BY Art Thiel 03:28PM 01/19/2012

Critics of Seattle in snow: Shut the hell up

I depart from sports commentary to call out the the Southlanders, Midwesterners and Easterners who have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to Seattle drivers and snow.

Neither man, beast or bus is fit for Seattle when it snows. But it's about hills, trees and temps, not wimpiness. / Wiki Commons

Enough.

I’ve had it.

A Los Angeles Times blog headline this week called us “Snow Wimps.” The LA Times?! I will listen to the LA Times when it describes the microclimates on Kim Kardashian’s continental derriere. That, it would know.

The incredibly shrinking newspaper has nothing to say to me about Seattle’s weather. Especially when a Southland sprinkle sends literally millions of Angelenos into freeway aqua-spasms. TV reporters there hold microphones next to curbs so viewers can hear water running.

Kim Murphy wrote the Times story. She lives in Seattle. She told KUOW radio Thursday that her email in-box has been “severely abused” with critical comments. Good. She has no clue.

You know who has a clue? Me. Not because I’m a Cliff Mass wannabe, or a Jeff Renner stalker. It’s because I’m a career sportswriter. Normally the gig isn’t good for much besides winning bar bets. But it has sent me on assignment to every metropolitan area in the country that has snow, where I’ve frequently rented cars in winter.

As a multiple-time winter visitor/driver to New York, Boston, Philly, Buffalo, Toronto, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Spokane, Pullman and lots of smaller burgs, I will declare my credentials regarding meteorological comparables second to none.

Take it from me: There is no metro area as treacherous as Seattle in snow.

The relative infrequency of these bouts makes it easy to characterize the subsequent mayhem a result of Seattle drivers’ fear, inexperience, stupidity, potheadedness or wimphood.

Bah.

No one, from Jimmy Johnson to Danica Patrick to the premier graduate of the Washington State Patrol’s hazardous driving course, can navigate the rare conditions that often attend a major snow dump here.

A driver atop Queen Anne Hill, after a typical snow-melt-refreeze-snow cycle as we’ve seen this week, simply has no chance to get to the bottom of the hill without sideswiping half the parked cars en route. Pure physics, friends. Not driving skill.

No downtown that receives snow is as as hilly as Seattle. Period. The Priniciple of Verticality. There’s just too much up here to get down safely.

Obviously, some of the aforementioned cities have hills, but not nearly as many in such tight proximity with so much high-rise business and housing on the slopes. I know. I’ve seen the other cities. I’ve spun a 360 on ice in Dallas, gone off a snowbound highway near Green Bay and become trapped by a multi-car collision in Spokane. In all instances, there was no damage to me, my rental car or anyone else’s, because flat terrain allowed me and other drivers to drive slowly out of the problem.

Besides the topography, there’s the brand of snow — wet, gloppy flakes known locally as Seattle cement. Rarely is the snow dry enough to drift, as is often often the case in the Midwest, Plains and parts of the Northeast and even Eastern Washington. I remember driving in a semi-blizzard in Salt Lake City where the highway road surface and its edges were plainly visible throughout the white-knuckle, 45-minute drive, thanks to the wind that cleared the dry flakes. Not fun, but manageable.

Wet snow doesn’t drift. It gets compacted onto road beds and sidewalks. Plowing and salting helps, but 90 percent of the streets in a metro area as large as Seattle will never see a plow or a salting truck. Seattle cement can only wait for warm rain to wash most of it away.

Which brings up another problem with two intertwined conditions — relatively mild temperatures and our undying love of trees.

Obviously, all cities have trees. But the density of our arbor canopy, particularly with the abundance of evergreens, means that ice patches can follow patches of bare pavement in chock-a-block fashion for miles. Many of our boulevard and residential-street accidents are caused by little-seen leftovers of ice in the permashade of a Doug fir.

The problem is compounded by the freeze-thaw of snowfalls that typically happen between temperatures of 28 and 34 degrees. In the Midwest, Plains and Northeast, weeks can go by without melt and refreeze, making driving more manageable. As we’ve seen this week, the mild Pacific Ocean temps keep us guessing among snow, rain, freezing rain and possibly airborne unicorns, orcs and Storm Troopers (or the Yellow Jackets of KING5 news).

And in many northern cities, the possibility of serious winter is a proposition built into the culture from October through mid-May, so spending civic treasure on plows and salt is as fundamental a winter investment there as is a vente soy latte half-caff, sugar-free vanilla, light foam, no whip, extra hot, to other communities.

In a time of shrinking tax revenues, I get why Seattle doesn’t armor-up for winter. Or has everyone forgotten last winter’s snow-free mildness? While I understand the city’s snow removal crew requires more than a retiree with with a push broom, a city, like most people stuck with common sense, tries to prepare for most things knowing they can’t afford to prepare for everything.

Every northern city has to deal with bad winter weather and a certain percentage or reckless, foolish or just ignorant drivers. But circumstances nowhere in the lower 48 compare with what sometimes happens in Seattle. If the hardy-har-hars in Los Angeles and elsewhere, including transplants here who often laugh loudest, want to argue, go ahead and take your Lexus to the top of Queen Anne Hill the next time Danger Jim Forman puts on his yellow parka.

I’ll meet you at the body shop and you can tell me how it went.


YourThoughts

  • Ocsurfer7

    i think the fact that you have spun out numerous times in snoe means you can;t and don;t know how to drive in snow – not that seattle is harder to drive in

    • Email

      Ocsurfer7- You should perhaps learn how to spell and use punctuation/capitalization before you you criticizing others.

    • Edward Carter

      Three incidents over decades sounds like decent driving to me.

    • Aylagriffin

      The fact that you think that means that you haven’t driven in snow enough.

    • Taterneck

      I think the fact that you ‘can;t’ and ‘don;t’ know how to type or spell ‘snoe’ or proofread anything your write, is all that needs to be said here, Ocsurfer7.  

      I grew up in Idaho, Southeast Idaho. I learned how to drive in the snow. All kinds of snow, and Art is right, the wet, slushy, compacted snow we get all over the steep inclines and declines in Western Washington and Seattle specifically is a nightmare to the most experienced drivers. Semi-drivers have a hard time in this muck. Couple that with the already notoriously bad traffic and its a recipe for disaster.

      I’m am also sick of every idiot with an opinion chiming in with their uneducated, small minded comments without ever having spent a day in our wonderful city. But please, don’t come for a visit, stay in LA, NY, Mami, Denver or wherever it is you reside. We don’t need you polluting our city with your mouth breather DNA.

      Cheers.

    • http://twitter.com/textualdeviance Texty

      Ehm. No.

      I grew up in Northern Nevada–4500-ft elevation. It starts snowing there in October and doesn’t let up until March. I’ve driven to work on 2′ of packed powder in a 4-cylinder Dodge Colt without snow tires. But I will NOT drive in this stuff. At all. Mostly because THIS ISN’T SNOW. It’s ice. And not only ice, but uneven, refrozen slush several layers deep.

      See, thing is, we never stay cold enough here to have a proper snowpack that tires, chains and studs can bite into to get traction. What happens instead is that it snows overnight, then warms up/gets enough traffic during the day to turn to slush, then refreeze as soon as the sun goes down. Wash, rinse, repeat over a few days, and what you have is something that resembles a layer of petrified bubble wrap over which a few gallons of vegetable oil have been poured. There’s NO WAY to get traction on this stuff. None whatsoever. The only cars that can manage it are chained, heavy vehicles that have enough weight for the chains to break through the ice and grab hold. Everything else is just going to skim over the surface, and since the surface is so uneven, you can’t even get a controlled slide out of it. You’re ricocheting off of every little bump and ridge like a slicked-up pinball.

      Then add hills with a 4-6% grade.

      Yeah.

      If you think you can drive on this stuff because you’ve driven to a ski area, or driven through the Rockies in February, you’re wrong. The conditions here are completely unlike any other region that gets a lot of snow, and it’s entirely because we hover right around freezing, rather than getting the 20 degrees-and-lower you see in higher elevations.

      Driving skill is part of it, but the part in question is the skill that good drivers have between their ears telling them that going out in conditions like this is well stupid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516255633 Tory Klementsen

      Dude….learn to use your punctuation. ; does not equal ‘

  • Ocsurfer7

    i think the fact that you have spun out numerous times in snoe means you can;t and don;t know how to drive in snow – not that seattle is harder to drive in

    • Email

      Ocsurfer7- You should perhaps learn how to spell and use punctuation/capitalization before you you criticizing others.

    • Edward Carter

      Three incidents over decades sounds like decent driving to me.

    • Aylagriffin

      The fact that you think that means that you haven’t driven in snow enough.

    • Taterneck

      I think the fact that you ‘can;t’ and ‘don;t’ know how to type or spell ‘snoe’ or proofread anything your write, is all that needs to be said here, Ocsurfer7.  

      I grew up in Idaho, Southeast Idaho. I learned how to drive in the snow. All kinds of snow, and Art is right, the wet, slushy, compacted snow we get all over the steep inclines and declines in Western Washington and Seattle specifically is a nightmare to the most experienced drivers. Semi-drivers have a hard time in this muck. Couple that with the already notoriously bad traffic and its a recipe for disaster.

      I’m am also sick of every idiot with an opinion chiming in with their uneducated, small minded comments without ever having spent a day in our wonderful city. But please, don’t come for a visit, stay in LA, NY, Mami, Denver or wherever it is you reside. We don’t need you polluting our city with your mouth breather DNA.

      Cheers.

    • http://twitter.com/textualdeviance Texty

      Ehm. No.

      I grew up in Northern Nevada–4500-ft elevation. It starts snowing there in October and doesn’t let up until March. I’ve driven to work on 2′ of packed powder in a 4-cylinder Dodge Colt without snow tires. But I will NOT drive in this stuff. At all. Mostly because THIS ISN’T SNOW. It’s ice. And not only ice, but uneven, refrozen slush several layers deep.

      See, thing is, we never stay cold enough here to have a proper snowpack that tires, chains and studs can bite into to get traction. What happens instead is that it snows overnight, then warms up/gets enough traffic during the day to turn to slush, then refreeze as soon as the sun goes down. Wash, rinse, repeat over a few days, and what you have is something that resembles a layer of petrified bubble wrap over which a few gallons of vegetable oil have been poured. There’s NO WAY to get traction on this stuff. None whatsoever. The only cars that can manage it are chained, heavy vehicles that have enough weight for the chains to break through the ice and grab hold. Everything else is just going to skim over the surface, and since the surface is so uneven, you can’t even get a controlled slide out of it. You’re ricocheting off of every little bump and ridge like a slicked-up pinball.

      Then add hills with a 4-6% grade.

      Yeah.

      If you think you can drive on this stuff because you’ve driven to a ski area, or driven through the Rockies in February, you’re wrong. The conditions here are completely unlike any other region that gets a lot of snow, and it’s entirely because we hover right around freezing, rather than getting the 20 degrees-and-lower you see in higher elevations.

      Driving skill is part of it, but the part in question is the skill that good drivers have between their ears telling them that going out in conditions like this is well stupid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516255633 Tory Klementsen

      Dude….learn to use your punctuation. ; does not equal ‘

  • Artthiel

    You’re kidding, right? Of course you are, referring to the white stuff as snoe.

  • Artthiel

    You’re kidding, right? Of course you are, referring to the white stuff as snoe.

  • Clark Silliman

    Hear, hear, Art!  You’ve got it right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Clark Silliman

    Hear, hear, Art!  You’ve got it right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mina

    As a Seattle native, I thank you.

  • Mina

    As a Seattle native, I thank you.

  • Kimnyhous

    I worship you, Art Thiel!!

  • Kimnyhous

    I worship you, Art Thiel!!

  • Brian

    I’m a transplant myself (been here for 11 years now), and I agree with this article, too. I learned to drive in the heavy snows of the Midwest and it can be treacherous there even on flat land. The hills and wet snow that easily ices over adds another level of difficulty. People who know driving in snow and ice know that it’s no joke here in Seattle.

    • Artthiel

      You need to be evangelical about this, Brian. Midwest snow driving is no picnic, but it’s different than here. Arrogance is worse than a killer of drivers; it kills others too. 

    • http://twitter.com/Dah_knee Dan

      I’d like to ask Brian what parts of Seattle he’s driven the past week?…..Managing the flat roads of the midwest is much easier the navigating the steep hills of the PNW. I can’t stand the arrogance of all these transplants who wouldn’t have the balls to actually drive in Seattle snow. Its not a video game, do this with no problems then get back to me

  • Brian

    I’m a transplant myself (been here for 11 years now), and I agree with this article, too. I learned to drive in the heavy snows of the Midwest and it can be treacherous there even on flat land. The hills and wet snow that easily ices over adds another level of difficulty. People who know driving in snow and ice know that it’s no joke here in Seattle.

    • Artthiel

      You need to be evangelical about this, Brian. Midwest snow driving is no picnic, but it’s different than here. Arrogance is worse than a killer of drivers; it kills others too. 

    • DJS425

      I’d like to ask Brian what parts of Seattle he’s driven the past week?…..Managing the flat roads of the midwest is much easier the navigating the steep hills of the PNW. I can’t stand the arrogance of all these transplants who wouldn’t have the balls to actually drive in Seattle snow. Its not a video game, do this with no problems then get back to me

  • Sabrina Friend

    Thanks Art.  One of the idiots who thought it was okay to drive down our notoriously slippery hill last night in Phinney/Greenwood spun around and slammed backward into my parked van dead square.  Then this imbecile drove up the hill.  I won’t drive around and wish that the people who NEED to get to a restaurant or bar or grocery store all had one within walking distance.  So if you or any of your readers see a white jeep wrangler with a black cloth top and a broken right brake light, please jot down the license plate and let me know.   

    • Artthiel

      Sorry to hear, Sabrina Friend. Your unfortunate situation is repeated a thousand times over in a city where newcomers think their driving experiences elsewhere are a match for conditions here. There’s also the terminally stupid, and they shall be with us always and everywhere.

  • headoutofsand

    Hey!  Stick to sports, Thiel!  (JUST KIDDING, Art — I couldn’t resist.) 

    Aside from the driving part you covered so well, you touched on the trees, and the ice-producing shadows they create on the roads.  In addition, those trees have this nasty habit of growing taller each year.  Their branches also grow longer, creating that much more surface for snow to fall on.  And we all know the rest.  Three or four decades ago, did we have so many of these limb-breaking episodes, many of them deadly?  Doesn’t seem like we did.  And, until trees start shrinking, or we institute a regionwide annual tree-cutting day, denuding Pugetropolis into Winnemucca, we’re stuck in this pattern.  And that’s a troubling thought.  The deciduous trees, producing more leaves each year, are also a major contributor to the urban flooding that wasn’t so severe in the past.  (Please keep the drains raked clear, everyone.) 

