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Feds Call “3 Hours DELAYED ARRIVAL”; DC Gov and DC Public Schools “2 hour delay”

by Prince Of Petworth — March 14, 2017 at 4:26 am 50 Comments

snow delay
Photo by PoPville flickr user Paul Sirajuddin

From AlertDC:

“OPM decision for Tuesday, March 14: Federal Agencies in the Washington, DC area are OPEN under 3 Hours DELAYED ARRIVAL – With Option for Unscheduled Leave or Unscheduled Telework. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than 3 hour(s) later than they would be expected to arrive.”

Update from AlertDC:

“The Mayor has determined we will have a two (2) hour delay for government operations and DC Public Schools (DCPS).”

Update from WMATA:

“Metrobus service, which started the day on a “Severe” snow service plan, will transition to a “Moderate” snow service plan as of 7 a.m. To see which bus routes operate under the Moderate plan, use the following link.”

Update from the National Zoo:

“The @NationalZoo will be closed today due to the inclement weather.”

Please send your snow photos via email to [email protected], tweet me @PoPville, upload to the PoPville Flickr pool or tag us #PoPville on Instagram.

  • Takomanorpark

    Well that is disappointing.

  • Jan

    This is bizarre. My foundation job almost never closes, even when OPM totally shuts down gov. Today we are closed and feds are open.

  • Bruce

    Thanks, Trump.

  • FridayGirl

    Did OPM happen to notice it’s been sleeting here in DC since around 1:30am last night? And was forecast to go through 11am this morning? Their decision was literally my worst-case scenario. Nothing is going to change between 8am and 11am except that it’s going to KEEP SLEETING! Geez!

  • maxwell smart

    My job only follows OPM if they close, so this helps me zero. Pretty terrrible call IMO since WMATA is still operating with very limited bus service.

    • cx20020

      Branching out from this comment, metrorail is running on a Saturday schedule. However, when I got off the train today, I noticed I was still charged for a rush hour rate!

      • LittleBluePenguin

        whoa, wait, that’s ridiculous! I didn’t notice that but I wasn’t paying a lot of attention because I was just trying to stay unfrozen!

      • Belinskaya

        They have to load any fare changes onto each gate by hand – thanks, 1970s network architecture!

        This is their explanation for why pricing cannot be adjusted on the fly due to delays, weather, etc. They do the whole year at once, understandably, and therefore the weekends/holidays are factored in, but they cannot make changes on short notice.

        I believe them as to this being the problem, since they are the 1970s faregates. As to whether still having 1970s faregates is a valid excuse, I leave that to the readership.

  • Andrew

    Most people fail to realize that people who are paid by the hour, which includes most service and custodial related jobs, are compelled to come to work during inclement weather. While many workers covered by OPM can telecommute/take a snow day, many businesses take their cue from OPM. Workers making $12 an hour can’t telecommute. When OPM issues a muddled order like this, where sure, it’s a three hour delay, but the government remains open a TON of lower income workers immediately have to come to work, travelling longer distances than most to come downtown to open and clean office buildings, coffee shops, etc. And they have to use limited public transit, or risk driving themselves. Something to think about when these decisions are made. If it’s worth a three hour delay, it should just be closed. Period.

    • littlen

      Yep, my previous job followed OPM but only for closures. Days like this we had to be at work on time. It seriously sucked.

      • eva

        We follow OPM, but if you choose to come in late for the delay you have to use your leave time for the hours missed. So guess who walked to the office for 70 minutes while being pelted with small ice balls?

        • maxwell smart

          That sucks. I don’t think I like my job enough to endure that.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. A three hour delay is pretty worthless when you know there will only be one bus per hour on your local route. This is literally the worst decision and it was made at the last minute (they should have announced it at midnight). Fortunately, the roads look pretty empty and desolate in my busy stretch of Adams Morgan. The buses are very few and far between, not many commuters in their cars.

      • FridayGirl

        Agreed. If they weren’t going to close, they should have just said so early. All overnight weather should have made this an obvious closure.

