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Posted at 6:50 PM ET, 01/27/2011

How to avoid another snowy traffic mess

By James G. Titus, Glenn Dale

The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) mitigated Wednesday's traffic nightmare by releasing employees two hours early. This allowed many people to get home before the snow even started. Closing even earlier would have been better. To better manage the safety risk without increasing the political risk of giving federal employees too much time off, OPM should allow (1) unscheduled comp time when the government closes early and (2) immediate unscheduled leave and telecommuting when a midday closing is announced, to get people off the roads sooner.


By James G. Titus, Glenn Dale  | January 27, 2011; 6:50 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, traffic, transportation, weather  
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Comments

Maximize opportunity for the exercise of personal responsibility and choice: authorize immediate unscheduled leave and telecommuting whenever traffic disrupting weather is very likely to enable people to get off the roads sooner or not on the roads at all.

Posted by: jimb | January 27, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like an uninformed letter to me. The people who made that decision had lots of information at their disposal and did the best they could. All Mr. Titus has is hindsight.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 28, 2011 4:00 AM | Report abuse

@Jimb: I basically agree. Original submission was a bit longer--the idea is that instead of sending everybody home, allow people to opt to stay until their normal quitting time (or even later) and accrue comp time to be taken later.
@Nemo24601. Not sure I follow you. I am basically defending OPM's action, recognizing that this is not like a storm evacuation--here there are servere costs to premature closure/evacuations that prove to be unnecessary, that are balanced. But I see little cost in telling people they can take leave now (and take leave) or stay until 8PM (and earn comp time.

Posted by: jimtitus1 | January 28, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

allow people to opt to stay until their normal quitting time (or even later) and accrue comp time to be taken later! r u a moron? u must be. first of all, that significantly and negatively impacts budgets. second, when weather is bad, people want to get home and no one is thinking about accruing time. people should have left sooner, not later you smacker.

Posted by: submarinerssn774 | January 28, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

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