Are sidewalks and bike lanes getting cleared of snow?
4-8 inches of snow fell on the region yesterday, as you are surely aware. That means that all road users, drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists have to navigate snowy streets. Property owners sometimes are diligent about clearing their vehicular paths but not sidewalks. How about this time?
Some businesses and institutions won't have had a chance to clear snow by this morning (BID staff seem to be up and about clearing sidewalks right now in commercial areas, for instance), but let's keep an eye on how they do after they have a fair interval to clear snow today.
If you see a problem area this afternoon or tomorrow morning (or a well-cleared area next to a large institution, city property or federal park you want to single out for praise), take a picture and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll do a roundup of praise and shame for shoveling.
The National Park Service, embassies, and surface parking lot operators have often left very large areas unshoveled. Sometimes bike lanes don't get plowed even when the adjacent streets do.
DC's snow-clearing agencies, DDOT and DPW, announced this year that unlike in the past, they are going to work to clear the pedestrian ways on facilities like bridges. Those have been a real problem in past snows, and not just the long bridges over rivers or Rock Creek; overpasses like Q Street and Connecticut Avenue, or Massachusetts Avenue or North Capitol Street and so on, are also the city's responsibility. After the much smaller snow earlier this month, indeed the city seems to have cleared those well, or at least for the ones I saw.
After the last snow, when I took our baby for a walk to the Shaw library 2 days later, almost every sidewalk was clear (including around the library), with the notable exception of the entire, long sidewalk around Garrison Elementary. DCPS was on winter break, but it would make sense for the city to coordinate snow removal around all its facilities, since parents and children (and people with disabilities and able-bodied adults) need to walk near schools when school is out just the same.
Another parent struggles to push a stroller on Vermont Avenue, NW on January 4. Photo by the author.
How's it looking out there now?
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- Why can't Metro label escalators "walk left, stand right" or label where doors will stop on the platform?
- When the Metro first arrived in Shaw and Columbia Heights, they were far different than they are today
- This graph shows which parts of our region are walkable, affordable, and equitable