    As a related conclusion: If anyone reading this falls into the group of complainers who can’t say enough bad things about “lazy, unmotivated government employees” throughout the year — who do you think, under brutal conditions, takes care of the downed road-blocking trees, the downed telephone poles and the broken lines that rob your home of light and warmth during times like these?  I’m sure I’m leaving out many other public employees, in numerous other roles, who are just as important.  Most of us appreciate you, the ones doing even more work with fewer resources. 

    • Artthiel

      Head: Wise, respectul thoughts. As I sit here by the fire answering commenters, I raise a glass of scotch to you.

    • Northwest Native

      You forgot that with each housing development, they tear out many trees, and only leave a few, for “looks”. Unfortunately, these trees have roots that are made for being protected by the trees around them. When you cut down the trees around a tree, not only are the roots not strong enough to hold it on it’s own, but now it doesn’t have the other trees to protect against strong winds and rain run-off. That’s why you see so many lone trees go down, while those in clusters tend to stay standing.

      • Lee

        That’s also attributable to the fact that the clustered trees mutually shelter each other from the wind like geese in flight, but yes – root systems do come into play.

  • Sabrina Friend

    Thanks Art.  One of the idiots who thought it was okay to drive down our notoriously slippery hill last night in Phinney/Greenwood spun around and slammed backward into my parked van dead square.  Then this imbecile drove up the hill.  I won’t drive around and wish that the people who NEED to get to a restaurant or bar or grocery store all had one within walking distance.  So if you or any of your readers see a white jeep wrangler with a black cloth top and a broken right brake light, please jot down the license plate and let me know.   

    • Artthiel

      Sorry to hear, Sabrina Friend. Your unfortunate situation is repeated a thousand times over in a city where newcomers think their driving experiences elsewhere are a match for conditions here. There’s also the terminally stupid, and they shall be with us always and everywhere.

  • headoutofsand

    Hey!  Stick to sports, Thiel!  (JUST KIDDING, Art — I couldn’t resist.) 

    Aside from the driving part you covered so well, you touched on the trees, and the ice-producing shadows they create on the roads.  In addition, those trees have this nasty habit of growing taller each year.  Their branches also grow longer, creating that much more surface for snow to fall on.  And we all know the rest.  Three or four decades ago, did we have so many of these limb-breaking episodes, many of them deadly?  Doesn’t seem like we did.  And, until trees start shrinking, or we institute a regionwide annual tree-cutting day, denuding Pugetropolis into Winnemucca, we’re stuck in this pattern.  And that’s a troubling thought.  The deciduous trees, producing more leaves each year, are also a major contributor to the urban flooding that wasn’t so severe in the past.  (Please keep the drains raked clear, everyone.) 

    As a related conclusion: If anyone reading this falls into the group of complainers who can’t say enough bad things about “lazy, unmotivated government employees” throughout the year — who do you think, under brutal conditions, takes care of the downed road-blocking trees, the downed telephone poles and the broken lines that rob your home of light and warmth during times like these?  I’m sure I’m leaving out many other public employees, in numerous other roles, who are just as important.  Most of us appreciate you, the ones doing even more work with fewer resources. 

    • Artthiel

      Head: Wise, respectul thoughts. As I sit here by the fire answering commenters, I raise a glass of scotch to you.

    • Northwest Native

      You forgot that with each housing development, they tear out many trees, and only leave a few, for “looks”. Unfortunately, these trees have roots that are made for being protected by the trees around them. When you cut down the trees around a tree, not only are the roots not strong enough to hold it on it’s own, but now it doesn’t have the other trees to protect against strong winds and rain run-off. That’s why you see so many lone trees go down, while those in clusters tend to stay standing.

      • Lee

        That’s also attributable to the fact that the clustered trees mutually shelter each other from the wind like geese in flight, but yes – root systems do come into play.

  • Anonymous

    I am a Washington native however, I have lived in the NE, Midwest, and Alaska. I have driven in enough snow to know that if you’re smart, you don’t attempt a steep hill. You stay put. You stay home. You don’t risk your life and the life of others because you think you need to get to the grocery store because it’s the beginning of the apocalypse. For me, it’s not so much the “wimpiness” of the drivers. I see a good deal of people who do just fine. My issue are the people who know they can’t drive in the snow, know that getting to the bottom of a hill covered in slush is foolish, or just plain “I can do anything” arrogant and wantonly risk life, limb, and property of themselves and their neighbors and tax the already taxed services of emergency personnel because they need to get somewhere. I agree, they need to get somewhere. Common sense is a good place to get to.

    This as an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S16SRq0_1ZA

    • StormMasterT18

      That may be true but that’s also the reason why everyone calls us snow wimps when 2 inches of snow shuts the entire city down because no one can get anywhere since everyone in Seattle lives on some kind of hill

      • Andypandaoh

        Agree Stormaster. People here drive like they have never seen snow. The interesting thing to me is that people would talk about the “wetness” of snow doesn’t remember that there is no way to deal with it in Seattle. No salt and few plows. LA shouldn’t make fun of us because they can’t deal with any weather, but don’t pretend that because one had brief situations of winter weather around the country doesn’t make you an expert on driving in it. Wet or dry. People here drive in snow like people from Oklahoma.

        • TheSeattleOkie

          Considering that Oklahoma is quite flat and usually receives a storm of this caliber on a yearly basis, I’d say that Oklahoma folk conduct themselves very well in the snow.  It seems that your uniformed statement is alluding to the fact that Oklahoma doesn’t see snow, and you sir, are sadly mistaken.  The weather in Oklahoma is extreme, every season, in nearly every possible capacity.  It’s not mild and meek just because it resides smack dab in middle America.

          Since the wintery mess began on Saturday morning, I have logged over 400 miles behind the wheel–roughly 35 of that today on roads that appeared to have never met a plow.  The only white knuckle situations I encountered were the result of someone unprepared or just flat out being an idiot.

          If you don’t have AWD, 4WD or font-wheel-drive–stay off the road or make sure you have chains.  If your commute requires you to go up a hill, figure out the less intense alternate route so you don’t have to temp fate with the steep grade.  There are plenty of ways to get around this city, it just requires a little planning and forethought.  Take it easy, give cars around you enough space and don’t EVER stop unless you’re on level ground.

          • JB

            I live on a flat dead-end street that empties out onto one with a 30 degree incline. What is my alternate commute? Through my neighbor’s backyard?

          • Jesse

            Well, that “forethought” would have included parking your car at the other end of that 30 degree incline before the storm.

          • Paulblow13

            So then, expert… what do you do if your are driving up a snow covered hill and the light at the top turns red??? Do you stop, knowing you may get stuck there? or do you plow on through that red light and hope to holy hell you don’t get run into by a semi???

          • http://twitter.com/TheFontSnob Darin Ramsey

            You could brace your car at the top of the hill with all those extra question marks. You even have one for each wheel.

          • Mistie

            Sure, I’m a CNA that provides in-home care. I’ll just call my clients that absolutely 100% NEED me to show up and tell them, sorry, I can’t afford an SVU on my pay so you are S.O.L. You can starve today and change your own adult briefs.

            Seriously? Not all of us have the luxury of staying home from work. Besides, isn’t that the EXACT thing you are all putting us down for – that we don’t go to work when we can’t drive in snow?
            Make up your mind.

    • Artthiel

      Exactly, Nite. Your thoughts apply to any northern climate. I just hope people figure out this place, Seattle, is a different magnitude of winter beast

    • http://twitter.com/Dah_knee Dan

      But there are idiots in every city. No matter how much snow you get, some idiot will try something not advised. This isn’t a Seattle thing every city in the USA has idiots

  • NiteShayde

    I am a Washington native however, I have lived in the NE, Midwest, and Alaska. I have driven in enough snow to know that if you’re smart, you don’t attempt a steep hill. You stay put. You stay home. You don’t risk your life and the life of others because you think you need to get to the grocery store because it’s the beginning of the apocalypse. For me, it’s not so much the “wimpiness” of the drivers. I see a good deal of people who do just fine. My issue are the people who know they can’t drive in the snow, know that getting to the bottom of a hill covered in slush is foolish, or just plain “I can do anything” arrogant and wantonly risk life, limb, and property of themselves and their neighbors and tax the already taxed services of emergency personnel because they need to get somewhere. I agree, they need to get somewhere. Common sense is a good place to get to.

    This as an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S16SRq0_1ZA

    • StormMasterT18

      That may be true but that’s also the reason why everyone calls us snow wimps when 2 inches of snow shuts the entire city down because no one can get anywhere since everyone in Seattle lives on some kind of hill

      • Andypandaoh

        Agree Stormaster. People here drive like they have never seen snow. The interesting thing to me is that people would talk about the “wetness” of snow doesn’t remember that there is no way to deal with it in Seattle. No salt and few plows. LA shouldn’t make fun of us because they can’t deal with any weather, but don’t pretend that because one had brief situations of winter weather around the country doesn’t make you an expert on driving in it. Wet or dry. People here drive in snow like people from Oklahoma.

        • TheSeattleOkie

          Considering that Oklahoma is quite flat and usually receives a storm of this caliber on a yearly basis, I’d say that Oklahoma folk conduct themselves very well in the snow.  It seems that your uniformed statement is alluding to the fact that Oklahoma doesn’t see snow, and you sir, are sadly mistaken.  The weather in Oklahoma is extreme, every season, in nearly every possible capacity.  It’s not mild and meek just because it resides smack dab in middle America.

          Since the wintery mess began on Saturday morning, I have logged over 400 miles behind the wheel–roughly 35 of that today on roads that appeared to have never met a plow.  The only white knuckle situations I encountered were the result of someone unprepared or just flat out being an idiot.

          If you don’t have AWD, 4WD or font-wheel-drive–stay off the road or make sure you have chains.  If your commute requires you to go up a hill, figure out the less intense alternate route so you don’t have to temp fate with the steep grade.  There are plenty of ways to get around this city, it just requires a little planning and forethought.  Take it easy, give cars around you enough space and don’t EVER stop unless you’re on level ground.

          • JB

            I live on a flat dead-end street that empties out onto one with a 30 degree incline. What is my alternate commute? Through my neighbor’s backyard?

          • Jesse

            Well, that “forethought” would have included parking your car at the other end of that 30 degree incline before the storm.

          • Paulblow13

            So then, expert… what do you do if your are driving up a snow covered hill and the light at the top turns red??? Do you stop, knowing you may get stuck there? or do you plow on through that red light and hope to holy hell you don’t get run into by a semi???

          • http://twitter.com/TheFontSnob Darin Ramsey

            You could brace your car at the top of the hill with all those extra question marks. You even have one for each wheel.

          • Mistie

            Sure, I’m a CNA that provides in-home care. I’ll just call my clients that absolutely 100% NEED me to show up and tell them, sorry, I can’t afford an SVU on my pay so you are S.O.L. You can starve today and change your own adult briefs.

            Seriously? Not all of us have the luxury of staying home from work. Besides, isn’t that the EXACT thing you are all putting us down for – that we don’t go to work when we can’t drive in snow?
            Make up your mind.

    • Artthiel

      Exactly, Nite. Your thoughts apply to any northern climate. I just hope people figure out this place, Seattle, is a different magnitude of winter beast

    • DJS425

      But there are idiots in every city. No matter how much snow you get, some idiot will try something not advised. This isn’t a Seattle thing every city in the USA has idiots

  • Low Amine Recipes

    Yeah!!! High Five! Though there ARE some derps here that really shouldn’t be driving in the snow (and that make the rest of us, who *know* the city roads are not prepared for driving on, look pretty bad), you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Thanks for sharing this!

    Michelle F
    Low Amine Recipes
    http://aminerecipes.com

  • Mwerwl

    I am originally from Spokane and couldn’t understand why Seattlites couldn’t handle snow.  Then I moved to Seattle and I “got” it.   The hills are unbelievably steep!  The city doesn’t have a lot of snow plow equipment, which is not too surprising when you think about how seldom we get snow.

    • Artthiel

      Mwerwl, thanks for the candor. It’s people like you who can go a long way to educate newcomers and nonbelievers that things truly are different here, and it has nothing to do with the Experience Music Project and the Mariners offense.

      • Guest

        You made some very well thought out points. I agree with
        your assessments in general from all your points. There are steep hills that
        are very difficult to navigate.  But
        Seattle area is not the only place with steep hills or slushy snow mixture or
        freezing rain.  To me what is frustrating
        is the ineptitude to utilize known precautions to help alleviate the difficulty
        of navigating through the weather.  For
        example, most cities like the aforementioned ones like NYC, Boson, Chicago,
        etc. lay salt down on the major roads such as the highway and main thorough ways
        before the storm is expected to hit.  Especially
        steep hills that are main arteries like Queen Ann, James/Madison, Capitol Hill,
        etc.  The added salt prevents those roads
        from icing over and allows for added traction. 
        It also keeps those main roads open while people alternatively navigate
        to those main roads.  Today as I was
        leaving Chicago with 13 degree temperature with blistering wind chills, every
        sidewalk/roads in downtown was covered in salt in anticipation of any ground
        freeze.  Secondly, those who do not know
        or are unfamiliar with driving on these conditions should not bother doing so
        at all.  All they do is add additional
        problems.  There is no rhyme or reason
        for them to go out.  Everyone was warned
        well in advance of the coming storm. 
        Whatever they needed to plan for (work/supplies) should have already
        been worked out.  Lastly, the over
        dramatic perception of a “snowpocolyspe” or “snowmageddon” is a bit
        absurd.  That is probably the biggest
        reason why other people are criticizing so much.  If this is what Seattlites referred to as
        that, what makes the storm in Chicago last year when the entire Lakeshore Dr.
        was covered in snow burying hundreds of cars on the street and people climbing
        over snow?  That storm literally buried the
        entire city. Granted Seattle is not a city used to snow and rightfully so as
        this happens on very rare occasions.  So
        do one of 2 things.  Shut everything down
        and everyone stay in until it is over or learn from other cities best practices
        to deal with the weather and suck it up. 
        I have lived in Central MA, Chicago, Minneapolis and Seattle (9
        years).  I was 4 car lengths from an
        accident on I5 last Sunday night after the afternoon dump of snow in downtown
        Seattle.  By then some of the snow melted
        and became icey with black ice all over the place.  Common sense would tell you not to speed on the
        highway.  But a 4WD SUV came flying down
        the carpool lane, lost control came across the highway and slammed right into
        another car sending it jackknifing into the cement railing.  As other have posted, people should use some
        common sense and have some accountability for their decisions. 

  • Low Amine Recipes

    Yeah!!! High Five! Though there ARE some derps here that really shouldn’t be driving in the snow (and that make the rest of us, who *know* the city roads are not prepared for driving on, look pretty bad), you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Thanks for sharing this!

