"Chain Gang," by DWHonan

[UPDATE 5:10am: Pierce Transit announced that they are NOT operating snow routes anymore.]

Metro sent out pretty much the same message tonight as last night. The forecast is for weather similar to today’s, although slightly warmer. Metro will make the call on routes canceled by 4am tomorrow.

15 Replies to “Snow Routing Again Wednesday”

      1. In general, the point of instituting HOV lanes is to reduce congestion by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

        Because of the weather, the effective capacity of I-5 is something like 5-10% of what it normally is, if that. You’ve seen the pictures of I-5 — it’s a parking lot.

        So, why not implement the proven traffic-reducing strategy of HOV lanes, and temporarily declare that all lanes are HOV-only? Getting some traffic where it’s going, with some delay, sure seems a lot better than getting no one where they’re going, which is what we have now.

      2. IT is completely ridiculous because some people don’t have reasonable access to busses, especially not when portions of service are cancelled and on snow routes, so essentially you relegate thousands of people to either walk 5 miles in ice, or not be able to go anywhere.

        Although, they probably shouldn’t go anywhere anyways, that isn’t the government’s (city, state, w.e) choice to make. Sometimes people just NEED to get places.

        And considering how many busses spun out, doing that would make everyone who doesn’t ride metro probably ten times less likely to ride it again if they rode it only during snow.

        Actually, if you restricted busses (and Semis) from the highway, you probably wouldn’t have had nearly the problems, because my understanding was that tons of busses and semis lost it, and they caused most of the traffic problems.

        I don’t really think you should restrict busses and semis from the highway(especially since the only way I CAN get around is bus/bike/train), but that to me would make more sense than restricting SOVs. Just sayin.

      1. First, the big FU was not running the express lanes normally. I was watching the WSDOT traffic flow maps and I-5 northbound was starting to turn black by 2-3:00. And, I couldn’t find anywhere on City of Seattle or WSDOT sites that explained what was going on. I-5 southbound and the express lanes were green well into the commute because they had way more capacity than needed. Try this same stupid trick on a non snow day and you’ll still have a massive traffic nightmare. Bad road conditions and a pre-existing back-up thanks to that dumb move and you end up with the six hour commute horror stories. BUT, if the freeways are completely stopped then close the on ramps until they are moving at a reasonable speed(and tell people it’s going to be an hour, 2 hour, whatever wait until they are expected to open) . Then you can actually get plows out. Virtually all the on-ramps are monitored and we can muster enough traffic control to man these points. SPD, WSP, etc. should be waving off any vehicles without adequate traction for conditions; just like they do for the Pass. And/or, enforce traction tires required orders by impounding and seriously fining bozos that ignore the order and get stuck. Once the HOV/transit lanes are moving then start letting SOV traffic on at a rate that keeps things moving at say 25-30mph.

      2. I honestly think that things would not have been better if the express lanes had reversed. They would have been just as, if not more covered in ice and people would have spun out and crashed on them, and they would be harder to get to due to the extra-limited access.

  1. My commute times to and from downtown today were shorter than they are on a regular day. A lot less people, buses were not crowded, I happened to not have to wait long to hop on one, I-5 had little traffic, etc. If tomorrow is like today I’ll be happy.

  2. This storm is another good argument for living close to the place that one works. Matt has made the economic argument very well in the past, but from a simple logistical point of view, if one can walk or bike to work, the snow is no barrier.

    1. unless of course your working spouse has a different job or , in my friends case, the work moved from the South End to Everett, wife worked in Bellevue, sell the house?

      I guess if you have a coffee shop job, it works

    2. It’s a good ideal but some people would have to switch careers to do it. If you work for Boeing you can get transferred to a different campus at any time. If you’re a fireman or a teacher, maybe the only job you can get is in Maple Valley or Puyallup and you can’t afford to live there or you’re allergic to suburban living. If you’re a work in a warehouse, most of those jobs are in Kent and Bothell and Issaquah, a mile or two from the nearest bus stop, much less a walkable neighborhood. If you work temp, you can be going to a different part of the county every week.

      What we need to do is get more workplaces integrated with walkable neighborhoods, and provide alternatives to the suburban office parks. Then people will be able to walk or bike to work, and buses will be able to serve the workplaces better.

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