I work (for living) in downtown Seattle (near the waterfront). I have not BEEN to Seattle since December 18th because it a compact-snow-and-ice-bound nightmare. In fact, my local roads have been a nightmare. Why? Because the Seattle Department of Transportation leadership are a bunch of prime-rib nutbergers:
To hear the city’s spin, Seattle’s road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.
But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means “snow-packed,” as in there’s snow and ice left on major arterials by design.
“We’re trying to create a hard-packed surface,” said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. “It doesn’t look like anything you’d find in Chicago or New York.”
The city’s approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as long as they are using chains, Wiggins said.
The icy streets are the result of Seattle’s refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.
“If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.”
Never mind all of the actual harmful stuff going into the Sound, we’ve got to stop adding all that salt! God forbid during a once-every-ten-years storm we ACTUALLY PUT SOME DAMNED SALT ON THE FRICKING ROAD! Never mind the sand that will just, naturally, muck up the sound far more than SALT!
The liquid de-icer they use here and there works to some degree, but it is still far less effective than rock salt, which the Washington State DOT does use. Worried about your precious car? Given the infrequency that we typically need to resort to salt, I think your precious will be all right… the rust issue is a bit overblown. Besides, you sprung for that undercoating when you purchased it, right? Heh.
Fortunately, I can connect via VPN to work. Not many people can do that, though. And believe-you-me, there are lots of people either burning up vacation, sick or taking time unpaid over the last 5 work days.
The city, Sea-Tac, and many outlying areas have been at a standstill, and yet the brain-trust in Seattle refuses to change its hive-mind.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the City of Seattle leadership has done what few others are capable of: pissing off every last person of every stripe. I am dearly hoping that voters send them all packing next election. Not just because of this issue, but because this is a big one among SO MANY.