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D.C. Mayor Explains Decision to End 'Snow Emergency'

Here's a report from The Post on why D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty turned on a "Snow Emergency" Sunday afternoon and then turned it off last night, even though a lot of snow was still on the way:

On Sunday afternoon, Fenty announced a snow emergency in the District beginning at 4 p.m. That is no minor task for officials or residents; the decision would forbid parking on 111 sections of street throughout the city so that plows can freely clear major routes -- some of which have residential homes -- without cars blocking their path.

Then, at 9:30 p.m, Fenty announced that the emergency was lifted. Residents no longer had to move their cars to side streets for fears of them being towed and also, receiving a $250 ticket.

Fenty (D) said the emergency decision was made when the forecast called for up to six inches, "and we wanted to able to get to the curb," the mayor said, referring to the street plows not having to work around parked cars. But when the snowfall on Sunday evening fell short of predictions, Fenty said he decided to cancel the emergency.

By Monday, Fenty said, "The second snow wasn't supposed to put more snow on the ground until rush-hour, and you already can't park on the streets so it's like a built-in snow emergency," the mayor said. "We didn't need it at that point so that's why we took it off."

Meanwhile, wannabe D.C. drivers who were fretting about taking a road test in this weather need not worry. The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles canceled all road tests. But the snow was not an excuse to delay fighting that parking ticket or getting the car inspected. The city's walk-in hearings at 301 C St. NW and the Vehicle Inspection Station at 1001 Half St. SW operated on normal hours today. All other city DMV offices were closed.
-- Theola Labbé-DeBose

By Robert Thomson  |  March 2, 2009; 2:48 PM ET
Categories:  Driving , Weather  
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