    Michelle F
    Low Amine Recipes
    http://aminerecipes.com

  • Mwerwl

    I am originally from Spokane and couldn’t understand why Seattlites couldn’t handle snow.  Then I moved to Seattle and I “got” it.   The hills are unbelievably steep!  The city doesn’t have a lot of snow plow equipment, which is not too surprising when you think about how seldom we get snow.

    • Artthiel

      Mwerwl, thanks for the candor. It’s people like you who can go a long way to educate newcomers and nonbelievers that things truly are different here, and it has nothing to do with the Experience Music Project and the Mariners offense.

      • Guest

        You made some very well thought out points. I agree with
        your assessments in general from all your points. There are steep hills that
        are very difficult to navigate.  But
        Seattle area is not the only place with steep hills or slushy snow mixture or
        freezing rain.  To me what is frustrating
        is the ineptitude to utilize known precautions to help alleviate the difficulty
        of navigating through the weather.  For
        example, most cities like the aforementioned ones like NYC, Boson, Chicago,
        etc. lay salt down on the major roads such as the highway and main thorough ways
        before the storm is expected to hit.  Especially
        steep hills that are main arteries like Queen Ann, James/Madison, Capitol Hill,
        etc.  The added salt prevents those roads
        from icing over and allows for added traction. 
        It also keeps those main roads open while people alternatively navigate
        to those main roads.  Today as I was
        leaving Chicago with 13 degree temperature with blistering wind chills, every
        sidewalk/roads in downtown was covered in salt in anticipation of any ground
        freeze.  Secondly, those who do not know
        or are unfamiliar with driving on these conditions should not bother doing so
        at all.  All they do is add additional
        problems.  There is no rhyme or reason
        for them to go out.  Everyone was warned
        well in advance of the coming storm. 
        Whatever they needed to plan for (work/supplies) should have already
        been worked out.  Lastly, the over
        dramatic perception of a “snowpocolyspe” or “snowmageddon” is a bit
        absurd.  That is probably the biggest
        reason why other people are criticizing so much.  If this is what Seattlites referred to as
        that, what makes the storm in Chicago last year when the entire Lakeshore Dr.
        was covered in snow burying hundreds of cars on the street and people climbing
        over snow?  That storm literally buried the
        entire city. Granted Seattle is not a city used to snow and rightfully so as
        this happens on very rare occasions.  So
        do one of 2 things.  Shut everything down
        and everyone stay in until it is over or learn from other cities best practices
        to deal with the weather and suck it up. 
        I have lived in Central MA, Chicago, Minneapolis and Seattle (9
        years).  I was 4 car lengths from an
        accident on I5 last Sunday night after the afternoon dump of snow in downtown
        Seattle.  By then some of the snow melted
        and became icey with black ice all over the place.  Common sense would tell you not to speed on the
        highway.  But a 4WD SUV came flying down
        the carpool lane, lost control came across the highway and slammed right into
        another car sending it jackknifing into the cement railing.  As other have posted, people should use some
        common sense and have some accountability for their decisions. 

  • Luna Flesher Lindsey

    Great article, hilarious, and accurate. Just one fact wrong? Last winter was *not* completely mild. While technically happening in autumn, the big Snowpocalypse of November, 2010 /was/ last year, in seasonal terms, which brought us such amusements like this: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhZCyQ3emQg

    • Artthiel

      Good point Luna. Thanks for the reminder/correction. I was looking at the winter-only data and ignored Snowpocalypse. And thanks for adding the YouTube video, which I remembered seeing after you posted. Sadly hilarious.

  • Luna Flesher Lindsey

    Great article, hilarious, and accurate. Just one fact wrong? Last winter was *not* completely mild. While technically happening in autumn, the big Snowpocalypse of November, 2010 /was/ last year, in seasonal terms, which brought us such amusements like this: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhZCyQ3emQg

    • Artthiel

      Good point Luna. Thanks for the reminder/correction. I was looking at the winter-only data and ignored Snowpocalypse. And thanks for adding the YouTube video, which I remembered seeing after you posted. Sadly hilarious.

  • Kathleen Boyer

    Thank you for a well-written article, as always!

  • Kathleen Boyer

    Thank you for a well-written article, as always!

  • Markharf

    I’ve lived elsewhere too, and after 15 years in Bellingham I still think PNW drivers suck in snow.  I mean, seriously: you really think there are no hills anywhere but here?  Nowhere else gets wet, gloppy snow followed by freezing winds, followed by more wet snow?  C’mon.  Where I grew up in New York State people didn’t bother driving up steep hills when the roads were bad…. or they used chains.  Where I spent most of my adult life in New England we did the same, and winters were a lot longer, colder and snowier than they are here.  What’s the mystery? 

    I drive nothing special; currently a Mazda van.  I do put snow tires on it, and I carry chains (for use on rare occasions when it looks like a good idea) and a shovel.  I drive with confidence, don’t tailgate, and haven’t hit anything I didn’t want to in thirty years or more.  I have no special talents; anyone who wants to can do exactly the same.  It takes a bit of practice, yes, and willingness to pay attention.  Sometimes it’s necessary to back off and walk….or find an alternate route, or squat down in the muck and put on your chains.  These are *choices* you make, so you might as well be satisfied with yours.

    If I have an accident any time this winter which is even vaguely attributable to snow or ice, I’ll stop back here to eat crow. 

    • Marni

      I’ve driven in major snow elsewhere, too, and I think I’m a lot like you as a driver. Iv’e driven in the high country of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and several locales back east. And Seattle. There are drivers here who think a 4-wheel drive means they can do anything. Too many people don’t know to drive slowly and consistently and to keep a fair distance behind other cars. That’s probably true a lot of places. But I beg to differ about the effect of the hills. Bellingham doesn’t have these hills or the cityscape that Art described. Some people here are wimps. Some people are wimps in New England, Toronto, etc. None of those places has the hills in the city the way we do, not even Denver. Spend the next snowy spell in Seattle, on Queen Anne or even downtown. You might change your view.

      • Artthiel

        You’re right, Marni. Seattle has no fewer nor more wimps, just more hazards. I’ve always recommended that young drivers learn how their vehicles work by practicing frozen driving in empty parking lots where nothing can be hit. Half the battle is learning to not be scared the first time your vehicle fishtails.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RLAJW3HWQECAYZCXBZR55HSLZE Kyle

          Yes, by all means. When it snows find some place to learn how to actually enjoy driving in the snow. When you get home relax by watching some WRC footage of Finns driving through the white stuff.

          Repeat..

        • Guest

          That’s EXACTLY what I did!  My first drive for Driver’s Ed was in a very large parking lot, during an unusual spring snow that dumped a good 3 inches in about an hour.  I slid around plenty while doing the normal acceleration and braking exercises, but I figured out real quick how to handle the snow.

    • http://twitter.com/textualdeviance Texty

      But this is the problem: People who don’t know what the conditions are really like here, and who think that their Subaru or small SUV is going to do just fine because it works for getting them up to Stevens Pass will go out in this stuff, and get completely flummoxed. I’ve been mocked for not wanting to take my RAV down the hill that leads up to our neighborhood. Uh, sorry, but I’m not stupid. AWD means jack when there’s nothing there for ANY of the wheels to grab onto.

      Basically: If you’ve lived here long enough to KNOW what the refrozen slush is like, and have a vehicle that’s heavy enough, with chains, to break through that slush to get traction, then sure, you might reasonably think you can manage it. But anyone who thinks they know how to drive on this stuff because they used to go up to Tahoe to go skiing when they lived in Cali is out of their damned mind. And because there are thousands of idiots like that out on the road, even folks like you who do know how to drive in these unique conditions are in danger. Doesn’t matter how slow and careful you are when there’s some macho jackhole in an SUV that’s never been offroad pinballing around on I-5 because he thought going out in this crap would impress his girlfriend.

      • Ben

        Those people frequently tend to be transplants who think THEY know how to drive in it. I think I see more out-of-state plates during snow storms than any other time. “Oh, I can do it because I’m from (insert city name here)”. They cause accidents and then all Seattleites are “bad drivers”.

    • Yer

      Bellingham’s streets are not as steep as Seattle’s, most PNW cities aren’t as steep as Seattle’s.  The article wasn’t PNW drivers, It was specific to Seattle drivers and streets.  Other cities would call “the hills” in Seattle mountains.

      • Artthiel

        You got it, Yer. The only people who should be allowed westbound down Madison in a snow storm are those with Olympic ski-jumping medals.

      • Degsme

        Bull.
        The real issue is that for snow, most Seattlites have “All Weather Radials” and not snow tires. And that is a real diference.  I’ve gotten up and down both Queen Anne and Summerset outside of Factoria…. with no problems.  But I had snow tires on and I was patient and I paid attention.  And I didn’t panic when I started sliding but just dealt with it

        All things Seattle drivers seem incapable of doing.

      • Cassie

        Sorry, but Markharf is right.  Seattle may be one of the few large downtowns built on hills that get snow, but there are a whole lot of places that have wet, heavy snow and, I’m sorry, real mountains.  You know — the kind where when you make a mistake you end up in the bottom of a canyon and they don’t find your car or body for a few years.  Go talk to folks from the Rockies, the Sierras, etc and you’ll get the picture.  Yes, driving in the snow in Seattle is more challenging than in many other cities, but basic good snow driving skills are important and go a long way to keeping folks safe, no matter where they’re driving.   

        • Guest

          Mt. Rainier.  ’Nuff said.  Don’t talk to Seattleites about “real” mountains – we’ve got plenty of those around here, on both sides.

          • Cassie

            I’m sorry, I didn’t know Seattle was built on the side of Mt. Rainier.  I know it’s near there.  Mt. Rainier is, you’re right, a real mountain, as are the mountains that surround it.  Seattle is hilly — if you don’t believe me, ask the people who live on Mt. Rainier.

          • Seattle guest

            Cassie, seriously? Let’s start. Snoqulamie Pass, Mt. Baker, Crystal Mountain, Bluett Pass, Stevens Pass, All of the Olympics, All of the Cascades, just to name a few. Mt Rainier is not the only Mountain. When he says “Seattle he is referring to all areas. Eastside, North and South. It’s just more difficult. Move back to where you came from smartie pants. All of us lifer’s of “Seattle” are not worthy of your amazing knowledge.

    • Artthiel

      Markharf, you re-make part of my point for me. Because winters in New England are longer and harder, they become easier to drive in because the melt-freeze issue is far less, and experienced drivers are more.  And Bellingham’s topography is nothing like Seattle’s..

    • Northwest Native

       As a child, my parents drove around Seattle, with chains. You don’t see too many people willing to put chains on around here anymore. They either try to brave it with two or four wheel drive, or they just stay home. Staying home wasn’t an option in the 60′s…. neither was closing schools. But then, everyone went to school within a mile of their homes. They didn’t have busing then either. I put chains on two days ago, and got around fine . . . until the freezing rain started. Even chains don’t help with THAT!

    • SeaTownDriver

      I’m a Seattle native and I agree that most PNW drivers have no clue how to drive in the snow. There are two other factors that play a part in this madness. One, Seattle doesn’t get much snow so the people here haven’t had much practice. You can’t expect someone to be good at something when they only have to do it once every 2-4 years. Another factor is Seattle is filled with transplants. The majority of them from California and other places that don’t get snow on a regular basis. Again, this comes back to practice. I’ve gone out a number of times this week, sledding with my kids and am amazed at how many drivers (most of them without 4 wheel drive) have tried to navigate up and down some of our snow cover hills, only to slide out of control and risk not only themselves but everyone and everything around them.

  • Markharf

    I’ve lived elsewhere too, and after 15 years in Bellingham I still think PNW drivers suck in snow.  I mean, seriously: you really think there are no hills anywhere but here?  Nowhere else gets wet, gloppy snow followed by freezing winds, followed by more wet snow?  C’mon.  Where I grew up in New York State people didn’t bother driving up steep hills when the roads were bad…. or they used chains.  Where I spent most of my adult life in New England we did the same, and winters were a lot longer, colder and snowier than they are here.  What’s the mystery? 

    I drive nothing special; currently a Mazda van.  I do put snow tires on it, and I carry chains (for use on rare occasions when it looks like a good idea) and a shovel.  I drive with confidence, don’t tailgate, and haven’t hit anything I didn’t want to in thirty years or more.  I have no special talents; anyone who wants to can do exactly the same.  It takes a bit of practice, yes, and willingness to pay attention.  Sometimes it’s necessary to back off and walk….or find an alternate route, or squat down in the muck and put on your chains.  These are *choices* you make, so you might as well be satisfied with yours.

    If I have an accident any time this winter which is even vaguely attributable to snow or ice, I’ll stop back here to eat crow. 

  • Markharf

    I’ve lived elsewhere too, and after 15 years in Bellingham I still think PNW drivers suck in snow.  I mean, seriously: you really think there are no hills anywhere but here?  Nowhere else gets wet, gloppy snow followed by freezing winds, followed by more wet snow?  C’mon.  Where I grew up in New York State people didn’t bother driving up steep hills when the roads were bad…. or they used chains.  Where I spent most of my adult life in New England we did the same, and winters were a lot longer, colder and snowier than they are here.  What’s the mystery? 

    I drive nothing special; currently a Mazda van.  I do put snow tires on it, and I carry chains (for use on rare occasions when it looks like a good idea) and a shovel.  I drive with confidence, don’t tailgate, and haven’t hit anything I didn’t want to in thirty years or more.  I have no special talents; anyone who wants to can do exactly the same.  It takes a bit of practice, yes, and willingness to pay attention.  Sometimes it’s necessary to back off and walk….or find an alternate route, or squat down in the muck and put on your chains.  These are *choices* you make, so you might as well be satisfied with yours.

    If I have an accident any time this winter which is even vaguely attributable to snow or ice, I’ll stop back here to eat crow. 

    • Marni

      I’ve driven in major snow elsewhere, too, and I think I’m a lot like you as a driver. Iv’e driven in the high country of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and several locales back east. And Seattle. There are drivers here who think a 4-wheel drive means they can do anything. Too many people don’t know to drive slowly and consistently and to keep a fair distance behind other cars. That’s probably true a lot of places. But I beg to differ about the effect of the hills. Bellingham doesn’t have these hills or the cityscape that Art described. Some people here are wimps. Some people are wimps in New England, Toronto, etc. None of those places has the hills in the city the way we do, not even Denver. Spend the next snowy spell in Seattle, on Queen Anne or even downtown. You might change your view.

