Eight D.C. council members tabled a bill this afternoon to enforce D.C.’s law requiring shoveling sidewalks. This means that, for the umpteenth time, D.C. is doing nothing about the serious safety problem of unshoveled sidewalks after a snowstorm.
Only bill authors Mary Cheh (Ward 3) and Tommy Wells (Ward 6), joined by David Catania (at-large) and Chairman Kwame Brown, voted against tabling the bill. Phil Mendelson (at large) sounded like he favored the bill during the debate, but supported the tabling.
Listening to the debate, it was clear that many council members just don’t think there is a problem. Marion Barry (Ward 8) said he has gotten few or no complaints about unshoveled sidewalks. Muriel Bowser (Ward 4) spoke passionately multiple times about the burden on anyone for getting a ticket but said nothing about her residents’ ability to walk to stores and the Metro.
Jim Graham also argued against enforcing this law, even though, as The Post’s Mike DeBonis noted, he represents the (residentially) densest ward in D.C. He introduced an amendment that would have restricted fines to only apply on streets that have already been plowed. One of the bill’s supporters called the amendment a “poison pill.” That sends the ironic message that if drivers can’t get through a street, it’s not important that pedestrians be able to either.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.