- The icy sidewalk back in January. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
Back on Jan. 19, we ran a guest post from writer Daniel Wattenberg on the dichotomy of 37th Street's post-snowstorm sidewalks in Northwest Washington. One side of the street -- the side where elite Sidwell Friends school resides -- was cleared of all snow and ice. The other side -- which public Hearst Elementary calls home -- was a "shimmering, glacial sheet." Wattenberg described the situation as a lesson in "public vs. private sector accountability."
Well, the District has apparently grown more accountable, at least when it comes to clearing snow and ice from this stretch. In a happy denouement to this tale, Wattenberg reports that following the storm earlier this week the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation had cleared the pathway and was salting it just as he was dropping off his daughter in the morning:
Some of my favorite forces converged to produce this happy ending: A little private sector competition (from Patton’s icebusters), a nudge from the moral-cultural sector (photos and text posted at hyperlocal journalism site TBD.com), and public administrators sensitized to public prodding because they do, after all, answer to elected officials, who do, after all, answer to us.