      • Artthiel

        You’re right, Marni. Seattle has no fewer nor more wimps, just more hazards. I’ve always recommended that young drivers learn how their vehicles work by practicing frozen driving in empty parking lots where nothing can be hit. Half the battle is learning to not be scared the first time your vehicle fishtails.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RLAJW3HWQECAYZCXBZR55HSLZE Kyle

          Yes, by all means. When it snows find some place to learn how to actually enjoy driving in the snow. When you get home relax by watching some WRC footage of Finns driving through the white stuff.

          Repeat..

        • Guest

          That’s EXACTLY what I did!  My first drive for Driver’s Ed was in a very large parking lot, during an unusual spring snow that dumped a good 3 inches in about an hour.  I slid around plenty while doing the normal acceleration and braking exercises, but I figured out real quick how to handle the snow.

    • http://twitter.com/textualdeviance Texty

      But this is the problem: People who don’t know what the conditions are really like here, and who think that their Subaru or small SUV is going to do just fine because it works for getting them up to Stevens Pass will go out in this stuff, and get completely flummoxed. I’ve been mocked for not wanting to take my RAV down the hill that leads up to our neighborhood. Uh, sorry, but I’m not stupid. AWD means jack when there’s nothing there for ANY of the wheels to grab onto.

      Basically: If you’ve lived here long enough to KNOW what the refrozen slush is like, and have a vehicle that’s heavy enough, with chains, to break through that slush to get traction, then sure, you might reasonably think you can manage it. But anyone who thinks they know how to drive on this stuff because they used to go up to Tahoe to go skiing when they lived in Cali is out of their damned mind. And because there are thousands of idiots like that out on the road, even folks like you who do know how to drive in these unique conditions are in danger. Doesn’t matter how slow and careful you are when there’s some macho jackhole in an SUV that’s never been offroad pinballing around on I-5 because he thought going out in this crap would impress his girlfriend.

      • Ben

        Those people frequently tend to be transplants who think THEY know how to drive in it. I think I see more out-of-state plates during snow storms than any other time. “Oh, I can do it because I’m from (insert city name here)”. They cause accidents and then all Seattleites are “bad drivers”.

    • Yer

      Bellingham’s streets are not as steep as Seattle’s, most PNW cities aren’t as steep as Seattle’s.  The article wasn’t PNW drivers, It was specific to Seattle drivers and streets.  Other cities would call “the hills” in Seattle mountains.

      • Artthiel

        You got it, Yer. The only people who should be allowed westbound down Madison in a snow storm are those with Olympic ski-jumping medals.

      • Degsme

        Bull.
        The real issue is that for snow, most Seattlites have “All Weather Radials” and not snow tires. And that is a real diference.  I’ve gotten up and down both Queen Anne and Summerset outside of Factoria…. with no problems.  But I had snow tires on and I was patient and I paid attention.  And I didn’t panic when I started sliding but just dealt with it

        All things Seattle drivers seem incapable of doing.

      • Cassie

        Sorry, but Markharf is right.  Seattle may be one of the few large downtowns built on hills that get snow, but there are a whole lot of places that have wet, heavy snow and, I’m sorry, real mountains.  You know — the kind where when you make a mistake you end up in the bottom of a canyon and they don’t find your car or body for a few years.  Go talk to folks from the Rockies, the Sierras, etc and you’ll get the picture.  Yes, driving in the snow in Seattle is more challenging than in many other cities, but basic good snow driving skills are important and go a long way to keeping folks safe, no matter where they’re driving.   

        • Guest

          Mt. Rainier.  ’Nuff said.  Don’t talk to Seattleites about “real” mountains – we’ve got plenty of those around here, on both sides.

          • Cassie

            I’m sorry, I didn’t know Seattle was built on the side of Mt. Rainier.  I know it’s near there.  Mt. Rainier is, you’re right, a real mountain, as are the mountains that surround it.  Seattle is hilly — if you don’t believe me, ask the people who live on Mt. Rainier.

          • Seattle guest

            Cassie, seriously? Let’s start. Snoqulamie Pass, Mt. Baker, Crystal Mountain, Bluett Pass, Stevens Pass, All of the Olympics, All of the Cascades, just to name a few. Mt Rainier is not the only Mountain. When he says “Seattle he is referring to all areas. Eastside, North and South. It’s just more difficult. Move back to where you came from smartie pants. All of us lifer’s of “Seattle” are not worthy of your amazing knowledge.

    • Artthiel

      Markharf, you re-make part of my point for me. Because winters in New England are longer and harder, they become easier to drive in because the melt-freeze issue is far less, and experienced drivers are more.  And Bellingham’s topography is nothing like Seattle’s..

    • Northwest Native

       As a child, my parents drove around Seattle, with chains. You don’t see too many people willing to put chains on around here anymore. They either try to brave it with two or four wheel drive, or they just stay home. Staying home wasn’t an option in the 60′s…. neither was closing schools. But then, everyone went to school within a mile of their homes. They didn’t have busing then either. I put chains on two days ago, and got around fine . . . until the freezing rain started. Even chains don’t help with THAT!

    • SeaTownDriver

      I’m a Seattle native and I agree that most PNW drivers have no clue how to drive in the snow. There are two other factors that play a part in this madness. One, Seattle doesn’t get much snow so the people here haven’t had much practice. You can’t expect someone to be good at something when they only have to do it once every 2-4 years. Another factor is Seattle is filled with transplants. The majority of them from California and other places that don’t get snow on a regular basis. Again, this comes back to practice. I’ve gone out a number of times this week, sledding with my kids and am amazed at how many drivers (most of them without 4 wheel drive) have tried to navigate up and down some of our snow cover hills, only to slide out of control and risk not only themselves but everyone and everything around them.

  • Greenlake Gal

    Thank you, you hit the nail on the head.  Finally someone gets it right about snow in Seattle!

  • Greenlake Gal

    Thank you, you hit the nail on the head.  Finally someone gets it right about snow in Seattle!

  • Greenlake Gal

    Thank you, you hit the nail on the head.  Finally someone gets it right about snow in Seattle!

  • Tom

    I like this article and agree with almost everything in it.  That said, you surely CAN go down a hill without causing damage.  It’s easy if you CHAIN UP LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO!  I’ve managed without issue for years despite driving a RWD pickup.  I’ve taken is, properly chained, up and down hills all over Seattle in the snow.  Heck, my clients are home on snow days so I go work!

    • http://twitter.com/textualdeviance Texty

      Chains work going over the passes, and when there’s a thick layer of stuff they can bite into. They do NOT work on 1″ of bumpy, refrozen slush. Also, your vehicle is undoubtedly heavy enough for your chains to break the ice and thus get traction. On a car half that size, even chains don’t matter, because the weight of the car isn’t enough to break the ice. This is why buses, emergency vehicles, etc., do just fine with the chains, but the multitude of Hondas we have here absolutely don’t.

      • Artthiel

        well said, texty.

      • A Driver

        Chains work on Honda’s, Subaru’s, even BMW’s..  They are not designed to break the ice, they are designed to give you TRACTION on the ice.  The same as studs do.

    • A Driver

      You can go down a hill without chains.  Most people panic and the first thing they do is slam on the brake.  Its over at that point.  Nice slow and steady.  

  • Tom

    I like this article and agree with almost everything in it.  That said, you surely CAN go down a hill without causing damage.  It’s easy if you CHAIN UP LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO!  I’ve managed without issue for years despite driving a RWD pickup.  I’ve taken is, properly chained, up and down hills all over Seattle in the snow.  Heck, my clients are home on snow days so I go work!

  • Tom

    I like this article and agree with almost everything in it.  That said, you surely CAN go down a hill without causing damage.  It’s easy if you CHAIN UP LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO!  I’ve managed without issue for years despite driving a RWD pickup.  I’ve taken is, properly chained, up and down hills all over Seattle in the snow.  Heck, my clients are home on snow days so I go work!

    • http://twitter.com/textualdeviance Texty

      Chains work going over the passes, and when there’s a thick layer of stuff they can bite into. They do NOT work on 1″ of bumpy, refrozen slush. Also, your vehicle is undoubtedly heavy enough for your chains to break the ice and thus get traction. On a car half that size, even chains don’t matter, because the weight of the car isn’t enough to break the ice. This is why buses, emergency vehicles, etc., do just fine with the chains, but the multitude of Hondas we have here absolutely don’t.

      • Artthiel

        well said, texty.

      • A Driver

        Chains work on Honda’s, Subaru’s, even BMW’s..  They are not designed to break the ice, they are designed to give you TRACTION on the ice.  The same as studs do.

    • A Driver

      You can go down a hill without chains.  Most people panic and the first thing they do is slam on the brake.  Its over at that point.  Nice slow and steady.  

  • Billy V

    Ice is not unique to Seattle.  What is done out east is they salt the darn roads.  Rock salt does wonders to actually melt and break up existing ice.  It works down to -15F.  If your worried about the salmon (someone show me that study on rock salt and salmon) then just salt the hills and around the intersections.  That is what they do out east when the salt supply runs low.  We’d get outright ice storms back there and still go to work the next morning.

    Something else they did back in Chicago is they fitted snow plow mounts to every garbage truck in the city to supplant the dedicated snow plows.  Make a huge difference when you can repurpose hundreds of trucks to tackle the main arteries, getting the snow off the road surface before it does freeze to ice.

    Rock salt and get some plow mounts on the garbage trucks and you would improve safety dramatically.  Good thing about rock salt is that if you don’t use it, it doesn’t go bad, it’s there for next year if you need it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516255633 Tory Klementsen

      You must be confused and think we live in a  climate that gets snow every year…we don’t. It would be a foolish waste of money to store snow equipment that might be needed once every 10 years. (Our usual snow wouldn’t require plows on every garbage truck.) We ARE icing the roads, or have you somehow missed the news that’s been on the snow channel for the last 5 days 24/7. 

      Bully for you that Chicago is ready for snow. They GET snow. We don’t, at least not often enough to justify your suggestions. 

      Go armchair quarterback somewhere else, you twit.

  • Billy V

    Ice is not unique to Seattle.  What is done out east is they salt the darn roads.  Rock salt does wonders to actually melt and break up existing ice.  It works down to -15F.  If your worried about the salmon (someone show me that study on rock salt and salmon) then just salt the hills and around the intersections.  That is what they do out east when the salt supply runs low.  We’d get outright ice storms back there and still go to work the next morning.

    Something else they did back in Chicago is they fitted snow plow mounts to every garbage truck in the city to supplant the dedicated snow plows.  Make a huge difference when you can repurpose hundreds of trucks to tackle the main arteries, getting the snow off the road surface before it does freeze to ice.

    Rock salt and get some plow mounts on the garbage trucks and you would improve safety dramatically.  Good thing about rock salt is that if you don’t use it, it doesn’t go bad, it’s there for next year if you need it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516255633 Tory Klementsen

      You must be confused and think we live in a  climate that gets snow every year…we don’t. It would be a foolish waste of money to store snow equipment that might be needed once every 10 years. (Our usual snow wouldn’t require plows on every garbage truck.) We ARE icing the roads, or have you somehow missed the news that’s been on the snow channel for the last 5 days 24/7. 

      Bully for you that Chicago is ready for snow. They GET snow. We don’t, at least not often enough to justify your suggestions. 

      Go armchair quarterback somewhere else, you twit.

  • Christopherlwiles

    I Concur 100% Being a resident in Alaska but having lived in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area for 25+ years of my life. I would take the blizzards and wind snow flurries of AK any day over concrete slush and frozen rain that covers your vehicles and roads with 1/4 to 1/2 inch solid ice in a matter of hours, stranding you where ever you may be. LA?!?!?! Really?!?!? Stick to forecasting your next hazardous breathing conditions and movie star drama sequences. Leave the real weather to people who know weather!

  • Christopherlwiles

    I Concur 100% Being a resident in Alaska but having lived in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area for 25+ years of my life. I would take the blizzards and wind snow flurries of AK any day over concrete slush and frozen rain that covers your vehicles and roads with 1/4 to 1/2 inch solid ice in a matter of hours, stranding you where ever you may be. LA?!?!?! Really?!?!? Stick to forecasting your next hazardous breathing conditions and movie star drama sequences. Leave the real weather to people who know weather!

  • Sam

    Funny, but all the mockery I saw came straight out of seattle itself — Oatmeal, sh*t seattle people say when it snows, Benny Hill theme car wreck vids.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539574477 Amy M Stewart

      Yeah, but it’s okay to make fun of your own town… Power on, Oatmeal!

  • Sam

    Funny, but all the mockery I saw came straight out of seattle itself — Oatmeal, sh*t seattle people say when it snows, Benny Hill theme car wreck vids.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539574477 Amy M Stewart

      Yeah, but it’s okay to make fun of your own town… Power on, Oatmeal!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GCR7D6X2NPY7672SECVXGNPUOU Suzanne

    I’ll  add Anchorage to the mix too…lived there for 4 years and only once do I remember not driving due to dicey conditions.  It’s dry and flat up there, the wind is natures snow blower.  Here, not so much, hills, trees, and snow that regularly turns to ice makes Western Washington unique…..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GCR7D6X2NPY7672SECVXGNPUOU Suzanne

    I’ll  add Anchorage to the mix too…lived there for 4 years and only once do I remember not driving due to dicey conditions.  It’s dry and flat up there, the wind is natures snow blower.  Here, not so much, hills, trees, and snow that regularly turns to ice makes Western Washington unique…..

  • Grey Beard

    Art – I mostly agree with you, but (a) the guy who put chains only on the rear wheels of his front wheel drive car and (b) the guy who tried driving today in his rear-wheel drive Camero – well, what can you say?

  • Grey Beard

    Art – I mostly agree with you, but (a) the guy who put chains only on the rear wheels of his front wheel drive car and (b) the guy who tried driving today in his rear-wheel drive Camero – well, what can you say?

  • doug

    More proof that a “don’t like” button is needed.

    • Artthiel

      More proof that “don’t likes” are my readers too.

  • doug

    More proof that a “don’t like” button is needed.

    • Artthiel

      More proof that “don’t likes” are my readers too.

  • thisearthlyride

    “I depart from sports
    commentary to call out the the Southlanders, Midwesterners and
    Easterners who have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to
    Seattle drivers and snow.” Except for the Southlanders,
    Midwesterners and Easterners who are from Seattle or live there now and
    actually CAN drive in that stuff. :P

    • guest

      Hmm. Really? A few of us from our neighborhood typically spend hours at the top of our hill warning people about the conditions and redirecting them to a less steep route. About half the people are locals who have to be out or are just trying to get home. They are usually grateful and take the advice. The other half either have out of state plates or tell us “don’t worry, I have 4WD/grew up in X and I know how to drive in snow.” We just have to stand back and watch them slide down the hill into all the other idiots who think that learning how to maneuver in dry powder on flat land is the same as making it down (or up) a 10% grade on ice and slush. Ever seen a 4WD truck with chains on sliding down a hill into a tree? I have. Do we mock them for ignoring us? Sometimes.

