The government is shut down and there appears to be no end to the standoff. Oh, and it’s going to snow this weekend.
Forecast models continue to jump around, but The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang is predicting two to four inches by the end of the weekend.
That may not be a big deal in some quarters, but in the Washington region where roads, parks and bridges fall under the purview of multiple local, state and federal entities, it could have significant repercussions.
Washington already paid ($46,000 a week!) to pick up the trash that wasn’t being collected by the National Park Service on the Mall, because of the partial government shutdown, which began Dec. 22. Even so, the shutdown left some wondering: will D.C. be on the hook for shoveling snow and plowing roads under the Park Service’s jurisdiction?
On this front, we have good news: A spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the agency will do its part to treat roads and clear snow from parkways and other commuter routes.
Spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said crews will also handle clearing sidewalks under NPS jurisdiction.
The agency also announced Thursday that it will resume trash collection, urgent roadwork and sanitation services at its parks in and around the District starting Friday.
In all, nearly 300 miles of roads, 155 bridges and more than 100 miles of sidewalks in the greater Washington area are under the Park Service’s jurisdiction — just another sign of the overlapping responsibilities that can make simple tasks difficult in the nation’s capitol a bureaucratic nightmare.
After the historic snowstorm in 2016 dubbed “Snowzilla,” NPS crews moved more than 8.25 million cubic feet of snow from memorials, roads, parking lots and sidewalks. Just how much snow was that? Enough to fill the Washington Monument 18.4 times. The weight of all that snow was 1.6 times as heavy as the entire Lincoln Memorial.