began 5 days ago (we live in Ward 3) - we can only be thankful that Fenty, Rhee, et al are not running the recovery effort in Haiti

Posted by: tagtron | February 9, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ah___

>Our neighborhood streets have seen plows at >least three times (during storm, after >storm, and again today).

Sure like to know where you live

Posted by: tagtron | February 9, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

I live in VA but had to take my wife into the city, downtown, yesterday because she had to go to work. This was 9:30 to 10 am. On my way in, while there and on my way out I saw only the worst of service. On one street (about 25th and L, as I recall) there were five policemen pushing out a patrol car that was stuck at a curb. I never saw a plow or signs that one had been through on any of the streets I had to use. I am now getting ready to leave again -- it is 7:15 Tuesday -- and hopefully the District might have its act together by now.

Posted by: cjthelder | February 9, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Fenty's decision to open the government was irresponsible, inconsiderate and dangerous. When I saw him on television Sunday proclaiming that the govt. (and schools) would be open, I could only laugh.

I do not live in D.C., but my husband is a D.C. government employee. We live in eastern Montgomery Co. Since there was basically no Metro bus service yesterday, I had to drive him to the nearest underground Metro station in the city. The roads were ridiculous.

I would love to know how many employees actually made it to work and how many will report today.

Great job Mr. Mayor.

Posted by: firefly25 | February 9, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

My understanding is that the Mayor makes all decisions regarding snow removal and closings. The council does not have any decision making authority when it comes to snow.

Posted by: tameraab | February 9, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

DC completely fails, especially when you compare it to Arlington, VA just across the river. I drove over to Georgetown last night to take a friend out to dinner back in Arlington. Wisconsin and M are rutted, ice-bound nightmares. Rosslyn and Courthouse are relatively clear. Compare Key Blvd in Arlington to Wisconsin or M, or even K streets - you'd think that any of those DC streets should be clear, when you take into consideration the volume of traffic that they handle. Tiny Key Blvd isn't going to ruin anyone's alignment. DC gets a D-minus on this one.

Posted by: arokkwc | February 9, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Fenty is doing a horrible horrible job. No one expected all the roads cleared overnight or anything to be perfect. But yet he talks as if he's has melted all the snow and the world is back to normal.

Clearly he doesn't drive himself anywhere or take public transportation. I fell twice on sidewalks in front of city buildings. has these wonderful posts about how city streets have been cleaned and the horrible, inaccurate article from the post about how clean DC streets are shows snow delusion.

DC gov should not be opened - I don't work for the city but think its horrible people are being forced to nearly kill themselves for Fenty's ego.

Three days since the storm and I haven't seen one plow truck from the city. But Fenty had time to go and shake hipsters hands at a snow ball fight.

Posted by: baisasa | February 9, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I give city workers an A and the Mayor a D-. The Mayor's fake pep-rallying of city crews is patronizing at best. He has been at war with these very workers from the moment he took office.

On thing is correct, those same workers that he has contempt for are pulling 12 on 12 off shifts to try and get a handle on this snow volume and get the city moving again. These are the same workers that the Mayor is contemplating firing in a couple of months following snow season to make up for a budget that he has poorly managed; deepening the city's deficit.

The Mayor was willing to place District school children at risk by announcing that school would be open before communicating with Metro to verify if they would be open. And, as it turned out, they weren't. Notwithstanding the fact that the Mayor himself could look out the window and see that District sidewalks were/are virtually impassable.

I give ANC Commissioners in the city a big fat "F".

This city has never had a plan to clear sidewalks other than asking residents to do it, and, ask any "big city" mayor, as the Mayor puts it, they'll tell you that expecting residents to do that individually is a dead deal. ANC commissioners should have long ago brokered deals with contractors to bring in bobcats to clear residential sidewalks in their communities. They do get a small budget from the city. Why not put it to a good use? Instead they grandstand at Council meetings never really getting anything done.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 9, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Fenty -- F for assuring everyone that things would be back to normal on Monday. What planet does he live on??!!!!

