City Paper is not for tourists
City Desk did a survey of ANC commissioners this morning to find out: What does your street look like? Have you seen a plow? Are you snowed in?
William Schultheiss, of ANC 6A, who lives on F Street NE near 12th: His street is not clear. “They haven’t done the side streets,” he says. “They never had it cleared from the first storm.” He’s been able to make it out with his four-wheel drive, but he has a Golf that’s staying put. “The Golf is trapped, at least until June.” He reports that Maryland Avenue has two of four lanes open and passable.
Faith Wheeler, of ANC 4B, who lives in the 800 block of Whittier Place NW: Her street hadn’t been plowed as of 10 a.m. today, but she’s not surprised. “It shouldn’t be,” she says. The order should be “major arterials, minor arterials, then collector roads and then local roads.” The neighborhood took to shoveling the alley itself after the first storm—”We shoveled the whole freaking thing, so anybody who wanted to get out could get out,” she says—finally getting it clear on…Tuesday night. She has heard of uneven plow service, with folks east of Piney Branch Road generally happy with the attention they got and residents west wondering where the plows are.
Ben Thomas, of ANC 7E, who lives in the 1100 block of Chaplin Street SE: A plow came by sometime last night, he reports (the second of two times a plow has made an appearance during D.C.’s three snowstorms this season). “They don’t really do anything but pile the snow against peoples’ cars,” he says. But the street is at least passable. “I saw a car go by a little while ago,” he says. He can’t get out of the house himself; the snow drifts are three feet. “We can’t even get off the porch, because the snow has drifted up on the porch.”
Raphael Marshall, of ANC 6A, who lives in the 800 block of 10th Street NE: He’s still snowed in. Asked how much snow is on the street, he reports, “Quite a bit.” But he’s not really stuck per se. He doesn’t drive. “I’ve tried to lower my footprint on the planet.”
Mary Wright, of ANC 6B, who lives in the 600 block of C Street SE: On her way to an appointment this morning, Wright reports that the road is at least “passable.” “I think it’s difficult all over the city,” she adds. “It took a while, but, yes, we did” see a plow.
Mindy Moretti, of ANC 1C, who lives in the 2600 block of Adams Mill Road NW: A plow had been by “at some point in time” during the storms, “but it’s not been great since Sunday night.” Her bigger concern has been Columbia Road. “Columbia Road, until the other day, was a mess.” The email listserv was flooded with complaints, and finally it got some attention. “I think people’s expectations were low to begin with,” she says. “I lived here in 1996 so I didn’t expect anything.” Still, conditions for pedestrians are treacherous, she says. She has a special complaint about the Exxon station near the corner of 18th and Columbia, which she says “never, ever, ever shovels.” The station finally plowed its lot—then dumped all the stuff on the sidewalk. “They erected this three-foot tall, four-foot wide snow wall. Unless somebody gets a pickaxe…”
Stephen Slaughter, of ANC 8E, who lives in the 800 block of Barnaby Street SE: “Barnaby Street is plowed all the way down to the pavement,” he reports. “I guess it’s one advantage of living on the main roads.” The street is a bus route for the M8, M9, and the A2, and he suspects that’s why it got attention—for when the buses start running again.
Gladys Mack, of ANC 6A, who lives in the 700 block of 18th Street NE: She says 18th “could be a little bit better,” but that it had in fact been cleared from the last storm. “I haven’t had any problems in past storms,” she says. “They always come through at least twice.” She has a conspiracy theory about it, though: “Don’t they usually hit in front of the ANC houses because of surveys like this?”
Charles Reed, of ANC 2F, who lives on Q Street NW near 13th: He reports that cars are using the street, though it doesn’t look like it’s seen a plow. “Cars are just beating it down,” he says. It took him and his neighbors half a day to shovel out an alley, which allowed him to get out in his car, but that alley is now covered again. He thinks he pinched a nerve and hasn’t been out shoveling today. “Someone has shoveled all the way up to my doorstep,” he says.
Gary Thompson, of ANC 3G, who lives in the 2800 block of Northampton Street NW: “My own street’s been plowed very well,” he says. “They’ve done an excellent job plowing, especially under the circumstances. There have been a few forgotten streets here or there, like a dead end culdesac,” but the city is catching up. “People are very quick to complain,” he says. “But Mother Nature is what it is. It’s a pretty powerful storm.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery