After a warm Sunday, many buildings and property owners were able to clear their sidewalks, as the law requires. But some did not. We asked you to submit your photos of snow clearing scofflaws or, as reader Jasper Nijdam dubbed them, “snoflaws.”
He sent along this photo of the sidewalk past the Key Bridge Marriott, at the corner of Lee Highway and Ft. Myer Drive in Rosslyn. He writes,
I’d like to nominate eternal snoflaw The Marriott at Key Bridge. Their own parking lot is so well treated that I doubt snow ever reaches the ground. But they utterly refuse to do anything about their busy sidewalk.
Update: Commenter charlie says that this is National Park Service land, and thus NPS is responsible for clearing it rather than Marriott. However, both agree in the comments that Marriott could do a public service and clear it anyway.
Also nominated, whomever lives on the west side of 35th [in Georgetown] between Prospect and M Street. Note how the east side is nicely cleaned.
Bridges remain treacherous
While local governments have avidly plowed streets, sidewalks along bridges have not gotten the same love. These are especially problematic for pedestrians since the bridges often represent the only nearby path across a major barrier like a highway, railroad tracks, or a river.
Left: North Meade Street overpass over Route 50 in Rosslyn. Photo by LMK on Twitter. Right: H Street “Hopscotch Bridge” over railroad tracks in DC. Photo by Emily Larson on Twitter.
Twitter user LMK tweeted a picture of the bridge over Route 50 at the south end of Rosslyn, which connects Ft. Myer Heights, the eponymous military base, and the Marine Corps Memorial to Rosslyn. The already-narrow sidewalk is now a sheet of ice.
Across the Potomac, we have a similar condition on the “Hopscotch Bridge,” where H Street crosses behind Union Station. Dave Uejio alerted us to this photo on Twitter by Emily Larson.
“DC government is the worst offender”
Ralph Garboushian writes an email with the apt subject line, “DC government is the worst offender.” He calls out DC’s Department of General Services, which is responsible for maintenance in and around District property including parks. He says,
DCDGS never clears the sidewalks around the triangle parks between 17th Street, Potomac Avenue and E Street SE and at 15th & Potomac. Both see pretty heavy pedestrian traffic — people walking to the Metro, going to the grocery store, taking their dogs to Congressional Cemetery, etc. A neighbor and I usually tackle the one at 17th.
Photo by Ralph Garboushian.
It infuriates me to see Mayor Bowser patting herself on the back for doing such a great job clearing the snow. On Potomac Avenue SE, the main beneficiaries of her efforts are the suburban motorists who speed up and down the street with no regard for pedestrians or neighborhood residents.
By Sunday morning the street was bare pavement. Meanwhile, the sidewalks along the triangle parks were a disaster, even as most homeowners had already shoveled their sidewalks. It boggles my mind that taxpaying neighborhood residents have to pick up the city’s slack to ensure we can travel safely on foot while non-taxpaying suburban motorists get gold-plated treatment.
Many of DC’s square and triangle parks (like the triangles along Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House, for instance) are not local, but federal, and it’s the National Park Service (NPS) which should (and doesn’t) clear their sidewalks. This one, however, is DC land and not federal, though it’s next to Congressional Cemetery, which NPS controls.
Garboushian and his neighbors later shoveled this sidewalk themselves, which is a great public service, but they shouldn’t have to. The DC government (and Arlington government, and other governments) should take responsibility for clearing sidewalks that don’t abut private property. Arguably, they should just handle all sidewalks, but we can at least start with these.
Thanks to everyone who sent in images! We didn’t have room for them all, and I preferred ones showing conditions Monday, after everyone had ample time to clear sidewalks on a warm day.
Correction: The original version of this article identified the property on the west side of 35th Street as the Halcyon House. That is actually on the west side of 34th Street. We apologize for the error.
Update: Here’s one more, from whiteknuckled, who tweets, “Our neighbor never shovels his side-sidewalk, only the front. But digs out his driveway and piles snow on sidewalk.”