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Explaining DC’s Irrational Fear of Snow

For my friends not in DC, let me explain the city’s tendency to fold like a cheap suit in the face of potential snow. It has noting to do with ACTUAL snow, but rather the potential impact on traffic.

Two years ago April and I had to go into downtown DC at rush hour. The government had announced a closure at 3pm, but since it wasn’t snowing at 3pm, everyone stayed at work until rush hour. That’s when the snow arrived en masse. It took us 2 1/2 hours to go from DC to McLean (a total distance of about 8 miles). I had friends that were stuck in traffic for 8 hours or more trying to get home.

A study last year indicates DC has the worst traffic in the country – and that’s on a good day. When DC’s already terrible roads are covered with a layer of snow and ice, they become truly horrific.

So it seems completely ridiculous that we shut down at the hint of snow, but they’d rather that than strand the 5.4 million people in the Beltway area in traffic. It often results in shutting down, and no snow ends up falling, but that’s the logic.

Written by Turk