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Some Maryland roads still a challenge

Update (4:20 p.m.): Crews from the Maryland State Highway Administration and Maryland Transportation Authority are still out clearing roads and park-and-ride lots in preparation for the morning commute.

State offcials said some equipment from Western Maryland had been moved to Montgomery, Prince George's, and Anne Arundel counties to help clear those areas because they received some of the greatest snow accumulations. Front-end loaders and large snow blowers are part of the effort

Crews will work through the night, officials said, trying to prepare for the Monday rush.

For winter weather road information, call the state's winter storm hot line at 1-800-327-3125 or visit the Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) Web site for information on incidents

Original post: After two days working in and around Get There central, I finally had a chance to head home this afternoon. Fifteenth Street NW was still a challenge, but New York Avenue and U.S. 50 east were fine.

Charlie Gischlar, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration, told The Post's Ashley Halsey III that crews were making progress.

"On the interstates, 485, 270 and 95, we're getting passable lanes," he said. "There are some shoulders that are snow covered and we're working to clear them. We're also working to open up some lanes that have been narrow."

Gischclar said the sun is helping, but some of the secondary roads might still be problematic for drivers.

"The guys are out there working and salting so we don't get a refreeze," he said.

Some of the secondary roads still had snow, slush and ice on them, such as Maryland Route 704, where there was really just one lane for traffic in each direction, as opposed to the usual three. Some of the smaller roads, such as Route 953, were almost impassable. Meeting drivers coming from the other direction -- especially when it involved hills and blind corners -- involved lots of courtesy and driving cautiously. Here is some advice from Dr. Gridlock on driving this weekend.

The only problem I really encountered was snow blowing off vehicles in front of me. If you're hitting the roads, please take the time to brush the snow from the top surfaces of your car. It's really disconcerting to have huge chunks of snow flying at your windshield on the highway.

Before you head out, remember you can always check out road conditions and view the feeds from traffic cameras on our traffic page.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Weather , highways  
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Next: District residents urged to call 311 if roads aren't plowed by the end of the day

Comments

"please take the time to brush the snow from the top surfaces of your car."

Sometime in the next day or two, that snow on top will become a slab of ice.

Every year someone is killed or seriously injured when a big slab of ice flies off the top of someone's car and slams into the car behind at 50 mph.

Posted by: JeffRandom | December 20, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: I think one advantage of such a heavy snowfall is that people almost have to clear off all the snow from their roofs before driving out of their parking spots. It's not that they're concern for other drivers has increased, it's just that they need to do it for their own safety.

Posted by: Dr_Gridlock | December 20, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Just like the Prez day storm in 2003, smaller roads of Olney Mill in Olney Md will probably get ignored.
In '03, we waited 6 days for a plow to make a pass down our street. It never came.
6 days we sat, unable to move while the rest of the world went to work, shop, live their lives. Finally a man in a pickup with a plow came down our street simply because he felt sorry for us. I felt like i might as well have been in Siberia.
No thanks to Montgomery County.
Thankfully, this was only 20" and we will manage to eventually get out, but only for those with 4 wheel drive. Families with minivans and sedans will again be at the mercy of the county.
I know, boo hoo. But YOU get trapped on your own street for a week and then get back to me.

Posted by: JONJJ | December 20, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Olney, MD is a census-designated place with no local government. It only exists because the Census Bureau and Post Office decreed it into existence. Hence, it has no public services other than those provided by the county, which is already overtaxed with plowing thousands of other roads.

I live in an incorporated town in PG county. As of Sunday MORNING, my side street had already been plowed numerous times, and the pavement was already visible. The only snowy road in my entire town is the state highway that runs through the middle -- apparently, PG County and the State of Maryland are not prepared to plow the roads that they are responsible for plowing.

(I just looked at a map of Olney Mill, and all I see is cul-de-sacs in every direction. Apparently, your street plan was designed to deliberately impede the flow of through traffic, thereby making it more difficult and less worthwhile for the county to plow. Maybe your HOA should contract an outside snow removal service, because those subdivisions are probably on the bottom of the county's priority list.)

Posted by: stuckman | December 20, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Our neighborhood has not yet been reached by the snowplows either (across from the golf course on Layhill in SS, south of Olney). We had house guests trapped since Friday night - they only got out to the state roads today because we had a private snow removal service.

It's unreasonable to expect the county to maintain the equipment necessary to be able to clear all the roads in time - it just doesn't snow that much here that often. On average, paying someone to plow his way in and do our driveway is probably about $50/year (when several neighbors group together to get the service). That is the price of living on the less-traveled streets. . .

Posted by: drmary | December 20, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

They can't plow everywhere at once, but why do they always plow Potomac first and Colesvile last?

It is not the HOA's job to plow a public street. It may not even be legal. We pay taxes for basic services and we are not receiving them.

Posted by: BamBamRubble | December 20, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

My street hasn't seen a plow yet either. I didn't expect it to, until I saw if you travelled around the bend and looked at the next block, it was completely clear. Apparently getting a plow to just go straight for one more block or two was too much to ask. Highest tax rates in the state, and for what, MoCo?

Posted by: horace1 | December 21, 2009 4:04 AM | Report abuse

i reside here at madison way hyattsville md..20784..its a mess.. the apartment parking lot in my unit is up hill..its a mess.. i dont know why.. the side wlk is ok.. but the rd wow too much..

Posted by: bongtatay | December 21, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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