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Aboveground transit ending at 1

WMATA is announcing that they will be suspending aboveground Metrorail service and all Metrobus and MetroAccess service starting at 1 pm. Metrorail trains will run on the "snow map" routes, while some non-passenger trains will run along the aboveground routes to try to prevent snow buildup. Meanwhile, I'm off to shovel my front and back steps.
David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Anyone know about tomorrow?

by Jazzy on Dec 19, 2009 1:37 pm • linkreport

Nothing to worry about. As Jon Bender said on the Tenley listserve, dog sled service will start shortly.

by Ben on Dec 19, 2009 2:11 pm • linkreport

Watching ABC7 news, and I'm shocked at how shocked they are at people walking in the roads. The sidewalks aren't plowed of course, but they're pretty explicit in their belief that rather than walk to wherever they need to go, or just walk to enjoy a weekend snow, folks need to stay out of the way of cars. Which everybody knows shouldn't be out there in the first place.

Enough tv, i'm putting on my XC skis, and hitting the road.

by darren on Dec 19, 2009 2:48 pm • linkreport

While enjoying lunch at Bruegger's in Old Town (which happened to be open, thankfully), they were talking about the Metro shutdown of the buses and above-ground rail stations.

Darren hit the nail on the head....with most sidewalks not plowed/shoveled, most folks were walking in the streets/roads. Thankfully, there wasn't a whole lot of traffic out there, so folks could get away with it, as did I on my bike (such as that was...wound up walking half the way anyway due to the snow). Except for one guy at the Beltway/Route 1 interchange, most drivers didn't seem to mind, and those that got stuck were very appreciative of those pedestrians who helped un-stuck them. I wound up helping 5 vehicles in such a way before I got home.

So sounds like ABC7 is barking up the wrong tree.

by Froggie on Dec 19, 2009 3:15 pm • linkreport

In the storm of 1996 , hundreds of us were walking down H St NE to get to work in the morning. No cars on the road at all. The street was clearer than the sidewalks. An X2 came along, stopping every half block and letting us all on for free. That got as as far as White House. I walked then from 12th & H NW to my office at office at 12th & MD SW. I ended up walking home from Gallery Place to 13th and Maryland NE as buses were stuck in the snow by that time. ABC 7 should chill and understand that not everyone can stay home in the snow. Sheesh.

by dcesain on Dec 19, 2009 3:34 pm • linkreport

Another good reason to bury the Metropolitan Branch RR corridor...

by Douglas A. Willinger on Dec 19, 2009 8:39 pm • linkreport

Despite the mayor's request that we all stay off the streets, I walked around for several hours enjoying the quiet and the ability to walk right down the middle of the street. There were very few cars about on the Hill, and families and groups of friends were playing out in the streets. How often does that happen? With the blanket of white and without cars, trucks and buses, it was like a whole other world.

Even though it's underground, the Metro is creeping along sluggishly. The false starts and lurching were even worse than usual today. Try not to go anywhere, and instead get out and enjoy the snow!

by Matthias on Dec 19, 2009 9:50 pm • linkreport

As a reader from Miami, I must say I'm hella jealous of you guys and your snow. I wish it were snowing here in Miami lol! Enjoy it! Greetings from 50 degree weather in Miami lol! :)

by Brody on Dec 20, 2009 1:22 am • linkreport

A little off-topic...

Those who say "people in the DC area don't know how to drive in snow" have a point when we get accumulation in the 0-8" range. However this weekend there is no reason to utter that phrase. Driving in 10-20" inches, when most roads hadn't been plowed, has almost nothing to do with knowledge/driver skill and everything to do with whether or not your vehicle can handle it. Most of us don't have vehicles that can handle this. I'm never going to invest in snow tires, 4WD, etc... as long as I'm living in an area that doesn't experience large snowfalls regularly...

by Paul on Dec 20, 2009 9:11 am • linkreport

Well, part of knowing how to drive in snow is picking your battles. You don't go down roads you know you'll get stuck in, you don't give up your momentum going uphill, etc.

And while snow tires can make a big difference, as does 4WD, the biggest vehicle advantage is ground clearance.

by Alex B. on Dec 20, 2009 9:18 am • linkreport

I agree - driver skill still is important. It is knowing from experience that there is no point in going out and trying to drive.

I used to laugh at the people buying the milk and bread at the supermarket. Back when I was single, my two main stops were the liquor store and then to go someplace to rent some videos.

Our development seems to be well plowed right now - they came through with a big bobcat and scooped it up. The VDOT cameras in the area suggest that the main roads are in somewhat reasonable shape - if we had a reason to go out today for anything we could probably get out without a problem.

Tomorrow we will need to get out however. We are flying out in the afternoon through Dulles - hopefully the airports are back up to speed by then..

by Jack Russell on Dec 20, 2009 12:45 pm • linkreport

@Paul: The correct answer is, if the snow is too much for you to drive in (no matter what that amount may be), don't drive in it. I went to college in Massachusetts, and the majority of people around there wouldn't have been able to drive in this much snow. So what do they do? They just don't drive in it.

In fact, I'd say that "picking your battles" is more important than knowing how to drive in snow. If you can't drive in half an inch of snow, don't do it.

by Tim on Dec 20, 2009 1:02 pm • linkreport

Metro is cautioning riders to be mindful of slippery roads, which are being used as walkways because many sidewalks remain covered with snow.

Actually, the streets are being used as streets. We're just used to using them as motorways. I've been pleased to see motorists being very cautious and far more courteous than usual.

@Jack Russell: I find the bread/milk rush amusing as well. I'd rather buy something good, like toppings for pizza!

by Matthias on Dec 20, 2009 4:58 pm • linkreport

Metro's reporting that they reopened the Yellow Line across the Potomac as of 4pm. None of the above-ground stations are opening, but this will at least reconnect that short leg of the Yellow/Blue line to the rest of the underground system.

by Froggie on Dec 20, 2009 4:59 pm • linkreport

Just said on there website buses are turning back at 7pm with no type of notice to news or anything.

by kk on Dec 20, 2009 6:50 pm • linkreport

Having been out driving for a while today, I can tell you that more annoying than the pedestrians were the drivers who seemed to think that all traffic laws were suspended because there was some snow on the ground. I saw lots of red light/stop sign running not justified by road conditions, cutting off of other cars, double parking/blocking the road for no good reason, etc. (As a driver in DC I'm used to seeing all of these things with some regularity, but the frequency was much higher than usual.)

For the most part the pedestrians were not a problem, except for the ones who chose to walk down the middle of the road or step directly in front of vehicles.

Incidentally, DDOT seems to have done a good job clearing the roads today especially in comparison to VDOT (even Wilson Boulevard was still snow-covered this afternoon...)

by Phil on Dec 20, 2009 7:04 pm • linkreport

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