Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The city on trash, parking, alleys & street sweeping

The city has put out a number of press releases lately: namely that they're resuming trash and recycling collection where possible, they don't plow alleys, and they will be enforcing parking rules. Something else I've been asked about a few times is that residential street sweeping has been suspended, as of November 6th, which thus makes it easier to park on the street.

Here's part of the release on alleys:
The District does not plow alleys," said DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. "We do not have the resources and in the majority of the alleys there is no place to push the snow. It would be too difficult and labor intensive to plow any type of alley, whether narrow or wide, in the District."
Not sure what that means if you have a snowy alley. What have folks done in the past? Just wait it out?


  1. I was able to get out of my snowy and icy alley in columbia heights this morning. It's all about not getting your tires stuck in the icy/slushy trenches. I was a little concerned though because I did witness a few cars and vans get stuck.

  2. I feel parking enforcement is a little bit draconian!

  3. John, true, but if it's an alley then a lot of folks would need to shovel. Not always so easy to get everybody coordinated.

  4. I wrote about the paradox of normal trash collection and unplowed alleys yesterday on my blog.

    The last time we had this much snow Marion Barry was mayor, and people were a lot more concerned about the roads than the alleys. The entire city shut down for a week (it was 1996). In Barry's defense (not something you see every day, right?), though, it was a lot worse then, it basically kept snowing for five days.

    I guess my point is, this is kind of a unique situation in recent times. I admire the mayor's optimism about trash collection. I also think it's pretty silly to give people expectations when clearly there are going to be a lot of problems. I would rather they just said "we aren't going to be able to get through a lot of alleys so you might want to hold onto your trash for a few days." The public relations does not really match with reality.

    Trash didn't get picked up for me yesterday morning. But a lot of snow melted during the day yesterday, so it's kind of moot when all's said and done - the weather will likely take care of the problem before long.


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