Feds Get 3 Hour Delayed Arrival for Wednesday

OPM
Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

From OPM:

“Status: Open – 3 hours Delayed Arrival – With Option for Unscheduled Leave or Unscheduled Telework

Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area are OPEN under 3 hours DELAYED ARRIVAL and employees have the OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than 3 hours later than they would be expected to arrive.”

41 Comment

  • This puzzles me. It was 38 degrees when I left my house at 5:15 this morning – I thought delays were for refreezes/icy conditions. It hasn’t been below freezing for more than 24 hours.

    • I’m guessing they’re hoping to give the snow removal crews a few more hours to clear things away before everyone hits the road, but I bet it’s going to be a mess. There’s already an awful accident in VA on 395 near the Washington Blvd exit for the second day in a row.

      • Yeah, on further reflection it’s good to stagger arrivals when nearly every road still has at least one blocked travel lane.

        • Next time we need to stagger work arrival times, why not let us private sector workers go in late for a change. We never catch a weather related break.

          • The private sector is subject to the individual policy/whims of whomever makes those decisions. Who exactly do you want to wave a magic wand so you can catch a weather related break?

          • Get your company to follow OPM, that’s what we do. Whatever OPM says applies to us.

    • I was driving across DC at 7 am – not a busy time. A lot of the main roadways were backed up already because they had lanes blocked with snow still.
      .
      I’d advise people to think about their route and try to take as many 1 way streets as possible and avoid streets that have “rush hour” routes (i.e. an extra lane is available during rush hour ). Those lanes are most likely blocked still. The two way, 2 lane streets are also basically 1 lane roads so I’d definitely avoid those. For example, I took Q Street across half of NW today just fine. Yet Mass Ave was backed up because it was only 1 lane.

    • Buses are running on a “moderate weather plan” schedule. They still are not back up to full service and traffic was already horrendously backed up in Adams Morgan at 745am. My 7:50am 43 bus was already skipping stops along Columbia Road and CT Avenue because we were too full.
      Anyone leaving their house after 815am will need to budget twice as much time as usual to get downtown.

      • +1. My bus wasn’t running and the metro was terrible, so I’m glad they gave people some extra time.

      • maxwell smart

        My bus was supposed to be running, but after an hour it never showed up, so I went home.

        • They are running on modified routes as well. You need to go to the WMATA website and see if your route has been affected. For example, the 42 and 43 are not making any stops in Mount Pleasant today. Your bus may have been stopping just a few blocks away from your normal stop.

  • Some brilliant minds within DC government decided it was wise to close large portions of Connecticut Avenue for snow removal right in the middle of rush hour. It’s pretty clear that a lot of people are going to work at the normal time and not waiting three hours to go in.

    • This morning’s “rush hour” will pale in comparison to this evening’s rush hour. The extra time you waited cause of that will pay off big time if they are able to clear more of Conn by this evening.

    • Connecticut also had its fair share of accidents this morning, too, which wasn’t helping.

  • I mean, two to three feet of snow fell. Once. And has only been melting for 3 days. So, you know, things will be messed up for at least a week after such a force of nature.

    • This! Thanks for being a voice of reason.

    • +1000 seriously, I don’t understand all the comments that say “why aren’t we back to normal 72 hours later”… Ummm, because this isn’t normal. This amount of snow doesn’t all melt at once even at 50 degrees. It’s going to be around a while.

      • No one’s suggesting it will be back to normal. But neither is normal the standard we need to hit before the government should be open regular hours.

        • I also don’t think the gov or schools should be open. It’s like saying “You need to get here, but we can’t help you get here, sorry”

        • But also, so many people telework and have been on blackberries all weekend. It’s not like the people who are actually in charge of things in the government are dropping the ball — they’ve still been working the whole weekend. OPM is really damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

      • Yes we get its not normal, however its not apocalyptic either. Other cities such as New York which experienced the same, if not more snow, are in fact back to normal far faster than we are. Even their side streets were plowed within 24 hours, and subway was back to normal operations ASAP. Yes we get snow will be around for a while, yet this city, and its glorious leaders, just cannot seem to get a handle on anything. Roads are still a mess in certain parts, metro barely functioned before the snow, forget about after, buses are not back to their regular schedule, sidewalks are blocked including certain parts of downtown. Why is this city so bad at managing issues? No one (except some irrational people) were expecting to wake up Sunday to clean and clear streets, but its now Wednesday and things are inching along.

        • I’m so sick of hearing about how NY, Boston, Chicago, etc are better at dealing with snow than DC. These cities have manpower and money from their entire state to help, whereas DC has none. They also have much, much more equipment to dig out from a storm like this, because they get hit with large snowstorms much more frequently. It’s a lot easier to get back to business as usual when you’re dealing with this type of storm a couple times a year. It doesn’t hurt that the subway is almost completely underground, and I guarantee you that the Bronx and Queens are not dug out nearly as well as Manhattan and close-in Brooklyn.

          • There’s a lot of hatred in Queens right now for DeBlasio because they are not dug out AT ALL. Queens is a lot more apt for comparison purposes to DC – high density with low rise buildings, much more mileage of roadway than Manhattan, and a lot more people are car reliant. Queens is a clusterf#ck right now.

