DC Public Schools Opening with Two Hour Delay; Street Sweeping Still Suspended; Shovel Your G-Damn Sidewalks

by Prince Of Petworth March 15, 2017 at 6:30 am 37 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering


“As of 5 a.m., Metrobus and Metrorail are operating on a regular weekday schedule.”

From the Mayor’s Office:

“On Wednesday, March 15 DC Public Schools (DCPS) will open with a two hour delay, and DC Government will open on time. In addition, regularly scheduled after care and after school activities will occur at all DCPS schools. For updates on delays and closures at DC Public Charter Schools, families can track the DC Public Charter School Board’s inclement weather page at http://www.dcpcsb.org/inclement-weather-updates.

On Wednesday, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will resume scheduled bulk trash pickup, but street sweeping will remain suspended. Property owners – residential and commercial – are reminded that they are required to remove snow from their sidewalks within the first 8 hours of daylight after a storm ends, otherwise they may be subject to enforcement actions.

Residents who are homeowners, age 65 or older and/or living with a disability may be eligible for an exemption from this requirement. For further information about the exemption process and to receive an application, call 311. On Wednesday, DPW’s Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program (SWEEP) officers will begin enforcing the sidewalk shoveling regulation and prioritize corridors with higher pedestrian traffic.

Pedestrians and motorists should continue to use caution when travelling on Wednesday, as refreezing may occur overnight.”

  • Marty

    I realize that the spirit of the sidewalk shoveling law is just to get them all shoveled, but if it ever came to enforcement, is there a standard way to define the “end of a storm”? Last snowflake visible at DCA?

    • dcd

      Enforcement would be like speed cameras – build in so much additional time that no one could argue with the ticket based on the end of the storm. So, for yesterday’s storm, if walks aren’t shoveled tomorrow morning, ticketing commences. Of course, this is a fantasy, but we can dream, right?

  • 1301

    The sidewalk on the west side of Franklin Park was still a mess this morning, and it’s a major foot traffic route to the metro. Is that DC or NPS that should be clearing it?

    • sherri

      Franklin Square is National park service

  • Ally

    A little late for this snowstorm, since it’s mostly turned to ice now, but for any of you with elderly neighbors, please also consider shoveling their sidewalks for the,. I did our block yesterday since we have a lot of neighbors who are older. Didn’t take but an extra 5-10 minutes and it’s nice to not have to avoid the ice today.

    • ah

      +1 re ice. If you didn’t shovel yesterday, you’re cooked. It’s all pretty solid ice at this point and probably will be for a couple days. (But I’m not excusing those who didn’t shovel – the grace period is plenty generous in this storm, which effectively ended by the middle of yesterday, yet arguably would allow people not to shovel until about 3pm today).

    • artemis

      +1. My neighbor across the street and I shoveled our elderly neighbor’s walks. And then the neighbor on the corner salted them. It was a lovely moment of community coming together.

      • Will Be Old Lady Some Day (Soon)

        That’s really nice of your neighborhood to help out like that. Thanks!

    • HaileUnlikely

      Word. I used to do this where I live now. I am delighted to report that where I live now, one of my neighbors who has a snowblower does the whole block on the side with multiple elderly households almost every time.

  • maxwell smart

    Might I suggest a 2-step process: shovel then sweep. A number of spots in my neighborhood last night had shoveled but the skim coat of snow after shoveling had already frozen. Also, if the bus stop is in front of your house or you live at the corner of the street, be neighborly and shovel a path to the stop and to the corner. Nothing like having to penguin walk to cross the street quickly to get to the bus that has to let people off into a small mountain of snow.

  • JohnH

    I could go ice skating down my street’s sidewalks today.

  • Ward One Resident

    DPW’s Twitter account says street sweeping enforcement resumes today! Just FYI

    • Who wins – the Mayor or DPW? :) I tweeted DPW to ask for clarification, standby.