  • thisearthlyride

    “I depart from sports
    commentary to call out the the Southlanders, Midwesterners and
    Easterners who have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to
    Seattle drivers and snow.” Except for the Southlanders,
    Midwesterners and Easterners who are from Seattle or live there now and
    actually CAN drive in that stuff. :P

    • guest

      Hmm. Really? A few of us from our neighborhood typically spend hours at the top of our hill warning people about the conditions and redirecting them to a less steep route. About half the people are locals who have to be out or are just trying to get home. They are usually grateful and take the advice. The other half either have out of state plates or tell us “don’t worry, I have 4WD/grew up in X and I know how to drive in snow.” We just have to stand back and watch them slide down the hill into all the other idiots who think that learning how to maneuver in dry powder on flat land is the same as making it down (or up) a 10% grade on ice and slush. Ever seen a 4WD truck with chains on sliding down a hill into a tree? I have. Do we mock them for ignoring us? Sometimes.

  • NoSnowWorries

    Aaaahhahahahaaa!!! Having lived in the Midwest my entire life, I’ve seen every kind of snow there is. But the best comment I’ve heard so far about all of this comes from my mother, who grew up in the Seattle area and knows what everyone in Seattle is thinking about this mess. She knows because she was once the same way. After raising two kids in the Midwest, she had 4 words of advice to solve Seattle’s problem: “Salt and sand, people.”

    • kindakute

      “Salt and sand, people”   Sorry, this is more ignorance.  Salt and sand is poison for the Puget Sound.   Know your facts please.  

      • Sofie

        Umm, actually, after the snow catastrophe of December 2008, Mayor Nickels approved the use of salt (which had been forbidden for only a decade), in addition to the sand which had been in use for forever, to clear the roads.  Unfortunately, salt and snow don’t mean much when you have a total of 30 or so snow plows in the entire city and you have the hills to contend with.

      • A Driver

        Salt and Sand ARE NOT poison to the Puget Sound.  Sorry to burst your ecobubble. 

        • Sarah

          Salt is. Sand to some extent to. I could tell you about the water requirements, etc. for the salmon eggs incubating in the creek at Carkeek right now, but then i’d have to burst your ignorance bubble.

    • Artthiel

      The problem, of course, is that salt is bad for the water table and the undercarriages of vehicles. But being from the Midwest, you know buying a new car every 2-3 years because of road rot is a way to keep the car factories profitable.

    • Marni

      Would that it were that simple. Salt and sand definitely help, but not enough in our icy, hilly conditions. Flatlanders don’t get how these steep hills make it a whole different ballgame. Mom must have forgotten that piece. (And salt is very damaging to roads and environment.)

  • NoSnowWorries

    Aaaahhahahahaaa!!! Having lived in the Midwest my entire life, I’ve seen every kind of snow there is. But the best comment I’ve heard so far about all of this comes from my mother, who grew up in the Seattle area and knows what everyone in Seattle is thinking about this mess. She knows because she was once the same way. After raising two kids in the Midwest, she had 4 words of advice to solve Seattle’s problem: “Salt and sand, people.”

    • kindakute

      “Salt and sand, people”   Sorry, this is more ignorance.  Salt and sand is poison for the Puget Sound.   Know your facts please.  

      • Sofie

        Umm, actually, after the snow catastrophe of December 2008, Mayor Nickels approved the use of salt (which had been forbidden for only a decade), in addition to the sand which had been in use for forever, to clear the roads.  Unfortunately, salt and snow don’t mean much when you have a total of 30 or so snow plows in the entire city and you have the hills to contend with.

      • A Driver

        Salt and Sand ARE NOT poison to the Puget Sound.  Sorry to burst your ecobubble. 

        • Sarah

          Salt is. Sand to some extent to. I could tell you about the water requirements, etc. for the salmon eggs incubating in the creek at Carkeek right now, but then i’d have to burst your ignorance bubble.

    • Artthiel

      The problem, of course, is that salt is bad for the water table and the undercarriages of vehicles. But being from the Midwest, you know buying a new car every 2-3 years because of road rot is a way to keep the car factories profitable.

    • Marni

      Would that it were that simple. Salt and sand definitely help, but not enough in our icy, hilly conditions. Flatlanders don’t get how these steep hills make it a whole different ballgame. Mom must have forgotten that piece. (And salt is very damaging to roads and environment.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539574477 Amy M Stewart

    I vastly enjoyed this article. Great personal tone. Wonderfully persuasive. Was a fun read all the way through. Will share.  I would have loved a picture of Queen Anne hill, staring straight up, or straight down, covered in ice and snow, or any of the narrow hills in that area or elsewhere downtown or on Capitol Hill with vehicles parked on both sides of the street.  Let’s also not forget that Seattle has little economic reason to invest in snow-equipping their vehicles, since snowmaggedon happens so rarely, and that our mass transit doesn’t win any awards.  Also, since we’re such a tech-loving city, many of us work from home just fine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539574477 Amy M Stewart

    I vastly enjoyed this article. Great personal tone. Wonderfully persuasive. Was a fun read all the way through. Will share.  I would have loved a picture of Queen Anne hill, staring straight up, or straight down, covered in ice and snow, or any of the narrow hills in that area or elsewhere downtown or on Capitol Hill with vehicles parked on both sides of the street.  Let’s also not forget that Seattle has little economic reason to invest in snow-equipping their vehicles, since snowmaggedon happens so rarely, and that our mass transit doesn’t win any awards.  Also, since we’re such a tech-loving city, many of us work from home just fine.

  • Tiger

    I was born here in Edmonds, and i agree, snow is not a very common occurrence around the greater Puget Sound basin. This means that most people don’t really get a lot of practice in it. Then you add in the fact that their are a lot of hills, and it makes a person wonder why anyone would drive up or down a hill that wasn’t plowed or with out chains. Another question I have is why doesn’t the city close these hills, oh, wait, they do.

    I like the idea of multipurpose garbage trucks, that way your getting more bang for your buck, garbage trucks are a fleet that must be kept and maintained, snow plows are expensive to store, now they are combined for the one week (figuratively) we actually need them.

    I have driven in just about every type of weather imaginable, from blizzards in Colorado and winters in New Hampshire, to ice storms in Germany and in every country, state or city, you have the same things, people who don’t know better, people who should know better and the people who do know and chuckle or hang their head at the rest.

    People need to exercise common sense, if its icy out (read as: colder than 35 f (2 c)), leave earlier, plan on driving slower, leave a longer following gap, break early, carry and use chains properly (ask your tire dealer or auto parts store or state patrol or tractor-trailer operator, they will help you, really, and it is not as hard as you think).

    Oh yeah, one more thing, a 4×4 does not make you immune to ice, it just means that when you slide into the ditch, you have a better chance of getting yourself out…

    I drive a big yellow van, that means its really light in the back and is real-wheel drive, so i put studded tires on and 250 pounds of extra weight in the back, along with my chains, shovel, cat sand (the clay stuff), a box of rock salt or ice melt, emergency kit and spare blankets, except for the 250 pounds of cinder blocks which most of you won’t need anyway it all fits in two milk crates, and my chains take up most of the second crate.

    Remember, common sense is the best tool you can use to prove that WA drivers are not snow wimps

    well, time for me to go get dinner from teh grocers, have a safe and fun drive

    • Artthiel

      Wise voice of experience, Tiger. Read up, newbies, and we’ll all get along better.

    • :)

      TL:DR

  • Startrain

    You are a bunch of wimps.  I just worked in Fairbanks, Ak for the past week where it was 40 below zero and drove 250 miles on roads covered in ice.  In Alaska we drive on ice, snow and in freezing rain six months out of the year and our airports never shut down.  Suck it up and learn how to drive.

    • StartrainIsAJerk

      remind me to return this rude behavior to you the next time Fairbanks hits 99 degrees (or more) and i read about people in Alaska passing out from the heat. Suck it up and wear some shorts.

      • Startrain

        People in Fairbanks don’t complain when it’s 99 in the summer.  You Seattleites complain when it hits 90 though. 

    • Artthiel

      Startrain: Been to Fairbanks. You forgot to mention it’s flat, too. Also forgot to mention that the town doesn’t get above freezing for months. And because of that, you and your vehicles are literally and figuratively geared for six months of winter. Remember to always read the story before commenting on it.

      • Startrain

        Hi Art, I read the entire story before commenting. Have you been to Fairbanks in winter?  It does get above freezing in the winter in Fairbanks. It was raining when I was there in December.  I’ve lived in Seattle in the wintertime and driven on your “hills” in the wintertime after a snow storm.  Not that big of a deal.  The most idiots I have seen in my entire life were driving over Snoqualmie Pass in a snow storm. Nobody knows what to do.

    • Marni

      Try doing all that on our steep hills.

    • A Driver

      Minus the Hills…  Nice try though

    • Tycoop

      Ok smarty. Alaska is a flat frozen tundra of dry snow. I’m from north Dakota and had a chip on my shoulder about how “snow savvy” I thought I was when I first moved here. I work at Harborview and I ASSURE you it is a whole different ball game driving here. Keep thinking (and driving) like u do Mr. Know-it-all about snow. Idiots like u keep my paychecks coming!

      • Startrain

        Not true about dry snow all the time. We have freezing rain, blizzards, icy roads, you name it.  People like me will not contribute to your paycheck one bit.  The people I was referring to, will. You have a great job at Harborview and lots of job security if it snows! Happy Winter!

  • Startrain

    You are a bunch of wimps.  I just worked in Fairbanks, Ak for the past week where it was 40 below zero and drove 250 miles on roads covered in ice.  In Alaska we drive on ice, snow and in freezing rain six months out of the year and our airports never shut down.  Suck it up and learn how to drive.

  • Tiger

    I was born here in Edmonds, and i agree, snow is not a very common occurrence around the greater Puget Sound basin. This means that most people don’t really get a lot of practice in it. Then you add in the fact that their are a lot of hills, and it makes a person wonder why anyone would drive up or down a hill that wasn’t plowed or with out chains. Another question I have is why doesn’t the city close these hills, oh, wait, they do.

    I like the idea of multipurpose garbage trucks, that way your getting more bang for your buck, garbage trucks are a fleet that must be kept and maintained, snow plows are expensive to store, now they are combined for the one week (figuratively) we actually need them.

    I have driven in just about every type of weather imaginable, from blizzards in Colorado and winters in New Hampshire, to ice storms in Germany and in every country, state or city, you have the same things, people who don’t know better, people who should know better and the people who do know and chuckle or hang their head at the rest.

    People need to exercise common sense, if its icy out (read as: colder than 35 f (2 c)), leave earlier, plan on driving slower, leave a longer following gap, break early, carry and use chains properly (ask your tire dealer or auto parts store or state patrol or tractor-trailer operator, they will help you, really, and it is not as hard as you think).

    Oh yeah, one more thing, a 4×4 does not make you immune to ice, it just means that when you slide into the ditch, you have a better chance of getting yourself out…

    I drive a big yellow van, that means its really light in the back and is real-wheel drive, so i put studded tires on and 250 pounds of extra weight in the back, along with my chains, shovel, cat sand (the clay stuff), a box of rock salt or ice melt, emergency kit and spare blankets, except for the 250 pounds of cinder blocks which most of you won’t need anyway it all fits in two milk crates, and my chains take up most of the second crate.

    Remember, common sense is the best tool you can use to prove that WA drivers are not snow wimps

    well, time for me to go get dinner from teh grocers, have a safe and fun drive

    • Artthiel

      Wise voice of experience, Tiger. Read up, newbies, and we’ll all get along better.

    • :)

      TL:DR

  • Startrain

    You are a bunch of wimps.  I just worked in Fairbanks, Ak for the past week where it was 40 below zero and drove 250 miles on roads covered in ice.  In Alaska we drive on ice, snow and in freezing rain six months out of the year and our airports never shut down.  Suck it up and learn how to drive.

    • StartrainIsAJerk

      remind me to return this rude behavior to you the next time Fairbanks hits 99 degrees (or more) and i read about people in Alaska passing out from the heat. Suck it up and wear some shorts.

      • Startrain

        People in Fairbanks don’t complain when it’s 99 in the summer.  You Seattleites complain when it hits 90 though. 

    • Artthiel

      Startrain: Been to Fairbanks. You forgot to mention it’s flat, too. Also forgot to mention that the town doesn’t get above freezing for months. And because of that, you and your vehicles are literally and figuratively geared for six months of winter. Remember to always read the story before commenting on it.

      • Startrain

        Hi Art, I read the entire story before commenting. Have you been to Fairbanks in winter?  It does get above freezing in the winter in Fairbanks. It was raining when I was there in December.  I’ve lived in Seattle in the wintertime and driven on your “hills” in the wintertime after a snow storm.  Not that big of a deal.  The most idiots I have seen in my entire life were driving over Snoqualmie Pass in a snow storm. Nobody knows what to do.

    • Marni

      Try doing all that on our steep hills.

    • A Driver

      Minus the Hills…  Nice try though

    • Tycoop

      Ok smarty. Alaska is a flat frozen tundra of dry snow. I’m from north Dakota and had a chip on my shoulder about how “snow savvy” I thought I was when I first moved here. I work at Harborview and I ASSURE you it is a whole different ball game driving here. Keep thinking (and driving) like u do Mr. Know-it-all about snow. Idiots like u keep my paychecks coming!

      • Startrain

        Not true about dry snow all the time. We have freezing rain, blizzards, icy roads, you name it.  People like me will not contribute to your paycheck one bit.  The people I was referring to, will. You have a great job at Harborview and lots of job security if it snows! Happy Winter!

  • http://twitter.com/Candace_Dempsey Candace Dempsey

    You forgot to mention that those very large trees have a nasty habit of toppling over during storms, after which they block major arteries, and/or knock out power to huge neighborhoods. You’re lucky if you’re in Seattle tonight and, like me, don’t need to get anywhere.

  • http://twitter.com/Candace_Dempsey Candace Dempsey

    You forgot to mention that those very large trees have a nasty habit of toppling over during storms, after which they block major arteries, and/or knock out power to huge neighborhoods. You’re lucky if you’re in Seattle tonight and, like me, don’t need to get anywhere.

  • Atwlf

    Great article, thanks for shutting up the Los Angeles Times!

  • Atwlf

    Great article, thanks for shutting up the Los Angeles Times!

  • Snickerpants

    Thank you. 

  • Snickerpants

    Thank you. 

  • Texas Mariner

    PNW drivers suck driving in Snow? Try Texas drivers when we had the snowstorms last winter. Talk about horrible drivers.

  • Texas Mariner

    PNW drivers suck driving in Snow? Try Texas drivers when we had the snowstorms last winter. Talk about horrible drivers.

