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Snow Snarls Commute, Late Start for Schools

by Katie Pyzyk January 24, 2013 at 8:15 am 1,099 29 Comments

Slippery morning commute in Pentagon City(Updated at 8:50 a.m.) Snow and cold weather are causing slick conditions on the roads and making a mess of the morning commute.

In addition to accidents, police scanner traffic indicates dozens of drivers skidding and nearly spinning out on the slippery roads. There are also numerous reports of vehicles getting stuck, particularly in hilly areas. Police report some drivers not paying attention closely enough and running into other vehicles, or even running over flares that are marking existing traffic problems. Drivers are reminded to slow down and use extra caution.

All Arlington Public Schools will open two hours late and the Extended Day program will open two hours late. Morning field trips are canceled. All APS administrative offices and the pools will open on time.

The Office of Personnel Management confirms that federal agencies are open, but employees have the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. Arlington County government is opening on time, but workers have the option for unscheduled leave or telework, with supervisor approval.

The following closures and schedule alterations are in effect for the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation:

  • All Preschool programs are cancelled.
  • All senior centers will open at noon, but lunch programs and transportation service at Walter Reed, Langston-Brown and Arlington Mill at Fairlington are cancelled.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes and nature center programs scheduled to start prior to 11:59 am are cancelled in all buildings. All Enjoy Arlington classes and nature center programs with scheduled start time of noon or later will proceed as scheduled.
  • All joint use facilities Drew, Carver, Gunston, Langston, and Thomas Jefferson Community Center will open at 10:00 a.m. Barcroft, Lee, Madison, Dawson Terrace, Lubber Run, Fairlington and Walter Reed center hours and programs will proceed as scheduled.

The Department of Environmental Services reports that crews are currently working to treat all primary (red) and secondary (blue) roads on the snow map, and expect to move into the neighborhoods later in the day. DES offers the following tips:

  • Do not drive unless necessary so roads will be open for emergency and snow removal vehicles.
  • Help your neighbors clean the sidewalk on the same side of the street as parked cars to increase pedestrian safety.
  • Keep snow cleared from fire hydrants, storm drains and downspouts on your home.

The National Weather Service’s Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 9:00 a.m.

  • Tabs

    I’m surprised that the gov(s) aren’t on a delay. It’s slick out there.

    • Yup

      They got unscheduled leave/telework, which some use to telework in the morning and then come in later. It’s better than delays because it spaces out people feeding into DC

  • Observer

    No plows out from the County, according to what they tweeted this am. My side street is covered with snow, and was certainly not treated, it never is. I guess I will have to hope for some sun to melt it even though it will be below freezing the rest of the week.

    • JamesE

      Good day to stay home

    • Swag

      Not enough snow to plow.

      Barton Street is closed between Fairfax and 14th.

      • Bubba

        I thought that might happen – we just got through there past a bus that was stuck. Why did they not treat this? It’s a major road – especially now that traffic is diverted from the 10th St. exit to Rte 50.

    • Hokie

      Must have gone downhill then. At 6am I saw county trucks spraying chemical as I walked outside, and at 7am I found no slick roads. Of course i wasn’t driving like a bat out of hades either thinking i’m more important than everybody else.

      • Yup

        I don’t get why people drive like that. Yes, roads are backed up and you will be late to work. But that doesn’t mean drive even faster and ever more moron-icly! Even worse: “I have an AWD BMW, I’ll be fine stepping on the gas”. Ugh

    • Don

      Been told, can’t plow with an inch or two of snow

  • CrystalMikey

    This is why I left for work earlier than normal, to avoid my fellow drivers and their idiocy in the snow.

  • Mary-Austin

    The dbag that jacked up his 3series speeding down the hill in Courthouse made me chuckle.

    • JamesE

      Rear wheel drive cars should stay inside, if it was an all wheel drive 3 series then what a terrible driver

    • Wiz

      Probably still had his summer tires on.

      • JamesE

        I always keep summer tires on my car, I just never drive in snow/ice.

      • Mary-Austin

        Looked like he had some Z rated tires which probably aren’t very good in the snow on his dumb looking blacked out rims.
        Still probably mostly his fault to not slow down that caused him to slide under a parked truck.

      • drax

        He was probably from Maryland and driving an automatic.

        Do I have to do everything around here?

        • DCBuff

          You forgot texting, too.

          • drax

            Thanks. Glad somebody else around here is pitching in.

    • Deadite

      Ha I heard that from my apartment this morning. I was wide awake having to listen to all the dummies spinning their tires and getting nowhere. Thanks for waking the whole neighborhood up, a-holes.

    • AL

      Hahah, I would’ve chuckled as well!

  • SteveP

    Remember to completely clean your car before driving, that includes back windshield, side windows, and lights so that you can see in all directions and be seen. The top and hood should also be cleared so the snow doesn’t blow off and cause visibility problems for you or nearby cars.

    It’s surprising how many cars being driven out there only have a portion of their front windshield cleared and are driving.

    • CrystalMikey

      I saw a dude like that cruising down 50W this morning, whole back windshield covered and no lights on.

      • nom de guerre

        Since the car had both a front and back windshield did it look anything like this?

    • Deadite

      Virginia drivers …

    • JamesE

      The best is a day or two after the snow when the entire sheet of ice on their roof flies off at highway speeds and you have to pull a 2fast2furious maneuver to avoid it.

      • Yup

        *bangs head into desk* WHY? WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS?!? I watched someone launch a SUV-roof-sized sheet off on the Toll Road and come within a milisecond of causing an accident.

        To credit the police, after bigger storms or storms with wet snow, I’ve seen them pull people over for causing a danger to other drivers. I’m not sure if they ticket them or give them a warning and make them clean their roofs, but I remember reading about it in the WashPo. While there are bigger things for the police to do, this is one of those things that I support 110%. It is incredibly dangerous to not clear ALL of your car. Don’t buy a massive SUV if you can’t take the 5min to clear it. On icy roads, people can get into accidents without even speeding. But this [clearing roofs] is something that the police can and should enforce.

  • Buckingham Beauty

    And, drivers, remember to slow down sooner when coming upon a red light in snowy conditions. If the light’s very red and I’m in the middle of the intersection in the crosswalk, I would appreciate not having the heart attack I get when you almost slide into me as you come to a squealing stop because you’re braking way too short for the weather. Many thanks.

    • Yup

      +10 Also, please do not glare at me for being in said crosswalk

  • b0rk

    Quick guide to driving in the snow:
    1. Slow down.
    2. Don’t make any sudden acceleration or braking movements.
    3. Leave plenty of stopping space between other cars.
    4. Slow down.
    5. Just because you have 4×4 or AWD, don’t think that will help you STOP better.
    6. Slow down.


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