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Dear PoP – Rules for One Way Streets Getting Plowed?

by Prince Of Petworth February 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm 20 Comments

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“Dear PoP,

Just wondering if you know anything about the plowing of one way side streets? I’ve been hearing streets like mine never get plowed, which I guess makes sense since the street is so narrow and there really isn’t anywhere to plow snow except onto the parked cars. So I was extremely surprised to hear the sound of a large machine on my street this morning at 5am. I looked out the window and saw a huge snowplow being expertly driven by what looked like a guy in a park service uniform. I was extremely impressed at how skillfully he was backing down the narrow street to deposit the removed snow into a giant pile at the corner. But after about 20 minutes of listening to what sounded like an alarm clock outside my window, someone on my street apparently came out and said something to the guy and then he immediately left the street with only 1/3 of the block plowed. I noticed that several larger streets around me still are not plowed this morning.

So, was this guy just taking some pity on what was obviously a street that had not seen a plow since it started snowing last weekend? If so, thanks plow guy! And what are the chances the rest of my street sees another snowplow?”

I would imagine one way streets have to get plowed also! The only areas I hear that don’t necessarily get plowed are alleys. Anyone live on a one way street that has been plowed?


  • AdMo

    Some jackass yelled at a guy who got up in the middle of the night to plow their street because it was loud? Are you effing kidding me? This is the worst one since the guy who cussed out the crew in Adams Morgan for having the audacity to try to restore water service in the middle of the night. Sheesh, these are probably the same people that want a fully stocked grocery store within walking distance of their house but want there to be no deliveries late at night, early in the morning, or during any time that would block traffic.

  • Scott

    Well, an attempt was made to plow my one-way street (in Park View) a couple nights ago, but the plow got stuck right in front of my house, made revving noises for about an hour, and finally backed out. But, yeah, I guess they try to plow one-way streets.

  • Mal

    I live on 12th Street NW (just north of Mass Ave) and it still hasn’t been plowed. It’s a one way street going north from downtown – you’d think this is a pretty main street, right?

  • I live on the one way part of Monroe St in Mt Pleasant. We had a plow early on (Friday?), last night a big plow came through and today I saw a smaller plow. The one way part of Newton St was also plowed last night.

  • Smoove T

    I live on 6th NE, a one-way street that has been really well-plowed throughout the week.

    However, just off of 6th is Lexington, which hasn’t been plowed once. In fact, Lexington seems to be where the snowplows push all the snow off of 6th.

  • PetworthRes

    One of those huge front loaders was breaking up all the ice on Taylor St NW this morning at 5:45am, taking it down to bare pavement. It woke me up which wasnt’ the greatest, but I wasn’t about to go out and complain about it!

  • anon

    Here is a question. Can plow drivers change the angle of the plow to either side of the street. Cause not to split hairs but I live on a one way street with parking on only the right hand side. So when the plow comes down our street all the cars get plowed in while the side with no cars at all is left open!

  • AdMo

    Most plow rigs can change from angled to straight so they can go from normal plowing to just moving around. Front end loaders not so much.

    Also, if you live on a one way, try to get your car on the left side of the street, chances are they’re going to push a way bigger berm on the right side since that’s how they normally plow

    • ontarioroader

      Plow operators can do a lot of things with blade angle and height to do a better job, but there’s no real incentive to do so. The worse conditions look out there, the more $$$ they get because DDOT/DPW thinks the streets still ‘look bad’ and keep them on payroll. Contract plow operators are RAKING in the cash on this.

  • x

    no plows have hit Otis NW anywhere between 11th and 14th… a bunch of idiotss have been digging out their cars and throwing the snow in the street which has only been making things worse. watching plows miss my house completely in real-time is fun though : http://snowmap.dc.gov/

  • Meridian PL

    Maybe this is what happened on 1400 Meridian. This morning half the street was nice and clean, and then a big ass wall.

  • Anonymous

    Typical DC resident behavior here. Except, I’m sure that when that person woke up, they were writing letters to the editor decrying what a terrible job the district did with snow removal.

  • Anonymous

    Have any of the folks whose streets haven’t been plowed called 311? In December and again this week, I called 311 and requested that my street get plowed. In both cases, within 12 hours the plows arrived. My street is not a major route and in fact is about as minor as can be — it’s a dead end which isn’t wide enough for two cars to pass side by side. Obviously we would all prefer not to have to make such requests but it’s worth a try. It doesn’t cost anything but a couple minutes of time.

  • skeedattle

    N St NW between 14th and 15th never gets plowed, so I hear. But then cars are parked on either side of the street so I can’t blame them.

  • Anonymous

    I live on 12th Place and if one of my neighbors called this guy off, that pisses me off! I heard the equipment too. Way to go neighbor… glad you got a few extra hours of beauty sleep.

  • Otis Pl

    I live on the 1000 block of Otis Pl NW and called 311 multiple times. Our street was not plowed until today, most likely because yesterday I emailed our Council Member, Jim Graham, who asked DDOT to plow us and 10th Street. I did mention there are some elderly folks on our street who are trapped and that I am physician who has to have access to a car for work at all times- though I had to park at DC USA since there was no parking on our street and there really aren’t any extra spots. I couldn’t stomach stealing someone else’s hard shoveled spot.

  • John

    Swann St. has been in bad shape. Btwn 15th and 16th it’s still impassabl due to the huge piles of icy snow on either end due to the plowing on 15th and 16th streets.

  • MK

    My street got plowed at 4AM this morning!!! The vibrations from the plow nearly shook my house off of its foundation but I was so happy I almost ran out in the cold to kiss the guy. I can see pavement! At least I can see it until Monday when we get dumped on again.

  • dceited

    Original poster here. Thanks for the suggestion to call 311. I did that Saturday morning and by the afternoon, a plow was on my street. I don’t know if it was my call or a collection of calls from my neighbors, but it’s great to see the street again. Thanks, POP and POP commenters!

  • George

    Called 311 at least six times. Also emailed Jim Graham and that seemed to be getting somewhere — on email, at least — but messages did not translate into action. Still no plow in the 1300 block of Perry (one-way from 14th), though the 1400 block of Perry (also one-way) got a nice, thorough going over by a couple of bobcats Friday evening. Not surprisingly, our ANC rep lives there. Nice.


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