From the other side of the world Jarrett Walker shares his thoughts on his home region immobilized by snow. Briefly, Seattle is doomed by rare snowfall, high temperatures, lack of rail, and lots of people living and working on hills:
So I would suggest folks go easy on the Seattle Department of Transportation, which is responsible for snow clearing, salting, etc. (Full disclosure: SDOT is a former client of mine, and I do have friends there, but I haven’t spoken with them since the storm.) First of all, not even Minneapolis can deliver an incident-free evening rush hour when a winter storm hits at 4:00 PM, as it did in Seattle this year. But more important, Seattle needs to relax into the futility of even attempting normal daily life in such a situation.
It’s the typical accessible, comprehensive Human Transit treatment. I don’t wholly buy into the “sit back and enjoy the snow” attitude of some commenters — some people really must be able to get around — but it’s true that there must be acceptance that the city will not work as if it were a clear day.