    • jcm

      Of course, those $12 an hour workers don’t get paid if there’s a snow day, and often don’t have much of a cushion to take a 20% income hit in a week. Snow days aren’t a good thing for hourly people living paycheck to paycheck.

    • Belinskaya

      As a temp during the blizzards of 2009/2010, the February batch of two in a week meant I went more than a week without any work whatsoever. It was a bad, bad month with next to nothing in savings (had eaten through those in 2009 – was laid off from previous job in the middle of 2008, just in time for the crash). Half a day’s wages is far better than no day’s wages.

      Delayed arrival isn’t about safety of travel, precisely. It’s about thinning out the rush hour herd while things are still not perfect. If it’s too dangerous to travel, Metrobus shuts downs, Metro shuts down outdoor rail, and police/emergency managers of the local jurisdictions broadcast loads of bulletins to stay inside. This is something far different – it’s not absolutely unsafe, but fewer cars on the roads are better.

      I appreciate your attempt at concern for the working poor, but we all need to pay our bills. Snow days don’t feel particularly safe when rent is due in two weeks. It’s just a trade for a different sort of potentially deadly insecurity.

  • BlueStreak

    Why is D.C. so much more reluctant to close confidant compared to other places? The are the only local school district to be open today.

    • B

      I think it’s the fear of criticism for shutting the government for all of the “lazy” (I’m a Fed) government workers. Also, today, giving delayed opening with telework options is the easier call, given the large number of Federal workers now prepared to telework. It results in a large number of folks still working. I head an office, so unfortunately have to go in, while most of my staff will, I’m sure, opt to telework. It puts a lot of pressure on me, but I’d prefer they stay safe.

      • maxwell smart

        Which is tough because a lot of other businesses and companies outside of the government base their decision on OPM – but generally it’s all or nothing. So while many federal workers have the option and ability to telework, a lot of companies simply do not have the technology and capability for that to happen. In my offIce of 70, maybe 10 people are on laptops, and only because they have made arrangements (working moms, etc).

      • John B.

        But the delayed opening and unscheduled leave/telework also keeps people off the roads, and helps mitigate rush hour traffic. So it makes things a whole lot better for those who do have to drive.

      • Marty

        my federal agency no longer closes – even when OPM says gov’t is closed. We are required to telework, or take leave. (some case-by-case exclusions apply, but generally these are the only options.)

    • BlueStreak

      I’m not sure how that autocorrected so badly… * why is DC so much more reluctant to close *schools*
      The are the only local district to be open today.

    • iwdc

      I figured this was, at least in part, a reaction to OPM staying open. (It was announced after OPM made a decision.) Two hour delay lets parents drop off their kids and get to work for the 3 hour delay.

    • eva

      A lot of kids in DC schools are reliant on school breakfast and lunch for a good deal of their daily nutrition. And additionally may be left home alone if schools are closed. Which is not to say that isn’t the case in other jurisdictions, but there are a higher concentration of those vulnerable kids in DC.

      • DCbyDay

        +1 however… then DCPS said that all absences today were excused absences….. so it’s essentially a snow day, especially for older students who have some autonomy

  • new ward1 resident

    I see no alternate side parking or parking enforcement updates at all on the DPW website … if the DC govt is open late, are we to assume that parking rules are in effect?

    • Anonymous

      I was listening to WAMU yesterday at 7pm while driving home from the airport and I swear I heard that they had suspended street sweeping due to needing drivers for snowplows, thus alternate parking rules are suspended today. But don’t quote me on that!

      • saf

        That is correct – there was a DPW press release yesterday.

    • textdoc

      From http://dpw.dc.gov/release/dc-government-deploy-snow-team-continue-activation-cold-emergency-plan :
      .
      “DPW has suspended street sweeping for Tuesday, and all scheduled bulk trash pickup appointments for Tuesday are cancelled and will be rescheduled.”

  • ShawThroughtheHeart

    RANT…!

