Blame Game

D.C. Residents Furious About Snow Cleanup

Is it D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s turn in Michael Bloomberg’s hotseat? Officials are calling the snowstorm Thursday the region’s worst traffic fiasco since Sept. 11, 2001, as untreated roads, fallen trees, abandoned cars, stalled buses, and inaccurate forecasts combined to turn evening commutes into nine-hour ordeals. Compounding natural factors, local officials accuse the federal government’s decision to release workers at 3 p.m. for causing an early rush hour just as the snow started. More than 40 accidents and 70 stalled buses ground traffic in D.C. to a halt. In Northern Virginia, 450 vehicles were disabled and 100 more abandoned on the GW Parkway. "I understand that people were frustrated," said Virginia State Police Lt. James DeFord, "that they were running out of gas and were worried about freezing. But they really contributed to the problem by leaving their vehicles in the road.”