by Marlene Berlin
I have a fantasy – and I’m not the only one – that with the first sight of snow I see sidewalk plows lined up with salt on Connecticut Avenue, Albemarle Street, Fessenden, Nebraska and Reno (which are federally designated as arterials and collectors). In the evening I hear the hum of these plows as they clear away piles of snow from intersections, bus stops, and attack those areas that rarely see a shovel – the sidewalk and bus stop by Grant Park at Ellicott and Connecticut, the sidewalk on the east side of Connecticut between 36th Street and Fessenden, and the triangle of Fessenden, Nebraska and Reno that many school kids pass by on their way to Murch, Deal and Wilson.
In my dream, trucks are delivering big barrels of sand to local street corners for residents to use on their sidewalks and icy patches on the road. These roads have been cleared for pedestrians and cars to share. There is a new law in place. When it snows and requires plowing of streets, the speed limit is 15 miles per hour. The police are out using radar and ticketing those who are not obeying the speed limit. My taxes are higher, but the sidewalks and local roads are usable for pedestrians, and residents are able to walk to catch a bus or subway.
I know, dream on! Reality is quite a different matter. Here is what I found on our streets last Friday and Saturday.
What did you find? Let us know in a comment below, and please send your photos of icy sidewalks (and your photos and praise for the clear ones) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marlene Berlin is the vice chair of the Pedestrian Advisory Council that advises the DC City Council on pedestrian matters, and a transportation advocate for Iona Senior Services.