Monday, December 21, 2009

DC Snow Removal Up To Usual Standards

...for the Barry Administration, anyway. Yeah, this was a record-breaking snowfall. No, I don't exepect miracles. But at the same time, there hasn't been a snowflake coming out of the sky since late Saturday night.

Nor have I seen a snowplow since sometime Saturday. Nor have I seen any evidence of salt or sand on the roads, anywhere.

So, did Adrian Fenty decide that closing the DC government applied to snow removal as well? I have to say, though, I admire his optimism. Apparently, normal trash collection is scheduled to resume today. That will be quite a neat trick, since no vehicle of any sort has traveled through my alley since before the snow. I will be very impressed if the garbage trucks can drive through 18" of snow.

I heard anecdotally that a lot of snowplows had broken down. I don't suppose that there's any connection between the 700+ speed bumps that Fenty put throughout the city, and the inability to remove snow from the sidestreets? Couldn't be. Great thinking, there. Aother brilliant Fenty move: just do whatever you want, without thinking about the consequences.

Petworth - 8 AM on Monday. Illionois Avenue and 4th Street.

Petworth - 2 days later

11th Street in Columbia Heights - Sunday Afternoon

11th Street

Adams Morgan - Sunday Morning. At first I thought this guy was an idiot for trying to turn onto Euclid Street from Columbia Road. After he got un-stuck and traffic started moving again, I realized why. 18th and Columbia Road was basically unplowed and it was obvious that most cars wouldn't be able to pass.

Adams Morgan Snowbound

As of 8 AM today, everything looks pretty much the same as it did on Sunday morning. So what were the snowplows doing all day Sunday? Or did the speed bumps kill them all?

I guess we'll just wait it out like the old days.

Up here in Silver Spring, everything is perfectly clear.

Yo, Fenty, here's a bit of advice. If you are going to install thousands of speed bumps, maybe you should consider that we actually have snow here. That's why we have snowplows. Though given how few I've seen this weekend, maybe you forgot about them? So here's something for you to check out: The snow-plow compatible speed bump.

Now that I've gotten the obligatory DC snow fail criticism out of the way... pretty awesome, eh? A few highlights are below. More pictures here! Enjoy.

My day started on Saturday with the realization that I did not have a snow shovel. I did, however, have a four-wheel drive truck. And there's nothing I like more that tooling around the city in the middle of a blizzard. So I started with a trip to Home Depot to solve that shovel problem.

I wasn't sure how it was going to work out, since you'd figure there had been a run on them on Friday. Luckily, even as the DC government was not prepared for the storm, Home Depot was:

Home Depot Was Prepared

After the first of many sidewalk shovelings Saturday, N. and I ventured in to Columbia Hieghts to find some breakfast and take in the spectacle. The Heights was packed and there was a wait. We were too hungry to put up with that nonsense - and frankly, I find The Heights to be the pinnacle of mediocrity. So we walked to Ruby Tuesday's. Plenty of seating!

So typical of Cohi attitude... we'll pay more for crappy food, as long as it's not a chain. Personally, I think RT has better food than The Heights. It also comes with a lower price and less attitude. Our server was fantastic. I am slightly concerned about the presentation of the bloody mary though:

Bloody Suggestive

RT closed their doors for the day right after we finished, as did much of the downtown in Columbia Heights. Our post-brunch Target trip was thwarted. But we ran into a friend who was about to head downtown to catch Avatar 3D and decided to join him. It seems likely that the Metro would be a disaster (and it was from all accounts) so we drove instead. The movie didn't work out. Shockingly, it was sold out an hour in advance. How did all those people get there? Guess we weren't the only people with that idea. But we had a lot of fun tooling around the city taking pictures.

Apparently, you didn't need necessarily need four wheel drive to get around. At least, you didn't if you are a completely idiot like this guy.

Snow Bike

It seems that that guy wasn't the only one who just couldn't give up his bike in the middle of a blizzard. Ah, Wonderland.

Wonderland Bike

As usual, everyone in DC freaked out and packed the supermarkets at the first sign of snow. We tried to go to Giant to buy a couple things on Saturday afternoon -- the lines were at least 20 people long. Umm... no.

So off to my new favorite alternative, the Petworth Safeway. It was far more civilized. There was plenty of parking and the lines were minimal. We got what we needed. Though certain things were hard to come by even there...

Low Eggspectations

Sharing the Road took on quite a new meaning on Sunday, as pedestrians took to the streets as the only passable place to walk. Many people were out trying to dig out their cars or just walk down the street. Huge props to my neighbors - the sidewalks were 100% clear on my street as of mid-morning on Sunday. It was not so great in many other places.

Share The Road

Park Road between 14th and 16th on Sunday.

Sharing The Road

There was a lot of fun stuff to see out there. Everyone was great. My neighbors were all helping each other dig out on Sunday. Our dogs regarded the snow with some suspicion at first, but soon enough were having a blast. These guys had the right idea though:

Dog Boots

All in all, I love a good snowstorm. It's been a long time for me - I was out of town for the big one in 2003. Glad this one finally lived up to the hype.


Unknown said...

you can easily get around snow with a front wheel drive car too, if you know what you're doing. Four wheel drive is definitely not necessary, but a bicycle? That's hilarious.

Jamie said...

I grew up in Maine and we never had even front-wheel drive (since it didn't much exist back then..). All you really need are snow tires and a little understanding of the dynamics of your vehicle :)

But when there's 10 or so inches of snow in the road... four wheel drive and some ground clearance is highly desirable!!

lacochran said...

Ah, public services in DC. I think I'll stay in VA where, 'though things weren't perfect, they did an excellent job of cleaning 90% of the roads.

When I was in Jersey, I was perilously driving with very little traction a few miles in the white-out and that's when I saw someone on a bicycle, too. I couldn't effin' believe it.