Tuesday, March 1, 2016

VDOT response to snow/ice blocking sidewalk near school

Blocked sidewalk near three
Fairfax County schools
I recently reported to VDOT that a sidewalk leading to three schools, adjacent to Langston Hughes Middle School, was still blocked with snow and ice more than 5 weeks after the last major snow storm, snowzilla. This is the response I received:
Thank you for contacting the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Customer Service Center with your request.

While VDOT does not remove snow from sidewalks or trails, crews are asked to be mindful of pushing large amounts of snow onto sidewalks, driveways, etc. With major storms, it is often an unintended consequence of making roads passable. VDOT is sorry for this inconvenience, but to make as many roads passable as quickly as possible, there is no way to avoid it

Please call the Customer Service Center if you have further questions. We appreciate your efforts to help keep Virginia roads safe.
The snow in question was put on the sidewalk by a VDOT crew when it was decided to clear the street from curb to curb. They could have left some snow in the road; the road was passable before they dumped the piles of snow on the sidewalk. Basically the message is, it's more important to make sure the road is completely clear of snow than it is to have a sidewalk passable for kids walking to and from school. I see kids and adults walking in the street every day at this location.

I will say that the myVDOT site for reporting road problems works. Usually within a day or two you will receive a response regarding any problems reported. It may not be the response you want but it will be a response. The forms are geared toward reporting road problems and that needs to be updated, but the service works well.

Today was the Fairfax Co Board of Supervisors' Snow Summit. We'll report on the summit in a later post.

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We have the same problem in Montgomery County, MD. The example in the video is a block from a high school.


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