Posted by: seaduck2001 | February 9, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

1. Fenty continues to make the wrong call. When the federal government is closed, there is no reason for the city government to be open. That is total disregard for the welfare and safety of the workers.

2. The original call for schools to open 2 hours late yesterday. Only someone not thinking clearly would have thought that children could have made it to school. Sidewalks have not been cleared, so children that walk would have to walk in the street, children that take public transportation would have just been out of luck, and children that get a ride or drive to school would have to deal with untreated streets.

3. The city has started a new policy of not picking up trash from alleys if it is deemed not to be safe. I am all for safety, but as a life long resident, I can count the number of times on one hand that the trash has not been collected, and still have fingers and a thumb left, but today is the 4th time since the week after Christmas that we have not had our trash collected. They did not collect last week, even though vehicles had been up and down the alley for a couple of days before trash collection day. They are not going to collect today. What does the city expect residents to do with weeks work of trash?

4. The city came at midnight, night before last, with a backhow and dump truck to break up the ice and clear a narrow path for vehicles to pass, so the snow removal on my particular street gets an A+, but, the city needs to seriously needs to think about the other issues I raised.

Posted by: nativewashingtonian3 | February 9, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday at least 80% of DC government employees in my building did not show up for work. Most because they couldn't, others because they were so insulted by the Mayor's decision to force them into work under these conditions.

Posted by: PepperDr | February 9, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The Mayor said the same crews that plow the snow, pick up the trash, fill pot holes, trim the trees, enforce parking, pick up the leaves, install signs, etc.

Our citizens should think of that before they criticize the dedication of District workers. They are duel function employees.

Two Thumbs Up to the Workers!!!

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 9, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I am a DC resident. Fenty gets an "F" for unreasonable decisions & pronouncements. Keeping DC govt open & announcing "2hrs late" for DC schools, only to be forced to the reasonable "closed", demonstrates an irresponsible lack of judgment & concern for employees & school children. What neighborhood is plowed three times while the rest of us have not seen a plow, at all? None the less, DC Public Works gets an A for effort, in spite of Fenty's poor leadership.

Posted by: jadams4 | February 9, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

As a DC resident originally from New York, I would say the process has gotten better and this was a large storm for any government to have to cope with. It seems the next steps would be to ensure plans are in place a)emergency services are able to operate and able to unfreeze frozen hydrents and do whatever they need, b) grocery stores have their plans to get their food shipments in, c)transportation networks are snow-ready, and d)a plan is in place to make sure most side streets are plowed

Posted by: KyzlOrda | February 9, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

You cannot say that the city is under so much duress that we require a snow emergency, then require all residents to stay home. But see your employees are your separate fiefdom and not care about the safety of more than 50,000 people who work for the District. It is also adding those people to the population who will not stay off the road because of their personal economic imperative. He can't call himself working in the best interest of the public. Plus these people on the road impedes the ability to clear the roads. And if they come to work via metro they will be late but there is no delayed start. If they drive they will be towed.

Metro is not working at full capacity. The District did not clear other streets beside the main road, so neighborhoods are fully under 5 inch sheets of ice. And the guy with the drivers and the motorcade is telling his employees he better be there by 9am sharp.

If he wants to really show a press moment he should take metro to work.

I find it dubious to be able to blame the mayor for not removing ALL the snow with the amount that the city has to work with. However, I do blame the mayor for arbitarily deciding policies that work against the best interest of the public and his employees.

He is not a great chief executive.

Posted by: 411Tibby | February 9, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

By the way why is the Council included in this ....they have nothing to do with snow removal. But I guess that is the post minimizing the damage to Fenty.

Posted by: 411Tibby | February 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I think DC gets a bad rap. The prevailing perception is that DC Government is bad and inefficient and Virginia is pole opposite. I live in Virginia and I work in DC. I had to go to work yesterday and I can tell you, Virginia highways (e.g. 395) and Roads were in terrible shape. I could hardly drive on I-395 late morning. On the other hand, DC roads were much much much better condition. For Example, after coming over 14th bridge, the high was SPOTLESS. New York Ave was clean. And the roads to my office were fairly paved.