      • ah

        They both win – DPW will ticket cars on street sweeping streets, but the Mayor will honor her pledge not to have street sweeping take place today.

        • AnonJohn


    • @DCDPW 3m3 minutes ago

      @waclark4 @PoPville CORRECTION: Residential street sweeping has been suspended for today. We sincerely apologize for any confusion caused.

  • mgdc

    Is there a way to report sidewalks that aren’t shoveled? Though we haven’t had much snow (if any) this year, there was a time early on where we got ice and the exact same corner on busy 17th street, where two large row homes are stationed, was the same icy mess it was this morning.

    I hate to sound like a curmudgeon but as someone who walks everywhere, including my commute, it’s slightly terrifying to skid down an entire section of sidewalk … Would love to email the county and ask them to intervene.

    • ah


      • JohnH

        If it makes you feel better, go ahead to 311. There’s about a -100% chance anything happens from you doing that though.

      • JohnH

        I’d also add that yeah, it’s not enjoyable, but the current situation is NOTHING compared to last year when people didn’t do anything with a foot of snow. And there wasn’t really enforcement then either. I’d save the pent up anger for the next real snow fall.

  • MadMax

    Had to come in yesterday and work rather late, so thanks to the good Samaritan who shoveled my sidewalk!

  • Anon

    Thanks for posting these updates! Any idea when we’ll know about street sweeping for tomorrow? I doubt everything will be melted by then, and I think it’s supposed to be another 20 degree morning…

  • eastof9

    Is regular trash/recycling happening today? This sounds like just bulk trash. Anyone know? Thanks!

    • Marty

      I sent a text message to Brandon Todd yesterday asking this question. He responded at 3:15AM today that they were on schedule to do so.

      • eastof9

        ThanksI I should probably take out the trash but I don’t see how they could possibly make it through the alley.

  • Sue

    A cute trick: I drove north on Connecticut Ave. this morning and around Van Ness, two buildings had cleared their sidewalks by pushing huge piles of ice into the parking lane.

    • ah

      Pretty typical. Car owners dump the snow from their car and to shovel out space into the road too.

  • Elvis’s Mom

    While I am always annoyed by the lazybones who don’t shovel (especially since the temperature dropping and the ice-turning was not a surprise), I will say that I invested $20 in Yak Traks last year and they have saved my life walking the dog, walking to/from work, etc. Well worth it if you need to navigate this weather and you know that your neighbors (and NPS) are negligent in their sidewalk cleaning. Plus helpful on corners where the snow and ice gets all piled in the way.

  • Sydney

    Sad to say, but in almost perfect 1:1 correspondence, the stretches in upper NW that aren’t shoveled are either 1) parcels run by DC Parks & Rec facilities or 2) houses that every November have political signs out for Republican candidates.

    • HaileUnlikely

      You mean National Park Service? There are lots of sections in upper NW owned by NPS that are almost never cleared in any reasonable timeframe (I’m thinking of a lot of the west side of 16th St, from Colorado Ave on up, everywhere not abutting a private residence). Especially problematic at major bus stops (e.g., 16th & Colorado; 16th & Kennedy; 16th & Fort Stevens).

      • JohnH

        Not that this makes it ok, but I’m going out on a limb to say that the NPS is severely understaffed/underfunded.

        • ah

          They certainly had the person-power to block off Ohio drive to help control the massive crowds descending today to gaze at the cherry blossoms.

        • HaileUnlikely

          No doubt. Not picking on NPS per se; if the Government of the United States of America were thought of as just like some old guy that owned a lot of land in DC, we’d call him a negligent property owner. The detail of it being NPS and NPS is underfunded is basically a shell game. The federal government owns the land and is being a disrespectful and negligent neighbor.

    • ah

      On point 2, there are far more houses with shoveled sidewalks that have Democrat signs out for elections in my neighborhood, which I realize is likely because there are just so many more such houses. Supporters of both parties are highly capable of failing to do their civic duty locally . . . it’s not a partisan thing.


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