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Dear DC Pedestrians,

We're sorry that plowing the streets actually makes it more difficult to cross the street by piling huge mounds of snow at crosswalks. We wish we could do more but that would cost money and we spent all our money on making sure people can drive easily.


I think Jim Sebastian wrote the above. I saw his post on the Facebook metro branch Trail. He stated he was trying to plow that trail....he wrote it like he went out there and tried to plow himself.
Its been unusual weather for the region so give DDOT a break.
I have a neighbor that works for DDOT that has hardly slept over the past 3 days.....
Yes I do agree they should be more respectful of bike lanes regarding plowing.


Fair point. Since I wrote that comment, I've personally seen DDOT crews doing some great work clearing sidewalks and crosswalks. It still gets me quite frustrated at the cars-first attitude of this city. It stems from Mayor Bowser who refuses to fine people for not shoveling sidewalks but institutes fines for people walking in the streets as a direct result of the unshoveled sidewalks. That is a hateful anti-pedestrian policy, if you ask me. With plowed streets and closed offices, drivers are again driving at 30-40mph on many major streets, but with unplowed sidewalks, people are forced to walk on those same streets. This is a recipe for injury and death, and it's wholly unnecessary. Poor leadership from Bowser, who utterly lacks vision except of the CYA kind.


Think about it...if walking is abolished, you won't have any pedestrian fatalities.

The current mayor's previous gig was as Ward 4 rep. Here's Ward 4:


Is it shocking she has an auto-centric outlook?

You guys know that they clear the streets for Emergency services, which happen to be trucks, cars and other motor vehicles, not because people should be driving. DDOT and DC gov spent the last 4 days ACTIVELY ENCOURAGING people to stay home, regardless of mode. They FINED people who got stuck and screwed up plowing efforts to IMPROVE EMERGENCY ACCESS.

This point cannot be understated. Fire Trucks and Police Cars are motor vehicles you WANT to have access to your neighborhoods.


I can confirm Jim Sebastian was doing a lot of the snow clearance himself using the small 4WD vehicle DDOT has for plowing bike facilities. I think the city's response on the pedestrian environment has been the real sore spot for me. I fully expect to wait a week or more before biking again due to snow volumes and black ice, but my alternative, walking, needs to have better accommodation than "don't walk in the street!" scolding. Public tax dollars are going to clear the roads, and that is part of why the sidewalks are obstructed, especially at crosswalks.

I was going to say something similar to what NG did - which is that it's not really car first, but ambulance first. Which to me makes sense. But I feel like the lag before pedestrian facilities are properly addressed is too long. Also DC didn't exactly spend the last 4 days encouraging everyone to stay home. DC govt was open on Friday and Tuesday after all.

This may sound a bit odd, but I've never felt safer in DC than this weekend. People in cars actually drove the speed limit, yielded to me when crossing, and the ad hoc pedestrian at every intersections made me feel like I finally had priority over people in cars.

DDOT, please do not plow any more. Give me some Ice-nine and watch as people actually like walking around DC.

One of the funny things about snowstorms is that, after the storm:

- Lots of people start walking
- City employees fall over themselves to get everyone driving instead

I wonder what would happen if the entire post-storm city effort was aimed at making walking work well and getting Metrorail running? That would be too limited to get the city working again but sure would be nice for a while.

The above, plus a focus on bus routes, freight routes and a ban on private automobiles might get things going again, but transit would be over-crowded. I wonder if any city has ever tried a 100% public transit snow response?

Here we I live in Fairfax County we have the phenomenon of an over-engineered four-lane roadway essentially getting a snow-created road diet, which for a few days lowered average speeds. Then today the sidewalk along this same road, which had been shoveled with great effort, was covered over by bulldozers making sure all four lanes are available for cars again. It's outrageous.

Biked in today from Cap Hill to Foggy Bottom. Pen Ave is in great shape. Best I have ever seen after a storm.

Bike lanes on the Hill are filled with snow though.

The sidepath along Pennsylvania Ave SE east of the river is fine except for the long portions along NPS land which are untouched.

They did that in our section of Arlington too--plowed snow across sidewalks that people had cleared.

The Custis trail was mostly clear this morning. Just a few patches and, for some reason, almost all of the Rosslyn section still having snow--perhaps plows put back snow that had been cleared, I dunno. Southeast side of Key Bridge had been cleared.

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