  • I have a memory

    Your comment “Or has everyone forgotten last winter’s snow-free mildness?” You must have forgotten about the January that took people 7-8 hours to drive 12 miles? Or the one in February that wasn’t much better, even though the city was “ready”.

  • I have a memory

    Your comment “Or has everyone forgotten last winter’s snow-free mildness?” You must have forgotten about the January that took people 7-8 hours to drive 12 miles? Or the one in February that wasn’t much better, even though the city was “ready”.

  • JanS

    Thank you, Art.

  • JanS

    Thank you, Art.

  • Me

    I believe the Internet refers to this as…. butthurt?

    lol.

  • Me

    I believe the Internet refers to this as…. butthurt?

    lol.

  • http://twitter.com/cosmicfunpalace Cosmic Fun Palace

    One might argue that a driver atop Queen Anne Hill, after gauging the steepness of said hill and the slickness of the snow and/or ice covering it, would wrangle the car back into its parking spot and strap on the snowshoes.  A good driver knows how to drive in multiple road conditions; an excellent driver knows when it’s prudent to walk, or stay home.

  • http://twitter.com/cosmicfunpalace Cosmic Fun Palace

    One might argue that a driver atop Queen Anne Hill, after gauging the steepness of said hill and the slickness of the snow and/or ice covering it, would wrangle the car back into its parking spot and strap on the snowshoes.  A good driver knows how to drive in multiple road conditions; an excellent driver knows when it’s prudent to walk, or stay home.

  • Blondie Bomb-Her

    I love you and thank you for enlightening people who don’t understand, especially Kim Murphy. 

  • Blondie Bomb-Her

    I love you and thank you for enlightening people who don’t understand, especially Kim Murphy. 

  • Woki1986

    It’s been bad out here on Whidbey – The City of Oak Harbor only seems to grit Highway 20. Everywhere else you’re on your own. We’ve had some Alaskans come down to work where I work, and they think it’s all highly amusing.

  • Woki1986

    It’s been bad out here on Whidbey – The City of Oak Harbor only seems to grit Highway 20. Everywhere else you’re on your own. We’ve had some Alaskans come down to work where I work, and they think it’s all highly amusing.

  • Tian Biao

    Plus, every time there’s a little hill fire in LA, the whole world has to hear about it. weenies.

  • Tian Biao

    Plus, every time there’s a little hill fire in LA, the whole world has to hear about it. weenies.

  • Clever

    I’m from here and I know that in additon to all the reasons Art said, there is another problem. Carpetbaggers aplenty from everywhere except the places that people know how to drive in the snow.

  • Clever

    I’m from here and I know that in additon to all the reasons Art said, there is another problem. Carpetbaggers aplenty from everywhere except the places that people know how to drive in the snow.

  • Anonymous

    Californians calling you “snow wimps”? Yes, I totally understand your
    beef there. However, I’m one of those transplants (from New England) who
    gets incredibly frustrated with how the snow is dealt with around here.
    It has very little to do with our residents’ reaction and lack of
    experience with this weather. After all, it only happens a couple of
    times a year in this area. But it DOES happen a couple of time a year
    around here. So why don’t we prepare for it? We deal with snow much
    better in New England, not because we have more experience with it, but
    because we have the tools to deal with it properly. Plows, sand, and
    salt. Even before one flake hits the ground, crews are out pre-treating
    the roads. We need way more plows and we need to use salt. Not this
    de-icer bs. Now I haven’t crunched any numbers or anything, but I have a
    really tough time believing that it wouldn’t pay for itself in one
    season. Think of all the losses from closed businesses, car crashes,
    injuries… for 3″??

  • JoelMath

    Californians calling you “snow wimps”? Yes, I totally understand your
    beef there. However, I’m one of those transplants (from New England) who
    gets incredibly frustrated with how the snow is dealt with around here.
    It has very little to do with our residents’ reaction and lack of
    experience with this weather. After all, it only happens a couple of
    times a year in this area. But it DOES happen a couple of time a year
    around here. So why don’t we prepare for it? We deal with snow much
    better in New England, not because we have more experience with it, but
    because we have the tools to deal with it properly. Plows, sand, and
    salt. Even before one flake hits the ground, crews are out pre-treating
    the roads. We need way more plows and we need to use salt. Not this
    de-icer bs. Now I haven’t crunched any numbers or anything, but I have a
    really tough time believing that it wouldn’t pay for itself in one
    season. Think of all the losses from closed businesses, car crashes,
    injuries… for 3″??

  • Scruver

    A coworker, newly transplanted from Chicago, criticized all the rest of us when snow began to fall during the work day.  Nothing to worry about, he said.  Then he drove home, turned the corner onto his suburban street and slid right into his house. 

    • Artthiel

      If you aren’t familiar with the meaning of schadenfreude, do yourself a favor, Scruver, look it up, and savor it.

      • Justin Pauls

        That’s not Schadenfreude, it’s called poetic justice. 

        • SRG

          It’s both. That the coworker had that accident after having laughed at the Seattle drivers is poetic justice. Scruver’s driving pleasure out of that coworker’s misfortune is Schadenfreude.

          • SRG

            Oops, sorry for the typo. That’s “deriving pleasure,” and not “driving pleasure”!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/IEWD5RAQPZSGCZ27SG4KQCSCYY James

        And as Robin Williams said “Only the Germans could come up with such a
        term.” HAHA. Anyway, I’m originally from Northern Arizona, the Prescott
        area to be exact, and although the snow here wasn’t anything I hadn’t
        seen before I will definitely say that anyone who went driving in it was
        an idiot. I used to have to drive in such treacherous weather because
        of work and a few times I came very close to either wrecking my father’s
        truck or doing that as well as losing my life. Yes I’m still alive but sometimes I think I should’ve just quit that job because of some of the things that nearly happened to me. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or how much experience you have in something, there’s still the chances of making one wrong move and losing badly. From my experience now, even if someone is threatening me with my job I will never again put my life and well-being or the life and well-being of others in danger for that job.

      • Mardini

        I have just spent the last week delivering newspapers in this stuff. which i have done for 21 years, this was one of the worst. the freezing rain was a new twist.
        it seemed to worse each day I went out there. for all the critics I have three things to say: Wet snow, hills, morons that go too fast. -Allison Mardini
         

        • Cynthiamarx

          If you’ve been delivering papers for 21 years it sounds like you deserve freezing rain, and hills you moron.  Get a real job  - or stick to the girl scouts. Paper routes are for boys.

          • SeattleBurbGirl

            What the hell is your problem, Cynthia? Sounds like someone has some serious issues with a boy/man in her life; (even) though, Allison Mardini sounds like a girl’s name. Just sayin’. Jerk.

  • Scruver

    A coworker, newly transplanted from Chicago, criticized all the rest of us when snow began to fall during the work day.  Nothing to worry about, he said.  Then he drove home, turned the corner onto his suburban street and slid right into his house. 

    • Artthiel

      If you aren’t familiar with the meaning of schadenfreude, do yourself a favor, Scruver, look it up, and savor it.

      • Justin Pauls

        That’s not Schadenfreude, it’s called poetic justice. The source of contention was from the person who then, as in a fable, finds themselves the victim of the very thing they scoffed at.

        Scruver simply recounted the tale… unless you’re the coworker, which would make your reply “sour grapes”. :)

        • SRG

          It’s both. That the coworker had that accident after having laughed at the Seattle drivers is poetic justice. Scruver’s driving pleasure out of that coworker’s misfortune is Schadenfreude.

          • SRG

            Oops, sorry for the typo. That’s “deriving pleasure,” and not “driving pleasure”!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/IEWD5RAQPZSGCZ27SG4KQCSCYY James

        And as Robin Williams said “Only the Germans could come up with such a
        term.” HAHA. Anyway, I’m originally from Northern Arizona, the Prescott
        area to be exact, and although the snow here wasn’t anything I hadn’t
        seen before I will definitely say that anyone who went driving in it was
        an idiot. I used to have to drive in such treacherous weather because
        of work and a few times I came very close to either wrecking my father’s
        truck or doing that as well as losing my life. Yes I’m still alive but sometimes I think I should’ve just quit that job because of some of the things that nearly happened to me. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or how much experience you have in something, there’s still the chances of making one wrong move and losing badly. From my experience now, even if someone is threatening me with my job I will never again put my life and well-being or the life and well-being of others in danger for that job.

      • Mardini

        I have just spent the last week delivering newspapers in this stuff. which i have done for 21 years, this was one of the worst. the freezing rain was a new twist.
        it seemed to worse each day I went out there. for all the critics I have three things to say: Wet snow, hills, morons that go too fast. -Allison Mardini
         

        • Cynthiamarx

          If you’ve been delivering papers for 21 years it sounds like you deserve freezing rain, and hills you moron.  Get a real job  - or stick to the girl scouts. Paper routes are for boys.

          • SeattleBurbGirl

            What the hell is your problem, Cynthia? Sounds like someone has some serious issues with a boy/man in her life; (even) though, Allison Mardini sounds like a girl’s name. Just sayin’. Jerk.

  • guest

    I didn’t understand either – as a recent transplant to Seattle – until last years little bit of snow; I just couldn’t see why a whole city should or even how it could shut down…until I had to pick my husband up at the Columbia Tower at 9:30 PM that night with the intention of taking 99 home via Columbia Ave. Then, oh then, I understood. For those reading this who don’t know, Columbia Ave is a huge, scary hill – even without snow. Add freezing rain on top of half an inch of snow. Coming from the East Coast I’m used to driving in some pretty gnarly weather, but hills in these conditions are just plain crazy.

  • guest

    I didn’t understand either – as a recent transplant to Seattle – until last years little bit of snow; I just couldn’t see why a whole city should or even how it could shut down…until I had to pick my husband up at the Columbia Tower at 9:30 PM that night with the intention of taking 99 home via Columbia Ave. Then, oh then, I understood. For those reading this who don’t know, Columbia Ave is a huge, scary hill – even without snow. Add freezing rain on top of half an inch of snow. Coming from the East Coast I’m used to driving in some pretty gnarly weather, but hills in these conditions are just plain crazy.

  • Bill

    Not to mention bridge decks (which can freeze rather easily) and chokepoints, which Seattle has in abundance.  AND the narrowness of many of the streets.  Seattle is tough in snow… especially the side streets.

  • Bill

    Not to mention bridge decks (which can freeze rather easily) and chokepoints, which Seattle has in abundance.  AND the narrowness of many of the streets.  Seattle is tough in snow… especially the side streets.

  • mudmagician

    I think you have it 70% right…..yeah snow here is usually wet, but the biggest difference I see is lack of preparation.  In almost every place I have lived with real winters, most people take a look at their tires in late fall….they replace them even with some tread left or put on the snow tires.  It is so rare an event here I don’t think people even think about their tire tread depth.  True snow drivers love AWD or 4 wheel drives, but realize it only helps you get going….when you have to brake your rig is the same as everyone else on the road…4 tires and 4 brakes!

  • mudmagician

    I think you have it 70% right…..yeah snow here is usually wet, but the biggest difference I see is lack of preparation.  In almost every place I have lived with real winters, most people take a look at their tires in late fall….they replace them even with some tread left or put on the snow tires.  It is so rare an event here I don’t think people even think about their tire tread depth.  True snow drivers love AWD or 4 wheel drives, but realize it only helps you get going….when you have to brake your rig is the same as everyone else on the road…4 tires and 4 brakes!

  • Phlippia4 13

    As a graduate of the aforementioned academy and season pass holder at Stevens I appreciate the author’s thoughtful insight. Queen Ann and other steep pitches are undoable but compliance is high in those areas anyway. Most of our collisions are on or near our freeways. If people would watch their speed and shift down instead of braking and ensure that they aren’t even out there with wrong vehicles and tires, we would do well. I drove through every hazard today, limited my exposure to the hazards presented by the others and still made it home unscathed after investigating three collisions. It can be done.

  • Phlippia4 13

    As a graduate of the aforementioned academy and season pass holder at Stevens I appreciate the author’s thoughtful insight. Queen Ann and other steep pitches are undoable but compliance is high in those areas anyway. Most of our collisions are on or near our freeways. If people would watch their speed and shift down instead of braking and ensure that they aren’t even out there with wrong vehicles and tires, we would do well. I drove through every hazard today, limited my exposure to the hazards presented by the others and still made it home unscathed after investigating three collisions. It can be done.

  • Lemurbutt

    Thank you for this!  I have lived in Seattle my whole life and it’s frustrating how difficult it is to get around in the snow/ice.  Usually the temperature lingers just at freezing, making the ice more slippery.  My parking lot at our apartment complex is a sheet of ice and I can’t even get out of it.  We’ve been stuck here since Tuesday.  I had to drive in first gear all the way up my hill with hardly any snow and I was still slipping.  It doesn’t matter how skilled you are.  You can’t defy the laws of physics.  My husband grew up in Alaska and said the snow was like driving on gravel there.  It’s way different here.

  • Lemurbutt

    Thank you for this!  I have lived in Seattle my whole life and it’s frustrating how difficult it is to get around in the snow/ice.  Usually the temperature lingers just at freezing, making the ice more slippery.  My parking lot at our apartment complex is a sheet of ice and I can’t even get out of it.  We’ve been stuck here since Tuesday.  I had to drive in first gear all the way up my hill with hardly any snow and I was still slipping.  It doesn’t matter how skilled you are.  You can’t defy the laws of physics.  My husband grew up in Alaska and said the snow was like driving on gravel there.  It’s way different here.

  • Vinny_v

    Kim Murphy is a traitor..she’s from California.

    • Vinny_v

      Send her back to LA!

  • Vinny_v

    Kim Murphy is a traitor..she’s from California.

    • Vinny_v

      Send her back to LA!

  • Anonymous

    Art apparently hasn’t visited the sports mecca of Pittsburgh, PA during a snow event. The hills are just as big and a higher percentage of the roads in the city are steep–steeper and scarier than the worst I’ve seen in Seattle. Most of Art’s other points are valid. Pittsburgh gets much more snow (including the cement-like stuff) and so needs to have its expensive, first-rate snow removal services. Pittsburghers also have much more experience negotiating deadly hills covered with every variety of frozen precipitation. However, I don’t think Seattle does anywhere near as well as it needs to when it comes to clearing emergency routes and major roadways. Emergency services are needlessly disrupted in the city during these snow events and the city wouldn’t need to get anywhere near Pittsburgh’s snow removal budget to make critical improvements.

