- (Apologies for the length. The context that DC isn't merely failing to keep a few die-hard cyclists happy in extreme conditions is important. DC generally did a decent job managing transportation during this storm - if you are a driver. But if you walk, if you use public transportation, and especially if you use a bicycle for commuting as everyone in my family does, the picture looks quite different.)
- There was a pretty good snowstorm in DC on 2/13/2014. About a foot of snow was expected, and while DC hadn't seen that much snow in years, a smaller significant storm earlier in the year showed how out of practice DC's agencies were at taking care of DC's 70 miles of bike lanes. I documented some trouble spots after that storm.
- I believe those concerns were heard and led to changes. But were there improvements?With plenty of advance warning that the 2/13 storm could be big, DC made lots of preparations. Many closings were announced on 2/12 before a single flake fell in the area - a pattern that has annoyed people in the past when the local impact turned out to underperform forecasts. Not this time.
- I stayed put for the duration, and from my window it seemed maybe this storm response would not repeat the previous one.
The Storm Ends
- In addition to the obvious safety concerns about people trying to get around in slippery conditions, announcing a snow emergency and closing schools and government offices allows road crews to work with less other road traffic. For the most part this worked, well enough for one mayoral candidate to stage a photo op with agency heads before the emergency was lifted.
- Fun while it lasted, DC prepared for a return to work Friday, foiling hopes for a five day Valentine's Day and President's Day weekend. But what about people who use bikes as transportation? What about DC's famed bike sharing system?