The Gazette had an article on the first snow event to result in snow clearing.
With forecasts calling for a dusting to 2 inches of powdery snow on Tuesday, Devlin said, workers initially thought they would be able to use a snowblower to clear the trail. The 3 to 4 inches that actually fell required them to go back and plow, however.
“Had we started with a plow from the start, we probably would have done it in four hours, tops,” he said. “[The] first one out is always more difficult.”
People who wrote in said that the Bethesda-to-Washington segment of the trail was mostly cleared to the pavement by Tuesday evening, making it easy to bike and hike. They did say, however, that the Washington portion of the trail had packed snow and ice, and reminded people to watch out for black ice on the pavement
Arlington County cleared snow from trails this year and DDOT was out removing snow from trails and protected bike lanes by noon on Tuesday. So snow removal was better this year than in the past (but not perfect).
At the Bicycle Advisory Council this week, the DDOT representative noted that they learned a lot from this snow and they're hoping to learn more throughout the season, which they're viewing as a test year. For example, the Toolcat they bought fits everywhere they want to go, but the blade on the front is wider, so it doesn't. [They plan to order a new blade]. They also had trouble getting equipment to negotiate the Met Branch Trail switchback at M Street NE. Such experiences are not just informing them about what equipment is needed, but how future projects should be designed, operated and maintained. So, things are better this year, and should get even better going forward.