    Pittsburgh’s steepest roads: http://iheartpgh.com/2006/02/20/pittsburgh-hills/

    Seattle’s steepest roads: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/steepest.htm

  • LesTewelish

    Art apparently hasn’t visited the sports mecca of Pittsburgh, PA during a snow event. The hills are just as big and a higher percentage of the roads in the city are steep–steeper and scarier than the worst I’ve seen in Seattle. Most of Art’s other points are valid. Pittsburgh gets much more snow (including the cement-like stuff) and so needs to have its expensive, first-rate snow removal services. Pittsburghers also have much more experience negotiating deadly hills covered with every variety of frozen precipitation. However, I don’t think Seattle does anywhere near as well as it needs to when it comes to clearing emergency routes and major roadways. Emergency services are needlessly disrupted in the city during these snow events and the city wouldn’t need to get anywhere near Pittsburgh’s snow removal budget to make critical improvements.

    Pittsburgh’s steepest roads: http://iheartpgh.com/2006/02/20/pittsburgh-hills/

    Seattle’s steepest roads: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/steepest.htm

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730501627 Debbie Wiedemer

    A-fing-men. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730501627 Debbie Wiedemer

    This is so well written I need to pour another glass of wine just to toast you. A-f’ing-men.

  • daviek

    born and raised in the mid-atlantic.  lived through two blizzards in five days back in 2010 (40″ total, that didn’t melt until may).  does the chaos here make me laugh? sure it does.  but i get it.  this just doesn’t happen enough here for people, or infrastructure, to be adequately prepared for it.  until bruce wayne comes along and pays for 100 more plow trucks, this is what we get, and all you can do is deal with it.

  • daviek

    born and raised in the mid-atlantic.  lived through two blizzards in five days back in 2010 (40″ total, that didn’t melt until may).  does the chaos here make me laugh? sure it does.  but i get it.  this just doesn’t happen enough here for people, or infrastructure, to be adequately prepared for it.  until bruce wayne comes along and pays for 100 more plow trucks, this is what we get, and all you can do is deal with it.

  • Julie

    Amen! Loved the article. I grew up in snow and rough winters and one weekend a month year around travel across the state on I-90 to the remote NE corner of WA. I go over two more mountain passes higher than Snoqualmie before reaching my destination. The scariest part of my drive? The first four blocks off of Queen Anne. I agree with your challenge….the last two sentences. When I describe the actual detailed conditions to my road warrior Alaska, Midwest, rural WA friends they look suddenly solemn and say “oh”. Traveling down a very narrow one lane icy rutted unplowed vertical grade with cars on each side, and dashing children and pets and other pedestrians……really! You try it folks if you think it’s just inexperience.

  • Julie

    Amen! Loved the article. I grew up in snow and rough winters and one weekend a month year around travel across the state on I-90 to the remote NE corner of WA. I go over two more mountain passes higher than Snoqualmie before reaching my destination. The scariest part of my drive? The first four blocks off of Queen Anne. I agree with your challenge….the last two sentences. When I describe the actual detailed conditions to my road warrior Alaska, Midwest, rural WA friends they look suddenly solemn and say “oh”. Traveling down a very narrow one lane icy rutted unplowed vertical grade with cars on each side, and dashing children and pets and other pedestrians……really! You try it folks if you think it’s just inexperience.

  • Billy V

    I keep hearing that salting the roads is bad for Puget Sound, I have one observation and one question.  My Observation is that Puget Sound is Salt Water, Isn’t it?  It is connected to the Pacific.  My question is, does anyone ACTUALLY know of a study on the effects of road salt on freshwater creeks and streams?  I hear this assertion but I’ve never seen any proof.  Remember that when the salt is deployed there is literally millions of gallons or more of ice/snow on the grass, roofs, sidewalks and roads them selves that will eventually melt and that has to massively dilute and wash away the salt.  I’m willing to change my opinion on the whole salt thing but no one can ever show any proof from an actual study.  In Illinois we salt the heck out of the roads and we have creeks and streams and freshwater fish in them.  My dad used to fly fish all the time in Illinois rivers.

    I totally get that Seattle is really hilly in parts but I am aware of reasonably steep hills in Chicago in the Beverly neighborhood along a road called Longwood Drive.  Longwood runs parallel to the bottom of this ridge which was formed by the glaciers during the last ice age.  I remember it was so steep I had to walk my bike up it as a kid.  I know they salt the heck out of all the roads that come down that ridge (I’d say it is 2 miles long and there are at least 16 roads that go up/down that ridge).  I never recalled any trouble driving up/down those hills during snow or ice storms except in the very peak of the storm.  You really never thought about it.

    Why do people feel it is necessary to mention that in Seattle bridge decks freeze earlier and somehow that is a unique PNW thing.  Update, bridges freeze first EVERYWHERE in cold weather areas.  I don’t recall cars spinning out into Boston Harbor or the Chicago River.  Want to talk about narrow streets, lets talk about Boston.  Some of those streets were built for horses.

    As for the comment below about the neighbor, a recent Chicago transplant, sliding into his house, I’m willing to bet he never expected that cities would not salt the roads.  He expected the salt.  Or he could just be a goofball, who knows.

    • Sarah

      Dude, it’s called google. If you’re curious, look it up. It’s really not difficult to find scientific papers on the Internet, but don’t be a lazy ass and make other people do it for you. Sheesh.

  • Billy V

    I keep hearing that salting the roads is bad for Puget Sound, I have one observation and one question.  My Observation is that Puget Sound is Salt Water, Isn’t it?  It is connected to the Pacific.  My question is, does anyone ACTUALLY know of a study on the effects of road salt on freshwater creeks and streams?  I hear this assertion but I’ve never seen any proof.  Remember that when the salt is deployed there is literally millions of gallons or more of ice/snow on the grass, roofs, sidewalks and roads them selves that will eventually melt and that has to massively dilute and wash away the salt.  I’m willing to change my opinion on the whole salt thing but no one can ever show any proof from an actual study.  In Illinois we salt the heck out of the roads and we have creeks and streams and freshwater fish in them.  My dad used to fly fish all the time in Illinois rivers.

    I totally get that Seattle is really hilly in parts but I am aware of reasonably steep hills in Chicago in the Beverly neighborhood along a road called Longwood Drive.  Longwood runs parallel to the bottom of this ridge which was formed by the glaciers during the last ice age.  I remember it was so steep I had to walk my bike up it as a kid.  I know they salt the heck out of all the roads that come down that ridge (I’d say it is 2 miles long and there are at least 16 roads that go up/down that ridge).  I never recalled any trouble driving up/down those hills during snow or ice storms except in the very peak of the storm.  You really never thought about it.

    Why do people feel it is necessary to mention that in Seattle bridge decks freeze earlier and somehow that is a unique PNW thing.  Update, bridges freeze first EVERYWHERE in cold weather areas.  I don’t recall cars spinning out into Boston Harbor or the Chicago River.  Want to talk about narrow streets, lets talk about Boston.  Some of those streets were built for horses.

    As for the comment below about the neighbor, a recent Chicago transplant, sliding into his house, I’m willing to bet he never expected that cities would not salt the roads.  He expected the salt.  Or he could just be a goofball, who knows.

    • Sarah

      Dude, it’s called google. If you’re curious, look it up. It’s really not difficult to find scientific papers on the Internet, but don’t be a lazy ass and make other people do it for you. Sheesh.

  • Hematite13

    Ithaca, NY has more hills that are steeper. Also it is a maze of one way streets. Trying to park on a near 45 degree angle is a pain on a good day, much less on a day with a foot of snow.

    • sarah

      Way to ignore the point about the thawing and regressing, like a champ. It’s the combined factors that make Seattle treacherous, not just the hills. But go along feeling superior if it makes you happy.

  • Hematite13

    Ithaca, NY has more hills that are steeper. Also it is a maze of one way streets. Trying to park on a near 45 degree angle is a pain on a good day, much less on a day with a foot of snow.

    • sarah

      Way to ignore the point about the thawing and regressing, like a champ. It’s the combined factors that make Seattle treacherous, not just the hills. But go along feeling superior if it makes you happy.

  • Karensloane1

    THANK YOU!!!  I have been saying this for YEARS.  I am a midwestern transplant and an extremely good driver (I drive a stick and have driven back and forth cross country multiple times with nary an accident or mishap in all sorts of conditions), yet I’ve endured a fried clutch and multiple roadside strandings (whilst attempting to go dutifully back & forth to work) during the heinous Seattle snow events.  The hills make it treacherous, the inevitable ice makes it deadly.  I, too, am sooo sick of listening to quick-to-squackers going on & on about how stupid Seattle drivers are.  While I will admit that trying to go anywhere in your vehicle when conditions get as bad as they are right now IS stupid, even the best of drivers out there cannot compete with physics.  When the magic equation of hill grade, ice and gravity is met, you *will* slide down that hill, no matter how-many-wheel drive your vehicle is and regardless of whether or not you have chains on your tires.  I’ve watched chained up ambulences going .01 miles an hour sliding sideways in this city so, yeah.  STFU already.

  • Karensloane1

    THANK YOU!!!  I have been saying this for YEARS.  I am a midwestern transplant and an extremely good driver (I drive a stick and have driven back and forth cross country multiple times with nary an accident or mishap in all sorts of conditions), yet I’ve endured a fried clutch and multiple roadside strandings (whilst attempting to go dutifully back & forth to work) during the heinous Seattle snow events.  The hills make it treacherous, the inevitable ice makes it deadly.  I, too, am sooo sick of listening to quick-to-squackers going on & on about how stupid Seattle drivers are.  While I will admit that trying to go anywhere in your vehicle when conditions get as bad as they are right now IS stupid, even the best of drivers out there cannot compete with physics.  When the magic equation of hill grade, ice and gravity is met, you *will* slide down that hill, no matter how-many-wheel drive your vehicle is and regardless of whether or not you have chains on your tires.  I’ve watched chained up ambulences going .01 miles an hour sliding sideways in this city so, yeah.  STFU already.

  • Whatifoundpatterns

    I was born and raised here and am a careful, appropriate driver in snow. But I did a donut on Aurora once and man, that’ll make you humble.  

  • Whatifoundpatterns

    I was born and raised here and am a careful, appropriate driver in snow. But I did a donut on Aurora once and man, that’ll make you humble.  

  • Dave1x

    I’m one of those transplants from Detroit. I grew up driving on flat ice all winter. I would never attempt to drive on Queen Anne Hill in this in these conditions. I am amazed at the number of drivers that think they can conquer the hills in my Magnolia neighborhood. Transplant or not, A dumb driver is a dumb driver.

  • Dave1x

    I’m one of those transplants from Detroit. I grew up driving on flat ice all winter. I would never attempt to drive on Queen Anne Hill in this in these conditions. I am amazed at the number of drivers that think they can conquer the hills in my Magnolia neighborhood. Transplant or not, A dumb driver is a dumb driver.

  • Dave1x

    I’m one of those transplants from Detroit. I grew up driving on flat ice all winter. I would never attempt to drive on Queen Anne Hill in this in these conditions. I am amazed at the number of drivers that think they can conquer the hills in my Magnolia neighborhood. Transplant or not, A dumb driver is a dumb driver.

  • jini b

    =)

  • jini b

    =)

  • Jackallenhome

    Well done Art, cut the crap and get to the point … have always liked that about you.
    Driving in the snow is a decision based on perceived need at the time. Unless one is stranded the need is perceived. Common sense goes bye-bye. Getting caught in it is another story yet common sense goes bye-bye there too. Folks seem to not consider alternatives (way too many to list) before they act pretty much based on fear or over confidence. It bites ya right in the rear wheel drive…
    If you fear driving in the snow don’t do it. If you’re over confident in the snow be careful. Seattle is the most unique lesson you will ever experience driving in the snow.

  • Jackallenhome

    Well done Art, cut the crap and get to the point … have always liked that about you.
    Driving in the snow is a decision based on perceived need at the time. Unless one is stranded the need is perceived. Common sense goes bye-bye. Getting caught in it is another story yet common sense goes bye-bye there too. Folks seem to not consider alternatives (way too many to list) before they act pretty much based on fear or over confidence. It bites ya right in the rear wheel drive…
    If you fear driving in the snow don’t do it. If you’re over confident in the snow be careful. Seattle is the most unique lesson you will ever experience driving in the snow.

  • Guest
  • Guest
  • 48fan

    Great article, but I have one major issue: Either Jimmy Johnson, ex Dallas Cowboys coach, has a reputation for possessing mad skills behind the wheel, or you were referring to Jimmie Johnson, 4 time NASCAR champion. As a career sportswriter you should know how to spell his name. I apologize if an earlier commenter already pointed this out, I only read 20 of the comments.

  • 48fan

    Great article, but I have one major issue: Either Jimmy Johnson, ex Dallas Cowboys coach, has a reputation for possessing mad skills behind the wheel, or you were referring to Jimmie Johnson, 4 time NASCAR champion. As a career sportswriter you should know how to spell his name. I apologize if an earlier commenter already pointed this out, I only read 20 of the comments.

  • 48fan

    Oops! I meant 5 time champ, not 4.

  • 48fan

    Oops! I meant 5 time champ, not 4.

  • http://twitter.com/Dr_Nikolai ?Pinkhawk Derpmoyed?

    I’m an MN transplant. Pretty recent, but by no means unfamiliar with winters here. I learned to drive in snow, rain, ice, everything. I made it around the city just fine last year. I made it around the east-side just fine this year. I drove on Queen Anne, I now live on Education hill, and I took my normal steep route to the store today. No incident. Not to mention I work on the pass, so, I was up there when the road was literally so icy, I could have played a 30 mile long hockey game. Yeah, the roads here get astronomically bad. It’s the /most challenging winter driving I have yet to experience/, but it is by no means unmanageable through the use of common sense (and 4 wheel drive for when I don’t want to take the long way up a hill). Seattle drivers do make it worse by making poor decisions– such as: Driving up steep hills in 2WD cars without chains, Lane-straddling (encountered about 5 people doing this, including one at a double-left turn that in no way made moving part-way into my lane necessary), Stopping late at lights and stop signs (3 people in the last few days almost slid into me), getting stuck on plow-drifts (Helped a minivan get off one today because he was sticking way out into the road. Very dangerous) Not counter-steering when slipping (seen that one too many times), improper acceleration, improper steering practices… While many people here are competent and capable, this city is just plain full of bad driving. It’s due to the utter complacency of about 30-40% of the people on the roads & a lack of thought into decision-making that leads to people sliding backwards down hills and into other cars, people, light posts, etc. [Allstate did a study, Seattle came close to ranking in the worst 25% of drivers in the country, FYI] Also, some people are just unfamiliar with snow driving and/or woefully unprepared. I don’t know why. You would think in a city where, when it hits, it’s gnarly, people would actually drive like they are champs, yet, when it snows, this city turns into a joke. I’m sorry dude, but lots of Seattle drivers are wimps and make bad decisions. I avoid hills that are too steep. I walk further if I have to. I can take the bus if I need to. The people who try to drive down James street when it’s a sheet of ice are plainly just idiots. The people who drive 15 mph on the highway without their hazard lights on are just stupid wimps. The people who stay in their lane and drive well are people I can appreciate and are too few in this metro-area. I’m sorry. If people were actually smart they wouldn’t have to close the steepest of hills off in the first place. We’d know better, but we don’t. Your bitchy, whining argument is only a further testament to the kind of attitude that makes me scowl about how people conduct themselves in their vehicles here. So you know what Art? You shut the hell up. Do what every one of my /responsible/ friends do: don’t drive unless your car can handle it, take the bus, walk. Make smart decisions. The multitude of Youtube videos of people careening down hills are up there because people don’t make smart decisions here. Yes we get shit snow. Yes it’s icy as a glacier. Yes it’s effing hilly. Yes trees can cause variable road surfaces. That’s no excuse, period. I know when it’s too much for me, when it’s too slick, when it’s too steep. Until this city stops becoming a mockery of winter driving ability, people anywhere have the right to call us “Snow Wimps” or better yet “Ice Idiots”. Suck it up and deal with it.

