Major traffic backups in downtown D.C.

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - From gridlock to rush hour nightmares, downtown D.C. on Tuesday morning was a disaster.

What was the cause of the cursed commute? A two-hour federal government delay, a two-hour school delay for all D.C. public schools, a motorcade, and the terrible road conditions.

According to one driver, it was accident after accident.

The bus traffic at the Convention Center marked the spot where thousands are converging for AIPAC – The American Israel Political Action Committee Policy Conference. D.C.’s mayor blamed a decision made by the Secret Service to shut down main traffic arteries for high-level security guests like Benjamin Netanyahu.

The commute via bus was not much better, as social media lit up with complaints of packed buses forced to either pass up crowded bus stops or only allowing a few passengers to get on.

Earven Thompson said he waited and waited:

“…About an hour and a half. It was cold, very cold, and it never came so I went on to Union Station and caught the subway.”

D.C. Mayor Gray stated: "We simply want the federal authorities to understand the inconvenience that's created for people of the District of Columbia."

After sending a letter to Secret Service a letter expressing outrage over today's street closures, Gray told ABC7 on Tuesday night that he has finally received a response:

"From the Director of the Secret Service, Julia Pearson, who has indicated they will try to work more closely with us in the future."

And in an additional statement from USSS spokesman Brian Leary:

The Secret Service, along with the Metropolitan Police Department and other national capital region law enforcement partners, make every effort to minimize traffic disruptions when implementing security plans.

In a city like Washington, D.C. there are occasions where multiple motorcades may be transiting the city at the same time as street closures related to conventions with thousands of attendees, plus traffic volume related to weather issues, all of which can cause traffic issues for residents and commuters.

Like every other major visit by a foreign dignitary, there will be an after action review of this visit. This agency always seeks ways to improve the way we conduct business and look forward to meeting with the Mayor’s office to discuss the matter.

Tonight the roads are back open, and the major ones in the District are largely ice and snow-free. But with temperatures falling once again, ice is returning once again to smaller side streets.

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