          • why are you sick of hearing it? its the best and only way to make our administrators better at their jobs. Plus, their subway is not completely underground as substantial portions of it are above ground. That doesnt include their commuter rail services such as the LIRR and Metro North which also are back up and running and ALSO above ground.

          • Agreed with anon 10:09 — cities that get more snow more frequently than D.C. have better infrastructure for removing it.
            .
            I don’t think the D.C. government deserves to be criticized for not having as much snow infrastructure as NYC, Chicago, etc. However, it _does_ deserve criticism for things like trash pickup not resuming even when alleys have become fully passable.

        • But I can’t understand why people keep bringing up NYC. This isn’t NYC. NYC sees more of this than we do. So we don’t spend as much on the same resources for this kind of thing that they do, because it happens less frequently. We are not NYC. never will be.

        • Snow in Manhattan melts a lot quicker due to subway and ventilation grates. The ground temps are simply much warmer in Manhattan due to all the underground infrastructure. It also helps that cars are practically banned south of 96th Street nowadays. There’s little street parking and the parking that does exist is expensive.

          • Thats completely ridiculous, Snow melts faster in Manhattan? Theres little street parking south of 96th st? Have you been to NYC? Thats completely incorrect – there is tons of street parking and people take full use of it. The difference is their policies and how they handle snow post such events. The recovery period is far more efficient – they enforce alternative street side parking to let plows through, then they flip it to let plows through the other side.

          • Sigh, so just move to NYC then.

          • Anon 11:08 – the point isnt to say I or someone prefers to live in NYC or that “sigh…i should move there.” NYC has its issues too and in some ways they can learn from D.C.. But why is it so wrong to compare when one city does something better than we do? Our leaders should learn from them so we can better. Thats the only point. Why do you have such a narrow view on it, its not black and white to just move there because someone points out how one city weathered the blizzard compared to D.C.

          • I lived in NYC for nearly 10 years. There’s way less public street parking today than back in 2001. Bike lanes, pedestrian islands, Lane eliminations, and Bloomberg’s general hostility to vehicles has taken tons of private vehicles off the road in Manhattan. Ask anyone who lives in NYC today and they will tell you that driving in NYC is miserable because the city had made it so difficult and expensive.

          • Anon 11:26 – Because the cities are completely different. That’s why I just don’t understand why people keep comparing. Oh well.

  • At least commuters will come in more staggered as opposed to all hitting the road at once. I plan to go in 2 hours late, not 3. Some people will probably go in on time, etc

    This has been a great week for extra sleep!

  • Metro was a ridiculous cattle car even with the three hour delay and staggered commutes. Without rush-level service I expect the evening commute will be a nightmare.

  • justinbc

    Keep in mind much of the DC work force exists in Maryland and Virginia, which got even more snow than we did, and if you live in BFE you probably didn’t get multiple plows coming through. This delay is to help people get in who might take longer than usual.

  • My neighborhood in Lanier Heights has not seen a single plow through some of the roads (unfortunately, the one I am parked on is one). It only is becoming a slight possibility to get out sometime today as things keep melting. It was alright for me because I can metro to work, but my SO can’t and has been stuck since Friday.

    • My street had success getting in touch with our council person who went to the anc and mayor. We were plowed the same day emails went out.

  • Let me know when nyc has a street system and population density that resembles DC. Additionally, if the federal government was in NYC or Boston they would probably close a lot too. It’s easy to criticize, but the reality is that there is no other central authority for employment decisions in any other city. So you say “omg NYC didn’t shut down!!!” Ok and Manhattan is extremely dense, very few elevation changes, less car reliant, and there isn’t a central authority to actually make a decision to shut down for a huge portion of the population. Other than that, spot on comparison. As someone else said, look at what a clusterfuck queens is. Not to mention, a comparison between NYC and DC is ignoring the fact that opm looks at conditions throughout the metro area and people looking at NYC are looking at the boroughs, and probably just 1 or 2 boroughs. If the federal government was in NYC, they’d look at northern NJ, CT, queens, Hudson River Valley, etc. that creates a much murkier picture for moving people safely and efficiently.

    Above all else, if people can work from home… Why shouldnt they? It speeds clean up and makes it easier for everyone who can’t work from home get their jobs safer and more quickly.

  • Have any of these people talking about Chicago actually lived there?

    I lived there for several years, including during the giant 2011 Blizzard. Chicago got 22″ of snow and guess what. The city shut down! CTA closed. Schools closed. Hundreds of cars were stranded on Lake Shore Drive.

    Even there, it took several days to dig out, and Chicago is much more prepared for a giant snow fall.

    I’ve actually been quite impressed with DC’s response.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_31_%E2%80%93_February_2,_2011_North_American_blizzard#Illinois

  • For everyone trying to compare NYC to DC, read this article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-east-coast-blizzard-20160125-story.html

    I moved to DC eight years ago from Upstate NY (highest average snowfall in the country), and think DC did a pretty good job this year. Very smart keeping things closed Monday and Tuesday. Probably the best handling of snow since I’ve moved here.

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