I think DC did a Wonderful job. Congratulations to mayor Fenty and company for the job well done.

Posted by: KaneMan | February 9, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I would love to praise the city for the snow removal, but I simply cannot - the major routes in the city are abysmal. This quantity of snow requires plowing complemented by front-end loaders and dump trucks moving snow. Connecticut Avenue is 2 lanes southbound and usually only 1 lane northbound. Snow is piled high in the curb lanes and with the freeze/thaw cycle it is now probably unplowable. Unacceptable! Wait until a full-blown rush hour - it's going to be beyond a mess.

Posted by: jay4811 | February 9, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank you KaneMan, I absolutely agree with your analysis.

WIth regards to the snow removal, I think all of you with negative posts should try to drive into Maryland or Virginia. DC's snow removal has FAR surpassed that of its neighboring counties/states. This morning I had to deliver food to my elderly grandparents who live in Friendship Heights and let me tell you Wisconsin Ave had two lanes clear in each direction UNTIL you got to Bethesda. Furthermore, Western Ave looks as if it has not seen a plow at all! I am so grateful I live in DC and not MoCo or VA.

Posted by: DCyouth | February 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

In the past when the Federal Government closed in D.C., the District Government and most private sector organizations closed too. I work for a Trade Association in Dupont Circle, NW D.C. and we close whenever the Federal Government shut down for bad weather. Mayor Adrian Malik Fenty is a d$m idiot and he will not get my vote in September 2010. The D.C. Government should have been closed on today and yesterday like the Federal Government. I really dislike Adrian.

Posted by: Ward4DC | February 9, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Adrian Fenty is a fool for keeping the D.C. Government open on Monday and Tuesday knowing the Federal Government shut down. D.C. is a government town. Metro buses aren't running on a regular basis and many Metro buses are not running at all. How in the heck did arrogant Mayor Adrian M. Fenty thought D.C. Government employees were going to get to work? D.C. voters are hating Fenty daily and I am glad liberal white D.C. voters are seeing, Fenty is inexperience and we need somebody who's more in touch and sensitive to their constituents. Fenty doesn't give a hoot about no one but himself and the few wealthy people he have surrounding himself with. This guy is awful and it's time for Fenty to go. Everywhere I go, black D.C. voters hate Fenty. Washington Post Colbert King and others have written article about Mayor Fenty's bad behavior and his being out of touch with black D.C. voters. I will not be voting for Fenty or Ward 4 puppet Councilmember Muriel Bowser in 2010 and 2012. Ward 4 voters are sick of Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser. Bowser have been a puppet for Fenty and she have represented the interest of Mayor Fenty on the Council of the District of Columbia and not the Ward 4 D.C. voters.

King Adrian Fenty fooled everyone with his phony populism and everyone thought he was Mr. Nice Guy, man of the people. I knew he was a disaster, when in the first debate at UDC he was unable to name the three credit rating agencies! Let's get with it people, when are we as voters going to start electing politicians for their intellectual capabilities and not because they make us feel good? Good on all of you DC residents who voted for Mr. Clean, now the city will once again go down the drain under his leadership...I TOLD YOU SO!!!

North Portal Estates
Ward 4 D.C. Resident/Voter

Posted by: KappaNupe | February 9, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I will give the mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia a C- and I give the D.C. Government workers at DPW and DDOT a grade of a B for their handling of the Blizzard of 2010 in D.C.

Posted by: Ward4DC | February 9, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

As someone who lived here through two decades of Barry rule, where the city was hopelessly bankrupt and trash pickup wasn't a given, I would say this response rates a B+. We had a couple snow storms in the late 70's, early 80's where the only street in town that got plowed was PA Avenue, and that still took a few days.

