Update 4:30 p.m.:
Metro will run buses under a “moderate” snow-service plan and trains on all lines except the Silver every eight minutes on Wednesday.
According to a release, “Metrobus service will be available on 160 regional commuter routes” and will run along 32 school-trip routes “to the extent possible, given road conditions.” (D.C. Public Schools go back into session on Wednesday.) Other bus routes will reopen as safety allows, Metro says. Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. on the Red, Orange, Blue, Green and Yellow lines—riders can expect delays.
“It is not yet known whether service can be restored on the Silver Line in time for morning rush hour due to ongoing ice and snow clearing efforts,” the release states. “In the event that rail service is not restored on the Silver Line, free shuttle buses will be provided starting at 5 a.m. between all Silver Line stations and West Falls Church, where connections can be made to the Orange Line.”
MetroAccess, the agency’s service for the elderly and those with disabilities, went back into service today but “some locations may be unavailable for door-to-door service” due to snow and ice.
The District will conclude its declared “snow emergency” on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, but will enforce infractions upon businesses for not shoveling snow on commercial corridors.
Once the snow emergency lifts, drivers can begin to park again on snow-emergency lanes and D.C. taxis will no longer be able to charge an additional $15 fee on top of metered charges. Still, the mayor reminded residents that it is illegal to park more than a foot away from curbs: Those who park toward the middle of streets, adjacent to snowbanks, could be subjected to traffic tickets.
“We are into 48 hours of snow clearing,” D.C.’s HSEMA Director Chris Gedart said. ‘We have gotten all our major arterials in good shape. But we still have to pick up the snow in our curb lanes. Trying to park 12 inches from [a] snow bank is not the rule.”
Geldart added that “strike teams” of District and contracted workers are making their way deeper into residential areas to make sure there are none left untouched. He also asked residents and businesses to create curb-cuts in the snow, in part because D.C. Public Schools will be back in session Wednesday. Bowser said D.C. will not ticket residents for failing to shovel their sidewalks.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of cooperation both from property owners themselves and volunteers,” Bowser explained.” More than 4,000 people have claimed exemption from sidewalk-shoveling law[s],” which process D.C. will review for the next storm.
Asked to grade the city’s overall performance on snow-response, Bowser replied that “we’re still recovering from a blizzard,” and acknowledged that residents may have some “frustrations” getting around. Geldart said D.C. has done “a thorough job,” though it hasn’t “hit” every single street with heavy equipment. He added that the city is working to move and melt down snow mounds.
“Nobody owns a space,” he said of people claiming dibs on parking spots they’ve dug out. “People who need to get their cars out are going to dig them out, but nobody owns their space.” Geldart did not specify the goal-percentage of streets that D.C. hopes to have cleared by tonight when asked. (“We have metrics we work off for crews….We’re looking at those” consistently, he added.)
Photo by Darrow Montgomery