  • That One Guy

    Ugh…to everyone out there, safe travels.

  • NH Ave Hiker

    Yea I’m just going to telework anyways. I don’t feel like going in when I have to wait 20 minutes for a train.

    • +1. The new Safe Track was already lengthening my commute; would hate to see how long it would take on a day like today. Luckily I brought my laptop home. Stay warm and safe out there everyone!

      • Leeran

        Good call… I only go six stops (with one transfer) and it took about 50 minutes this morning.

    • JohnH

      Oh the horrors! You know there’s apps that give you ideas of when the train will arrive? Metro ain’t great, but some complaints are a bit ridiculous.

      • textdoc

        Twenty-minute headways are a valid complaint.

        • maxwell smart

          Especially if you live somewhere where it takes, on a good day, 25 minutes to walk to the metro.

          • Blithe

            And/or take more than one train. The walk/bus to the Metro station coupled with waits for more than one train can add up to a pretty onerous commute. That then becomes even more onerous if it takes yet another walk or bus ride to get to the final destination. Sometimes the waits can take longer than the actual travel.

        • Leeran

          +1… some of the things Metro apologists try to carry water for is amazing…

      • NH Ave Hiker

        Well, most of the stuff I had to work on today I can do on my home computer anyways – so why bother going in and deal with a potential headache? That’s all I was implying.

      • lizcolleena

        My bus app was off pretty significantly today, so in addition to the reasons stated by other commenters, it seems pretty obvious that the transit situation in this town is terrible (and thus not ridiculous to complain about). I checked just before leaving home and it stated 11 minutes, so I killed a couple minutes at home before trekking out (only takes me 3 minutes or so to get there). Got there with about two minutes to spare before the bus should have arrived, only to check the app and see that it was still 9 minutes away, which actually ended up being about 15. It’s kind of hard to plan if these apps are 20 minutes off!

  • John B.

    I got a couple of inches of snow in NW DC, mixed with rain and sleet so everything is a slushy mess. I’m a fed but decided to get my usual ride and arrive on time rather than stay home a couple of hours and have to deal with the Metro and sidewalks. Gotta say, the delayed opening and unscheduled leave/telework makes sense. The roads are messy, but drivable (although I’m surprised how many roads have apparently not been plowed). Getting downtown was not at all difficult, and with so little traffic on the road we made it in less than our usual time. Sidewalks are the worst so I feel bad for anybody who has to walk outdoors at all today. BTW I have a co-worker who drove in from southern MD this morning and said all they had was rain until they hit DC.

    • FridayGirl

      Drivable, really? U St. & 13th Street was a TOTAL mess around 8am with major banks in the road where the plows had turned off in a different direction. Rosslyn was also horrible.

      • ShawThroughtheHeart

        I had decent luck coming from Shaw to the forsaken land of Tyson’s. Granted the roads were mostly empty at that hour (left at 5:30a.m.). Better parts were just a few inches of slush, a few spots where the snow fully covered the road.

  • MadMax

    “3 hour delay or go ahead and telework” is basically the OPM equivalent of when your wife/husband says “I don’t care where we go out to eat you decide” and then says no to everywhere you pick.

  • jcm

    I feel like metro under Wiedefeld is way too willing to close or reduce service due to inclement weather. I guess that’s what happens when you hire an airline guy to run your railroad.

    • maxwell smart

      I feel like metro under Wiedefeld is way too willing to close or reduce service… period.

    • Leeran

      There’s something to this argument. During the big storm last year, WaPo interviewed someone high up from another transit system (maybe SEPTA or PATCO?) basically saying that for the most part snow only becomes a problem on rail lines when you’re not running enough trains to help keep things clear. Could definitely be a factor here…

  • CHGal

    I’m not a fed, contractor or anything related, but it’s clear to me that OPM would absolutely not close today because the Trump administration’s current focus on the federal workforce. No way they’d give them more ammunition.

    • rowanmae

      +1000. That’s precisely what my co-workers and I think.

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