I take issue, LA Times, with your blog post title.
I know the rest of the country, particularly the Midwest and Northeast, makes fun of us
constantly whenever we get hit by snow. Having gone through an upstate New York winter, I can see where they’re coming from. To them, snow is nothing. It’s a minor inconvenience.
Around here, it’s not a minor inconvenience, or even a major one. No, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Seattle’s built on seven hills. We populated those hills with tiny winding streets, homes, businesses, and assholes who sometimes insist that they can drive their Honda Civics at the speed limit when the pavement is covered in slush.
We have a total of 175 snow plows. If you think the solution to our problem would be to buy more snow plows, I’ll have you know the city budget has a huge spending gap in it.
We have de-icer. And yay, the mayor declared we could use salt on major roadways, a former no-no. The problem with the de-icer? You have to lay it down before the snow and ice actually form. In a city where your best weather forecast is to look out the window and see what it’s doing, that doesn’t work. That’s why we were so horribly unprepared for the epic snow disaster of 2010, when the temperature dropped rapidly in a matter of hours, turning the falling snow into sheets of ice, and the buses couldn’t get back to the barns to chain up.
The point is, the city and its denizens got it right this time: they stayed home. I was one of the idiots who decided to go work yesterday and today, and downtown was deserted. The view from the 38th floor of the Rainier Tower meant I could count the individual cars as they drove along I-5. The BF stayed home. Almost everyone in my office stayed home. Hell, I should have stayed home. But because of Metro’s bus drivers, I made it home both days without incident. I even made it to work on time yesterday, and my commute was no longer than normal.
There were a few complaints, mainly that they weren’t plowing the roads. I’m not kidding. Between yesterday and today, I saw three snow plows. One of them wasn’t even working, just driving along with the plow in the upright position instead of down and pushing the snow away from the street.
My other complaint is that my office was deserted, but it wasn’t closed. But that’s a complaint for another day and a far less public forum.
So to the LA Times, why don’t you come up here, try and get around in a Seattle snowstorm? I dare you.
*image via the Seattle Times