Tractor Trailer Abandoned/Broke Down on Busy Street for 3 Days in Petworth, Does DC Have the Capability to Remove It?

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“Dear PoPville,

This truck and trailer have been blocking the SW bound lane of the 3900 block of Kansas Ave NW since the early, early morning hours of Saturday 2/14. It initially had a patrol car stationed behind it until midday Saturday, but as of Sunday night, it has a ticket on it and calls into 311 & 911 have simply been met with responses of no idea what to do and that the district doesn’t have the equipment to tow a tractor trailer. Since traffic has to move into the oncoming NE bound lanes to get around the truck and visibility to the east bound traffic on Randolph is almost completely blocked, this is a traffic accident waiting to happen. How does one get the truck moved?”

Ed. Note: MPD is aware of the situation and is conferring with the Department of Public Works. MPD does not have a crane that can tow a tractor trailer.

UPDATE: After MPD alerted DPW and the Mayor’s Office – the truck has been removed.

32 Comment

  • How do they not have a contractor who can do this?

    • Agreed — I don’t understand how DC could possibly be incapable of moving this. I guarantee, if it was blocked within 10 blocks of the white house it would be moved in less than an hour.

      • Moved or the whole area evacuated…. This is just insane…At least it got ticketed.

      • The CITY does have a way to move it, MPD did not. Obviously once MPD coordinated with the CITY it got moved. I don’t think MPD needs to tow enough big trucks to purchase a crane for it, IMO.

        • It’s still not OK that it took the city three days to get it moved, or three days for them to coordinate, whichever it was in this case.

        • Capitol Police have a Commercial Capacity tow truck, it is parked behind the Cap Police repair shop in SW next door to the SW DC Inspection station. MPD couldn’t call in a favor or something??!!!
          Absolutely shameful for a major city.

  • How can a semi-truck block a lane for almost three days? And DC can’t figure out a solution? If I didn’t see it myself, I’d say it was a joke! Let’s get it gone before the snow comes, DC. Jeez.

  • Seems to finally have been moved as of my commute this morning, except for its pool of oil that it left behind.
    Props to Ward 4 MPD for reaching out to the right people.

  • This is caddy corner to my house. A tow truck with DC flags on its sides moved it at 12:30 last night, so it looks like they have the capability to move it but couldn’t get their act together for a couple days. Surprise surprise

  • Ugggg — hate it when my city acts so damn JV!!!

  • WMATA certainly has the capacity too. They tow buses all the time. I’m sure that something could have been arranged to “hire” them to move it.

  • Of course DC has the capability of getting something like this moved in a timely fashion. But you gotta have personnel who care, aren’t totally incompetent, and know how to coordinate with others- which we do not have here. This is a more visible sign of how poorly this city is run and what kinds of employees fill its staff. Aren’t you scared to think of all the bad things going on that you don’t see?

    • Nothing out of the ordinary for DC I’m afraid.

    • The sad ramifications of being an employer of last resort.

    • Blame government employees as incompetent and lazy. The GOP just spoon feeds that right into your ears and out your mouth (or in this case onto your keyboard).

      • LMAO. As a DC native, having lived here for 34 years, I have yet to find a DC employee that I would feel honest about calling “competent”. That goes for every department and division I have interacted with over a 30+ year period.

        Except parking enforcement, sadly, they are all too competent.

      • “honesty” my experiences have proved otherwise.

  • Um… doesn’t the company that owns or contracts the truck have some responsibility here??? Did they really just abandon it?

    • That’s what I was wondering. And, what is the value of that abandoned truck? Does the city get to auction/dispos it now? Is there cargo? Why was it ditched? Probably obvious answers to most but I am a bit ignorant on truck matters

  • A regular ol pickup truck and a chain (one of MPD’s SUV’s is ok too) would have been sufficient to pull it closer to the curb so as to not block traffic. Had I known about this I would have volunteered.

    I too find it unbelievable (well, with DPW’s track record, maybe not) that DPW couldn’t get out there for a couple of days to do anything about it. Furthermore, I can’t believe the trucks owner would do that too and hope DC impounded the thing.

    • A ‘regular ol pickup truck’ weighing 4,000 pounds cannot move a loaded semi weighing 80,000 pounds.

      • Well, as someone who has done it, I beg to differ and all I have is an old F250. Even assuming the truck was at full load capacity, the street is flat, put the truck in neutral and voila. I am not saying to tow it to an impound yard, but 20-50 yards to it can be steered closer to the curb. Ain’t rocket science

        • Interesting. I wouldn’t think a normal pickup would have enough traction to pull a semi.

          Given that this particular semi has no steering and no brakes, it would still be hard to move anywhere in a controlled manner.

      • I think I’ve seen a strongman contest where a dude pulled a semi with his teeth – or something like that. I think a pickup truck could at least move it over.

  • Terrorists take note, want to cause chaos? Just park a big rig somewhere blocking traffic and watch the fun as DC’s inept government attempt to solve a basic task. Better yet, pack it full of explosives first!

    3 days parked in the middle of the street with no results is just ridiculous, god forbid they have to deal with an actual major threat, we’re all screwed.

  • DCFD has a giant industrial strength tow truck as well. I saw it pull a fire truck that had got stuck in mud at Old Soldiers home a couple of years ago. It seems clear any number of organizations could have moved it but for whatever reason…..

  • This is no surprise. Last fall (2014) took at least three days to remove a car that was set on fire at 2nd Street NE and T Street NE. Nothing happened, even after multiple calls to 311 and directly to DPW. It took calling 911 and a diligent police officer to get it removed. However, DPW never came to clean up the broken glass, metal and other debris.

  • The American Trucking Associations would know exactly what to do with this issue. They are a lobbying, legal, and operational organization that almost all truckers are a part of. I assume that because this happened on the weekend, it took much longer to get answers as dc departments shrugged off the issue to other ones.

  • It’s official: I’ve seen it all.

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