Posted by: Ryan | December 23, 2008

The Bad Kind of Slush

Last night we stayed in a hotel downtown again, to spare us from the frustrating drive home. Today, we could not avoid it.

Going home, our little Civic got stuck in slush on 7th Avenue between Seneca and Spring. The engine roared, and wheels spun, going nowhere. I put the hazard lights on, backed up, and tried again; the engine roared, wheels spun, and went nowhere. Again backed up, and again. I had to finally get out in traffic and put the chains on, while the cars going by us churned and shimmied through the muddy slush.

We finally got going, but there was no place to pull over and remove the chains. On the highway, I pulled over to a suitable spot on the shoulder and got out to take the chains off — only to see that the broken chains had ripped a huge gash in the plastic wheel cover, which had almost been ripped off and was dragging on the asphalt. There was no putting it back, and no driving with it in that condition, so I ripped the remainder of the cover off as a cop (who looked like Frodo) pulled up behind us to see what our problem was. Frodo shined a flashlight into the wheel well to help me take the wheel cover off, and waved traffic away as I removed the chains. We got back in and on the highway, looking forward to getting home and eating a warm meal.

There was a glaring difference between road conditions in the City of Seattle, and elsewhere. The highways (cleaned by the Washington DOT) and the smaller roads in Snoqualmie were all clear of snow and slush, and were a cake to drive on. In contrast, the roads in downtown Seattle were covered in wet, slick, and bumpy slush, with piles up to a foot tall in the middle of the road, and muddy holes deep enough to capture a tire and not let go. It fills me with pity, and not a small deal of anger, to note the pathetic results of Seattle street-clearing, especially compared with streets everywhere else. Once out of Seattle, streets were fine and clear. Read this Times article on Seattle’s frustrating methods. I’m absolutely ready to vote for whatever mayor or councilperson vows to not let our city paralyze itself when snow falls.

We encountered a little bit of compact snow by the time we got to our cul-de-sac, but it was easily manageable and we made it home. There’s a tall pile of snow in front of our yard, left there by whatever snowplow came by yesterday, a reminder of public services properly executed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: