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Tough going for school buses

I heard from some parents whose children had difficulty getting to school on the buses Tuesday morning. These two have a similar theme about conditions along East-West Highway in Montgomery County.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:
It took my daughter an hour and 40 minutes on her bus to get to school this morning going from Silver Spring though Bethesda. The road was backed up from Sundale Drive into downtown Bethesda.

Montgomery County or the state highway administration did not think it a priority to have more than one lane in each direction in operation. If the powers that be think that the Purple Line is such an indispensable infrastructure project, why is this road not a priority to plow?
Ari Blumenthal

One lane in each direction would be an improvement over what I saw last week on East-West Highway around Brookville Road, where the eastbound lane disappeared completely and drivers had to share a lane with oncoming traffic.

Good morning, Dr. Gridlock:
My daughter's bus sat at the East-West Highway/Connecticut Avenue light for 30 minutes or longer (no surprise since the curb lanes on East-West still are not cleared) so it was very late to Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

When I called BCC to note this bus would be very late, they noted six buses were still out. No report from Westland M.S., although I expect similar problems since Chevy Chase Circle going westbound on Western Avenue was still tough because of curb lane obstruction.

No blame here -- I saw the crews working snow removal on East-West in downtown Bethesda yesterday (desperately needed).  I'm just wondering if the buses were able to do their routes.  I know there was a lot of concern for kids walking to school because of sidewalk blockage.
Whitney Baird

The situation on East-West Highway, bad as it is, is pretty typical of what car drivers and schoolbus drivers encountered Tuesday. Road conditions are nowhere near normal, but the traffic volume is starting to approach normal. That's not a good match for anyone trying to get around.

On East-West Highway, there was no place left for state crews to push the snow after the storms. It hardened, and now can be removed only by special equipment, including front-end loaders and dump trucks.

Seems like it's been an ice age since the snow fell, but it's going to take a few more days before the main roads -- let alone the side streets -- are completely passable.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 16, 2010; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snowstorm  
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I live on East West Highway and Brookville Road. Trucks have been driving by since 4 pm clearing the snow in the second lane. As of about 4:30 pm the second lane going towards Connecticut has been cleared and used.
The lane going towards Silver Spring is still a single one.

Hope this helps!

Posted by: carr530 | February 16, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

It's absurd that Washingtonians don't DEMAND that the snow be cleaned up. It's been 10 days since storm no. 1, and a full week since storm no. 2. Still we have roads that are completely impeded by snow.

Anywhere else in the country, people would insist that the plows do their job. But here, the sheeple just whine and go along.


Posted by: tcal02 | February 16, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

East-West Highway "enjoyed" snow removing equipment tackling the snow-covered right lanes in both directions during rush hour this evening, and by 7:30 the bumper-to-bumper traffic eastbound had cleared that area (only to be bottled up further west approaching Sundale). I'm glad the crews got to this stretch of road and perhaps we'll return to a more normal type of gridlock in that area tomorrow.

Posted by: rickblum | February 16, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Washingtonians do demand that the snow is removed, as long as it's on a schedule that lets them drive wherever they want whenever they want.

It's all about me!

Posted by: fireball72 | February 16, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

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