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Snow and Ice Control Program Summary Pages
December 1999




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Summary of Snow and Ice Control Program
Residential Street Spreading and Plowing
Snow Emergency Routes

December 1999
D.C. Department of Public Works - 2000 14th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20009 - (202) 939-8000

Summary of Snow and Ice Control Program

The District of Columbia Department of Public Works clears snow and ice from District roadways and bridges; and, when necessary, declares and enforces snow emergencies.

FY 2000 Snow Budget: $3.65 million
Total District Roadway Miles: 1,100
Street Clearing Priorities:

  • Priority #1 Routes: Snow Emergency Routes, 221 miles/1,061 lanes
  • Priority #2 Routes: Large commercial and residential streets, 168 miles/ 338 lanes
  • Priority #3 Hill Routes: Residential streets located in hilly neighborhoods, 40 miles/ 80 lanes
  • Residential Routes: Medium to small residential streets, 671 miles/1,342 lanes

Cars parked on Snow Emergency Routes will be ticketed ($250 fine) and relocated to the nearest legal parking space.

Abrasive Materials for Spreading: 21,000 tons of salt on hand (12/10/99)

Personnel and Equipment:

  • 280 on duty-when fully mobilized to spread abrasives.
  • 380 on duty when fully mobilized to plow snow.
  • 124 municipal dump trucks are available to plow snow and spread salt.
  • 13 4X4 vehicles to plow residential hill routes.

Plows Operated by Contractors: The District contracts with vendors to provide 6- and 10-wheel dump trucks to be driven by contractors to plow specific streets during major snow storms, 224 contractor-supplied trucks are committed to the District. These trucks will be used when 4 or more inches of snow are predicted. Additional equipment, including front- end loaders, snow blowers and graders also are available in case of a major snowfall.

Declaration of a Snow Emergency: The Director of Public Works will declare a snow emergency to remove all parked vehicles from Snow Emergency Routes so these routes can be cleared of ice and snow from curb to curb. Motorists will be given the maximum amount of time to remove their vehicles from Snow Emergency Routes before tickets are issued and vehicles are towed.

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When snowfall is heavy enough, the Department of Public Works will spread salt and plow residential streets when major roadways have been cleared.

PURPOSE — To give residents timely, safe access to cleared arterials.

EQUIPMENT — DPW dump trucks, 4x4 pick-up trucks equipped with salt spreaders and plows and contract plow trucks will be used to clear residential streets.

Trucks will be deployed to clear all residential areas in the city. (Alleys will not be plowed.)

TRASH COLLECTION — Trash collections may have to be rescheduled during winter storms depending on the severity and duration of the storm. Residents can get the latest information about conditions and trash collections from radio and television.

STREET AND ALLEY CLEANING SERVICES — Scheduled mechanical street cleaning in residential neighborhoods with alternate-side-of-the-street parking will be suspended for the winter between JANUARY 17 AND MARCH 5; therefore, parking tickets WILL NOT be issued for violating the alternate-side-of-the-street parking restrictions.

Alley cleaning services may have to be rescheduled during winter storms.

Residents can get the latest information about mechanical street cleaning and parking restrictions from radio and television.

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There are 91 Snow Emergency Routes in the District of Columbia.

Total miles: 221
Total lane miles: 1,061

Routes are posted with special red and white Snow Emergency Route signs. These will be the first routes plowed after a snow emergency has been declared and at least four inches of snow have accumulated on the streets. To assure effective plowing and efficient traffic flow, the routes must be kept free of parked cars; therefore, parking on these routes is prohibited during a snow emergency. Parked cars on these routes, as well as disabled cars not equipped with snow tires or chains that are on these routes, will be ticketed and relocated to nearby streets. Motorists who cannot locate their cars during or after a snow emergency should call (202) 541-6060.

Fine for parking on Snow Emergency Route: $250

A snow emergency must be announced at least one hour before it is put into effect. It must be announced no later than 11 p.m. On weekdays, it must be announced no earlier than 6 a.m., and on weekends no earlier than 7 a.m. Above all, motorists will be given as much time as possible to move their vehicles before a snow emergency goes into effect.

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