This morning was D.C.’s first press conference to address a snowstorm of epic proportions. When they scheduled it yesterday—”Fenty Administration to Announce Snow Team Mobilization”, the release trumpeted—between six and ten inches were expected, so I thought I’d stop by on my last bike ride before drifts of whitish crud made two-wheeled travel impossible for weeks on end.
Upon arriving at the Snow Dome, on Gallatin Street NE, the parking lot was rumbling with giant trucks heading out to dump greenish salt on roads all over the city. Mayor Adrian Fenty and the directors of the Departments of Public Works and Transportation were on hand to reassure the public, via WTOP and Channel 7, that everything—unlike last winter—was under control. Since last year, the agencies have started pre-treating roads, and have ward captains as well as zone captains to coordinate the snow response. Drivers can even train in an improved virtual reality simulator that vibrates when you hit “potholes.”
A couple hours later, the winter weather advisory was canceled, and expected snowfall downgraded to less than three inches. Not before we’d refreshed weather pages millions of times over, though.
Snowpocalypse or not, this morning may have been the current administration’s last weather-related press conference, after doing 30 or so last season. In the spirit of transparency, I will expect no fewer than 50 from the next.