Photo by the author.

The commute on Wednesday for drivers and bus riders was terrible, but once plowing got going, DDOT cleared roads quite efficiently. I was disappointed, however, to still see sidewalks on bridges not among DDOT’s snow clearing priorities.

By morning, my small residential road was completely clear, as were all roads along the walk to the Metro. Most property owners, too, got snow and ice out of the sidewalks, though one commercial building on a corner annoyingly cleared their front sidewalk but not the side.

Metro seemed to have cleared all sidewalks right around the Q Street entrance to Dupont Circle station, but I was disappointed to find the sidewalks where Q crosses the Connecticut Avenue underpass to be a tightly-packed sheet of ice. As of this morning, it was still not cleared.

Since the abutting property is a road, this sidewalk is DDOT’s  DPW’s responsibility. After the last snow, we heard talk about how DDOT was going to make sure sidewalks on bridges were part of its snow-clearing plan, but perhaps that part of the plan isn’t entirely worked out yet.

Update: DDOT officials point out that DDOT and DPW split up the bridge responsibilities, and this one is on DPW. I’m trying to get a list of who is responsible for which bridges.

Many corners also still had piled-up snow. DDOT officials previously said they were planning to train plow drivers to avoid pushing snow into the corners and blocking the curb ramps.

Speaking of snow removal, the DC Council is having a hearing on the bill to fix the fines for property owners who don’t clear snow. How well did building owners do at shoveling, especially large commercial ones like apartment buildings and parking lots? What about the National Park Service and other federal properties?

DDOT tweeted that they just plowed the 15th Street bike lane this morning. Many cyclists have started to depend on this lane, so it would be nice to see it also a priority, though cyclists can also use the regular roads and fewer ride in the cold weather. Pedestrians, however, have to walk to the Metro and bus stops, and having safe and passable sidewalks is absolutely critical.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). 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 lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.