18 Replies to “Snow Thread II”

    1. That’s where we’re supposed to operate, chains or not. Especially important where the transit exits are on the left in places like Eastgate.

  1. According to the driver of the 522 I was forced to catch, the normal 312 was stuck somewhere. I guess “no snow routes” doesn’t mean “no stuck buses” in North King.

    1. Metro actually did a decent job in South King County, although there was about an hour delay on the 150 around 9 – 10 PM and the buses slowed to only about 30 miles per hour. The 169, according to one group of riders, wasn’t going up the hill from Renton, so I don’t know what happened there, but I do know Metro folks were out with the chains early at Kent Rail Station before the snow really started to stick

      1. Metro chained buses that were scheduled to be out on the road past 7pm, so some buses chained extremely early while others not at all. As I drive a pull-out/pull-in tripper, I was happy not to have chains on my own bus. Others doing longer shifts or road reliefs wound up chewing the pavement for several hours before snow started to fall.

    1. Two of of the three #snOMG events this year haven’t left a flake on downtown’s roads… although I know that’s a good thing really.

      1. That means that SDOT’s preemptive de-icing treatment of city streets actually works.


    2. not so in tacoma – two inches stuck to the back streets, and has now froze over. it’s also resumed snowing.

    3. South Seattle – Columbia City got a solid 2 – 3 inches. I also hear Beacon Hill and West Seattle got some snow.

  2. Nothing but a dusting of snow that has turned into a thin, nasty slick that is a pain to walk on. Good thing there wasn’t too much buttered rum last night.

  3. I noticed that virtually all the buses operating through the tunnel are equipped with chains. I wonder how much damage the chains cause to both the concrete road surface but also to the rails and the interface between them.

    I am sure that the logistics of installing and removing chains on the fleet make it hard to be nimble and agile when predicted snow does not materialize.

    Nevertheless, I wonder if the tunnel shouldn’t be protected from the chains – perhaps by terminating south-end buses at Stadium, I-90 buses via the HOV ramps to Fifth Ave at ID station, and northern buses either at CPS or Westlake, and then run 5-minute Link service (maybe shuttle trains turning at Stadium) or else bus shuttles like they did early in the life of the Bredas, when they ran trolley shuttles inside the tunnel during a snow event.

    1. Why not just incorporate the tunnel closure routes into the snow routes? If anyone is concerned about the lack of free ride area service (they shouldn’t be) then just allow free rides within the tunnel on Link during snow routing.

      Does anyone know how often buses need their tires replaced? If it’s every six months or less just put decent winter tires on and call it good. Chains on bare pavement destroy roads everywhere. And how many buses are delayed or taken out of service because of busted chains?

      1. I am not sure they make a winter tire for buses. And then the space needed for storing 6,000 tires. Oy. Also, aren’t the tires leased?

      2. If they’re worn out then you don’t need to store them. That’s why I asked how often the tires need to be replaced. I’m betting that a lot of the tires on buses are retreads. They certainly are in the majority on trucks. You can retread with any compound/tread pattern you want. Les Schwab operates their own retread operation (disclaimer, I have no financial stake in Les Schwab but years of experience has convinced me they are the “only way to fly” in the PNW). I had a set of their winter retread tires with walnut shells in the “rubber” compound on an ’85 Mustang and drove to Stevens Pass several years running never needing chains and leaving expensive SUVs spinning their tires in the upper parking lot by the Mountaineers’s lodge. Cost of each tire <$50… seeing the expression on the Lexus owners faces… PRICELESS!

      3. Leased tires ??? That’s like leased toilet paper. Leasing never makes economic sense unless it’s driven by some mucked up tax advantage. Since Metro is a consumer of taxes if they are leasing tires then, well I’m speechless. It could only be some misguided way to spend more and make it look like less on the current budget. Your basic lease to own scam.

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