Friday, February 12, 2010

Now that it's over, report cards are due...

Before I give my grade to the DC Government for their handling of Snowmageddon and Snowverkill, allow me to digress and say that I hate snow. I thought after moving out of Ithaca, NY I would never have to experience another snowy winter. I know it snows in DC, but not like this. I need to be standing on the equator right now. I have seriously been considering getting out of dodge when they airports are running at normal operations.... But enough about my issues.

While some of my neighbors may disagree with me, I give the DC government a C- for their handling of the snow this week. I know it seems like a generous grade. My grade is based on two criterion... Effort and Coordination. I give the hardworking men and women of DDOT and DPW an A- for their efforts. Whether or not your block was plowed within a reasonable amount of time, you have to give credit where credit is due. These front line people have been working 12-hour shifts since Friday. While we sit in our homes complaining about our block, many of them where away from their families in hotels to ensure they wouldn't be stuck for their next shift.

Now for coordination between government agencies, I give an F. I'm sure that DC has a snow removal plan. I'm not sure what that plan is, but it needs to be re-evaluated. I always mention Ithaca, NY, because I lived there for 2.5 years and it is in the snow belt of Upstate NY. Ithaca's approach to snow removal is major roads and bus routes FIRST. I lived on a steep hill and we were the bottom of the totem pole for getting our street plowed, but I never complained... WHY? Because they always made sure the buses were running. Even in big snow storms, the public transportation system was always operable.

These snow storms revealed the lack of coordination between DC government and WMATA. In my humble opinion, the bus routes should have been a higher priority for snow removal. Those of us living in Fairfax Village were essentially trapped for 3 days. We had no bus servicing our neighborhood and our streets were impassable.

I hope in the next week or so, all the government agencies have a debrief. The one good thing about extreme situations is they reveal weaknesses in the system that you would not know existed.

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