The will has been there through these storms, they just don't have the proper equipment to do the job properly.

Plows work great on large wide roads where there is room to plow snow, but most of DC is narrow side streets. DC needs to buy a few of these rigs I've seen in Buffalo, Chicago and Boston. Large dumptrucks with a snowblower that blows the snow directly into the back of the truck, a lot like those lawnmower leaf collectors.

That way the snow is off the street and out of the way and they can haul it where ever.

The way it is now, the plow in cars and sidewalks, then the car owners throw the snow from the cars and sidewalks right back into the street.

Posted by: Nosh1 | February 9, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I give Mayor Fenty an F- for opening the District Government knowing the Federal Government is closed and Metro is operating on a skeleton schedule. What is wrong with Adrian Fenty? Is the guy on drugs? He is nothing like the guy from the beginning of his career. Fenty will not be getting my vote and a lot of other D.C. voters votes come September 2010. D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans and others sitting on the Council kisses the behind of King Fenty and they are afraid of this guy. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans don't think no one can defeat his King Fenty, but you are wrong Jack Evans. Longtime and native D.C. residents/voters are tired of all the liberal BS policies/legislation being passed by the 13 idiots sitting on the Council along with arrogant Adrian Fenty. There are many streets in Ward 5 that haven't seen a D.C. Government truck come pass removing the snow in many Ward 5 neighborhoods. I do realize, this is a lot of snow that most of us have ever seen in a long time or in our lives. I will give DPW and DDDOT a grade of a C+ for their effort.

North Michigan Park
Ward 4 D.C. Resident/Voter

Posted by: Ward4DC | February 9, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

give Mayor Fenty an F- for opening the District Government knowing the Federal Government is closed and Metro is operating on a skeleton schedule. What is wrong with Adrian Fenty? Is the guy on drugs? He is nothing like the guy from the beginning of his career. Fenty will not be getting my vote and a lot of other D.C. voters votes come September 2010. D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans and others sitting on the Council kisses the behind of King Fenty and they are afraid of this guy. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans don't think no one can defeat his King Fenty, but you are wrong Jack Evans. Longtime and native D.C. residents/voters are tired of all the liberal BS policies/legislation being passed by the 13 idiots sitting on the Council along with arrogant Adrian Fenty. There are many streets in Ward 5 that haven't seen a D.C. Government truck come pass removing the snow in many Ward 5 neighborhoods. I do realize, this is a lot of snow that most of us have ever seen in a long time or in our lives. I will give DPW and DDDOT a grade of a C+ for their effort.

North Michigan Park
Ward 5 D.C. Resident/Voter

Posted by: Ward4DC | February 9, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

If this was Chicago, Fenty would be DOA politically. You must plow the streets. But DC Govt. spends its time worrying about trifles, so of course they are unprepared when something like this happens. Baltimore -- no ideal -- has done a better job.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 9, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I am a long time resident of Ward 8, there hasn't been a snow plow on my street. When it snowed in December it took the snow plow four days after the storm before a snow plow showed up. I saw snow plows parked along Wheeler Road however, they didn't service my street until the fourth day.

Then you want to suspend the trash pickup for this week. If we get the high winds predicited for this storm then you will have trash blowing all over the neighborhood mixed in with the snow and ice from both storms. Its bad enough that we only have 1 day set aside for trash pickup.

I just saw a Pepco truck inching down the street, if the Pepco truck is having trouble going down the street, then you know how much trouble cars are having traveling down the street. It would be nice if we saw a snow plow or maybe even a small truck with a plow or some salt or sand. SOMETHING!!! If I had to grade the Mayor for the snow storm in December and the storms this month. His grade would be an "F" for failing to reach out to all
WARDS and all PEOPLE of the city!!! SO SAD!!!!

Posted by: sheron9 | February 9, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Fenty and Hr Director Gregory received several emails from me on this issue.

I am a federal employee but my wife and my cousin work for DC Government.

Mayor and his cronies show no compassion and care for well-being of city employees again and again - many of those employees live in suburban MD or NoVa - there is no way for them to get to work without MARC/VRE or metro. Most suburban streets have not been plowed either.

Endangering city employees just to score political points - look, feds are closed but DC is open - it is deceptive and plain dumb - most city employees could not make it to work either - too sad.

District residents - take a note as you might be employed by the city someday - do you want your chief executive officer to be someone like Adrian Fenty???

Posted by: yusifaze | February 9, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

My block is still very hard to navigate and the plows have come through maybe once or twice and push the snow up on the cars and making it impossible to move the snow to get your vehicle out. The sidewalks are horrible. People should not feel stressed about getting to work and risking their saftey. The buses are not consistently running. More snow is going to equal more of a problem.

Posted by: susanleigh | February 9, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'd like to know why WaPo spent so much time and energy covering the Dupont Circle snowball fight as if to say it was just a "fun" thing to do rather than an attempt by some folks to create a mass riot. It appeared as if WaPo encouraged disorderly conduct. Yet, the Voices blog briefly mentioned that JMU students were arrested and charged with a felony for throwing snowballs at moving vehicles. What are you people encouraging...are you encouraging snowball fights as a fun time. What type of public service are you providing? A responsible journalist would have researched the laws on throwing missiles at people or moving vehicles as well as discussed the safety issues surrounding that conduct to warn people NOT to engage in those activities. And, this is why journalists must go. You are not doing your jobs.

Posted by: kitten2 | February 9, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Having lived in the midwest (Michigan) for most of my life, I am amazed at the work done in DC. I have had to drive into VA during the storm to get people to work; I can say that I left the plowed streets and highways in DC wondering if I made a mistake when lanes disappeared or my car dragged on ice that had piled in the lanes that existed.

The biggest challenge in DC and this area is that road trucks do not have "belly plows;" rather they utilize front plows. Front plows are good for pushing snow and piling it alongside roads; the belly plows peel off ice and packed snow and move it to the same location. Road graders -- useful on gravel and rural roads -- serve the same purpose.

I can say that while the city I managed was equipped with all of the above equipment, it would have stressed our crews to handle the massive amounts of snow we have received in DC. Chicago considers a 12 inch snowfall a major event; we have received much more. The ongoing challenge will be where to put the snow because hauling is a very expensive and staff-consuming operation (requiring loaders, trucks, and flaggers to protect workers).

As for sidewalks, the most effective way to move such massive amounts of snow would be small tractors equipped with snowblowers. The question that would have to be answered, "Who's going to pay for these?" The tractors cost money to purchase as well as maintain along with operators. Most years they would not be required. Lastly, where do you put this snow as well as what is being moved off the street? Front yards?

There are several things that should be considered by local governments. Private properties should NOT be allowed to plow snow into the public roadways. This is dangerous to plow operators and at some point requires movement of these piles. Why should the city pay for hauling away snow pushed from private properties. Odd-even parking or some system that allows plow operators to clear roadways to the curbline should be considered. With cars parked on both sides of the street, it is virtually impossible to clear roads because the snow is pushed towards vehicles which then shovel the snow back into the lanes of traffic so the car can be freed. The snow then gets driven over and creates ice which remains on the street until it warms.

The decisions to keep government and schools open may have been an attempt to show that the situation was under control. It was probably too optimistic of an assessment of the capabilities to recover from such a major event.

Posted by: execdir | February 9, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting point: Emergency status, stay of the roads, dc gov workers come to work, and dc students report 2 hours late. Huh? Also, if most dc wkers and teachers are md and va residents, we all know they could not get to work.

Fenty is a joke. Let'a not forget the contractors that are working so hard to remove the snow. The rec centers were open.

Posted by: wkitout | February 10, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I like execdir's comments. It was well thought out.

Especially the part about those small tractors equipped with snowblowers for sidewalks I saw a contractor using them at the rec centers.

Shut out to that contractor.

Posted by: wkitout | February 10, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

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