Bold Colors Blog

Stickin’ it to the libs, one day at a time

Seattle’s eco-friendly snow strategy…the city’s latest colossal failure

Posted by Liberty on December 23, 2008

Seattle refuses to use salt; roads “snow packed” by design

“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.'”

Seattle is fore-going the use of salt and de-icing chemicals over concerns of run-off.  In a city of hills, they are deliberately transforming streets into ice rinks.  Smart.

“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.'”

Typical.  Let’s risk human life instead.

“By ruling out salt and some of the chemicals routinely used by snowbound cities, Seattle has embraced a less-effective strategy for clearing roads, namely sand sprinkled on top of snowpack along major arterials, and a chemical de-icer that is effective when temperatures are below 32 degrees.

Seattle also equips its plows with rubber blades. That minimizes the damage to roads and manhole covers, but it doesn’t scrape off the ice, Wiggins said.”

Update 10:11 am:

In the article, the strategy is described as plowing  “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.”  Rush pointed out something ironic when he discussed this story.  Liberals want to force us into tiny, gas-sipping, hybrid, alternative, green [insert politically correct buzzword here] vehicles.  Where are the Smartcars and Prius’s today in Seattle?!  Libs want to get rid of the popular, functional SUV’s and trucks [that Americans want and need] so that we may all comply with their environmental agenda .  Meanwhile, Seattle, a bastion of liberal insanity, is paralyzed by snow and their own incompetence.

4 Responses to “Seattle’s eco-friendly snow strategy…the city’s latest colossal failure”

  1. Jesse said

    Give em a break, it was an exceptional storm. Plus, that’s not really an appropriate response. I applaud the city’s new salt policy. The fact is salt is MEAN, man! It strips car to their bare bones. I spent a summer rebuilding an old truck, part of which involved meticulously stripping and repainting every last component of the suspension. After a single season of light commuting to and around Pullman, all that work went down the toilet. The thing was stripped. Needless to say, I was a little miffed at the local media jerkwads who couldn’t change their oil but freely misinform everyone that salt is “easy” on automotive components. “Easy”? Like, it has an effect that you don’t deny, so yo downplay it? And here I thought conservatives were the macho types who knew cars–-or basic chemistry…

  2. Liberty said

    Oh, I agree that it was an exceptional storm. Western Washington is definitely not prepared for that kind of winter weather. And no attacks on my understanding of chemistry, please. I too spent time in Pullman and consequently, my grasp of chemistry is fairly good. Believe me, I do understand how destructive salt can be to vehicles, even though nobody who knows me in real life would describe me as “macho.”
    My point was that Seattle put environmental concerns over the immediate public safety and I think that was wrong. Their no salt policy contributed to the city’s needless paralysis and put citizens at risk. Driving was treacherous for everyone–police and emergency responders included. They put their environmental ideology above doing what was necessary to keep the city functioning and that’s what I have a problem with.
    Thank you for commenting Jesse, even though we don’t exactly agree. Feel free to post again!

  3. Jesse said

    Yeah, so having lived in and/or experienced eastern Washington, you’re just as baffled as I am when everyone loses over their head over a little snow…in winter. Seriously! Gods spare us such calamity! Believe me, Seattle is a rich source of–well, you know–for both of us. Have a great weekend!

  4. Liberty said

    Exactly! Eastern Washington definitely prepares you for dealing with winter. And as for Seattle, well…it is always amusing, frequently exasperating and sometimes scary. I do have to make the point that a lot of mid-Western and Eastern cities are located in flatter terrain. Seattle’s hills really complicate their winter driving. But the people that live in Seattle complicate winter driving more than any geographical features or weather conditions. Thanks Jesse!

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