  • http://twitter.com/Dr_Nikolai ♂Pinkhawk Derpmoyed♂

    I’m an MN transplant. Pretty recent, but by no means unfamiliar with winters here. I learned to drive in snow, rain, ice, everything. I made it around the city just fine last year. I made it around the east-side just fine this year. I drove on Queen Anne, I now live on Education hill, and I took my normal steep route to the store today. No incident. Not to mention I work on the pass, so, I was up there when the road was literally so icy, I could have played a 30 mile long hockey game. Yeah, the roads here get astronomically bad. It’s the /most challenging winter driving I have yet to experience/, but it is by no means unmanageable through the use of common sense (and 4 wheel drive for when I don’t want to take the long way up a hill). Seattle drivers do make it worse by making poor decisions– such as: Driving up steep hills in 2WD cars without chains, Lane-straddling (encountered about 5 people doing this, including one at a double-left turn that in no way made moving part-way into my lane necessary), Stopping late at lights and stop signs (3 people in the last few days almost slid into me), getting stuck on plow-drifts (Helped a minivan get off one today because he was sticking way out into the road. Very dangerous) Not counter-steering when slipping (seen that one too many times), improper acceleration, improper steering practices… While many people here are competent and capable, this city is just plain full of bad driving. It’s due to the utter complacency of about 30-40% of the people on the roads & a lack of thought into decision-making that leads to people sliding backwards down hills and into other cars, people, light posts, etc. [Allstate did a study, Seattle came close to ranking in the worst 25% of drivers in the country, FYI] Also, some people are just unfamiliar with snow driving and/or woefully unprepared. I don’t know why. You would think in a city where, when it hits, it’s gnarly, people would actually drive like they are champs, yet, when it snows, this city turns into a joke. I’m sorry dude, but lots of Seattle drivers are wimps and make bad decisions. I avoid hills that are too steep. I walk further if I have to. I can take the bus if I need to. The people who try to drive down James street when it’s a sheet of ice are plainly just idiots. The people who drive 15 mph on the highway without their hazard lights on are just stupid wimps. The people who stay in their lane and drive well are people I can appreciate and are too few in this metro-area. I’m sorry. If people were actually smart they wouldn’t have to close the steepest of hills off in the first place. We’d know better, but we don’t. Your bitchy, whining argument is only a further testament to the kind of attitude that makes me scowl about how people conduct themselves in their vehicles here. So you know what Art? You shut the hell up. Do what every one of my /responsible/ friends do: don’t drive unless your car can handle it, take the bus, walk. Make smart decisions. The multitude of Youtube videos of people careening down hills are up there because people don’t make smart decisions here. Yes we get shit snow. Yes it’s icy as a glacier. Yes it’s effing hilly. Yes trees can cause variable road surfaces. That’s no excuse, period. I know when it’s too much for me, when it’s too slick, when it’s too steep. Until this city stops becoming a mockery of winter driving ability, people anywhere have the right to call us “Snow Wimps” or better yet “Ice Idiots”. Suck it up and deal with it.

    tl;dr : Actually, no, lots of you do suck at driving here because you can’t tell when a hill is too steep to be driven. You’re a youtube joke. Grow up and take the criticism or learn to make good decisions. – MN transplant

  • Mama_D

    Sorry. I just went for a walk and witnessed people driving way too fast for the conditions, people stopping in 8 inches of snow and then trying to start again, people doing U Turns for no apparent reason on a snowy, slippery road. I get it. It is way different than New England where I grew up. There’s no plows, salt or sand, but it seems there is no common sense when driving in it either.  

  • Mama_D

    Sorry. I just went for a walk and witnessed people driving way too fast for the conditions, people stopping in 8 inches of snow and then trying to start again, people doing U Turns for no apparent reason on a snowy, slippery road. I get it. It is way different than New England where I grew up. There’s no plows, salt or sand, but it seems there is no common sense when driving in it either.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Troy-Carr/100001121108510 Troy Carr

    That’s about as accurate an assessment as they come.  The automobile was simply not made for the icy, hilly conditions we find here in the Pacific Northwest.  I humbly propose our region developing its own official vehicle, probably something with caterpillar tracks to manage both the terrain and conditions, but the Big Three would soon shoot me down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Troy-Carr/100001121108510 Troy Carr

    That’s about as accurate an assessment as they come.  The automobile was simply not made for the icy, hilly conditions we find here in the Pacific Northwest.  I humbly propose our region developing its own official vehicle, probably something with caterpillar tracks to manage both the terrain and conditions, but the Big Three would soon shoot me down.

  • Carey

    Once, newly and brashly arrived from Denver, I went sideways down an icy, snow covered Queen Ann street, praying all the way that when I reached the intersection far below, it would be clear. It was, and I vowed to never, ever to do anything that stupid again. That was 30 years ago, and I have managed to remain safe and alive by, smartly, never venturing out in the snow unless absolutely necessary. I’ve learned to drive in Seattle snow if I have to – but I have great fear of those who have newly arrived from somewhere else, and don’t have a clue.

  • Carey

    Once, newly and brashly arrived from Denver, I went sideways down an icy, snow covered Queen Ann street, praying all the way that when I reached the intersection far below, it would be clear. It was, and I vowed to never, ever to do anything that stupid again. That was 30 years ago, and I have managed to remain safe and alive by, smartly, never venturing out in the snow unless absolutely necessary. I’ve learned to drive in Seattle snow if I have to – but I have great fear of those who have newly arrived from somewhere else, and don’t have a clue.

  • Ryan

    I’ve driven in plenty of wintery conditions, including the Seattle cement.  I’d even say I’m pretty good at it.  The thing is never to be overconfident in your abilities either or you’ll end up losing like the Packers.

    If there’s a city to make fun of for their lack of driving abilities or even the ability to cope with snow it’s Washington, DC.  Hell, Allstate just ranked them the most dangerous drivers in America even without the snow.  They will panic and literally abandon their cars in the middle of a lane in the interstate when the white stuff comes down…and it snows multiple times EVERY year.  When it comes to Seattle, there’s nothing to laugh at.  Adding ice to some of those hills that feel like you’re basically in a controlled fall down a cliff, you’re just not going to get down in one piece.  I do think it’s funny that all the media gather at the bottom of Queen Anne during every snowstorm to film car crashes and there are always drivers willing to give them their film.  That’s definitely  one hill no one should attempt in any snowstorm.

  • Ryan

    I’ve driven in plenty of wintery conditions, including the Seattle cement.  I’d even say I’m pretty good at it.  The thing is never to be overconfident in your abilities either or you’ll end up losing like the Packers.

    If there’s a city to make fun of for their lack of driving abilities or even the ability to cope with snow it’s Washington, DC.  Hell, Allstate just ranked them the most dangerous drivers in America even without the snow.  They will panic and literally abandon their cars in the middle of a lane in the interstate when the white stuff comes down…and it snows multiple times EVERY year.  When it comes to Seattle, there’s nothing to laugh at.  Adding ice to some of those hills that feel like you’re basically in a controlled fall down a cliff, you’re just not going to get down in one piece.  I do think it’s funny that all the media gather at the bottom of Queen Anne during every snowstorm to film car crashes and there are always drivers willing to give them their film.  That’s definitely  one hill no one should attempt in any snowstorm.

  • Laura

    I used to live on the South Side in Pittsburgh, where this type of weather is fairly typical.  All I could think about as I saw the news about the Seattle snow was a) remember sitting out on the porch with hot chocolate praying the sliding cars wouldn’t sideswipe mine, and b) drivers knew from experience (not traffic controllers) to take hills/valley in Monroeville by turn, we would each wait at the top of the hill for the opposite hill driver to slide down the valley and snake back up before taking our turn.  Then I realized Seattle didn’t have the snow prep that Pittsburgh does and felt really, really sorry for them.

  • Laura

    I used to live on the South Side in Pittsburgh, where this type of weather is fairly typical.  All I could think about as I saw the news about the Seattle snow was a) remember sitting out on the porch with hot chocolate praying the sliding cars wouldn’t sideswipe mine, and b) drivers knew from experience (not traffic controllers) to take hills/valley in Monroeville by turn, we would each wait at the top of the hill for the opposite hill driver to slide down the valley and snake back up before taking our turn.  Then I realized Seattle didn’t have the snow prep that Pittsburgh does and felt really, really sorry for them.

  • JSatinT

    Thank you, so true!

  • JSatinT

    Thank you, so true!

  • Nickels1

    Feel better? Me too. Nobody drives very well in bad weather, especially during the first severe snow/ice of the year. True, we don’t get a lot of practice, but, we’re doing just fine today. thanks for ranting for me.

  • Nickels1

    Feel better? Me too. Nobody drives very well in bad weather, especially during the first severe snow/ice of the year. True, we don’t get a lot of practice, but, we’re doing just fine today. thanks for ranting for me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OOXAYVPNTXMIT2CYDKGKRINVS4 GizaCat1

    Good summary of why the Seattle-Tacoma area shuts down when it snows!   And the real “snow wimps” are indeed Southern Californians!  I-5 between Los Angeles and Kern County shuts down for snow regularly, and the CHP will escort white knuckled Angelenos through four inches of slush!  Now that’s “snow wimp” for sure!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OOXAYVPNTXMIT2CYDKGKRINVS4 GizaCat1

    Good summary of why the Seattle-Tacoma area shuts down when it snows!   And the real “snow wimps” are indeed Southern Californians!  I-5 between Los Angeles and Kern County shuts down for snow, and the CHP will escort white knuckled Angelenos through four inches of slush!  Now that’s “snow wimp” for sure!

  • Jon Osterberg

    Touche, Art! You’re preaching to the choir. I work for PEMCO Insurance, and I always remind people who call the local citizenry “snow wimps” these facts, which make Seattle a little different:

    -  Infrequent snow = infrequent practice at driving in snow.
    -  We often get wet, sloppy snow at around 32-35 degrees, = bad traction.
    -  We have many hills.
    -  We’re surrounded by water, presenting many bottlenecks.
    -  Infrequent snowfall = less snow-removal equipment.

    Thak you for bringing some sensibility to this topic!

    Jon Osterberg, PEMCO Insurance

  • Jon Osterberg

    Touche, Art! You’re preaching to the choir. I work for PEMCO Insurance, and I always remind people who call the local citizenry “snow wimps” these facts, which make Seattle a little different:

    -  Infrequent snow = infrequent practice at driving in snow.
    -  We often get wet, sloppy snow at around 32-35 degrees, = bad traction.
    -  We have many hills.
    -  We’re surrounded by water, presenting many bottlenecks.
    -  Infrequent snowfall = less snow-removal equipment.

    Thak you for bringing some sensibility to this topic!

    Jon Osterberg, PEMCO Insurance

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549674542 Ashling Cassandra de Brittain

    I was born in Washington, grew up on the West side, currently live on the East side.  I remember the winter storms of my childhood where the power was out for a week or more and we cooked our meals in the fireplace.  I remember learning to drive under the tutelage of my father who was a Seattle Police Officer.  I remember two weeks after getting my license making a trip with him to teach me how to drive in the snow, both the snow that falls in the Sound area and that which falls in Eastern Washington.  The most important lesson he taught me on that trip was to know *when* it was appropriate to go driving in the snow!

    I admit that it makes me want to grind my teeth when I see comments from those who have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to the weather in this state.  Lovely little gems like: “We feel bad for you folks. Well, no we don’t.  Signed: The Mid-West” and  ”We don’t either. Signed: Northern New England”  But I remind myself that karma is a real nasty thing to mess with, so the next time the weather bends those folks over a barrel, I will restrain my impulse to tell them how unsympathetic I am to their plight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549674542 Ashling Cassandra de Brittain

    I was born in Washington, grew up on the West side, currently live on the East side.  I remember the winter storms of my childhood where the power was out for a week or more and we cooked our meals in the fireplace.  I remember learning to drive under the tutelage of my father who was a Seattle Police Officer.  I remember two weeks after getting my license making a trip with him to teach me how to drive in the snow, both the snow that falls in the Sound area and that which falls in Eastern Washington.  The most important lesson he taught me on that trip was to know *when* it was appropriate to go driving in the snow!

    I admit that it makes me want to grind my teeth when I see comments from those who have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to the weather in this state.  Lovely little gems like: “We feel bad for you folks. Well, no we don’t.  Signed: The Mid-West” and  ”We don’t either. Signed: Northern New England”  But I remind myself that karma is a real nasty thing to mess with, so the next time the weather bends those folks over a barrel, I will restrain my impulse to tell them how unsympathetic I am to their plight.

  • Jill

    This was perfect. Thank you.

  • Jill

    This was perfect. Thank you.

  • Nnsignup
  • Nnsignup
  • Nnsignup
  • Paul Nelson

    Art, this is all good information, but I think there is something in the Seattle psyche that defaults to massive fear in a snowstorm. There are people who can’t drive in the snow that learn a lesson when they try. There are people who see the situation as martial law and drive through red lights, as if looting were to start next. (I saw this five times on a short drive yesterday from Hillman City to East Madison, then up Madison to 15th, then back to Hillman City.) Of course Queen Anne Hill and other steep hills are to be avoided in any snow and ESPECIALLY in freezing rain. The city closes most of the trouble spots anyway. But the city has never developed a serious response to snow removal. Plows on the front of garbage trucks are used in many towns, but maybe the next mayor will get it right.

  • Paul Nelson

    Art, this is all good information, but I think there is something in the Seattle psyche that defaults to massive fear in a snowstorm. There are people who can’t drive in the snow that learn a lesson when they try. There are people who see the situation as martial law and drive through red lights, as if looting were to start next. (I saw this five times on a short drive yesterday from Hillman City to East Madison, then up Madison to 15th, then back to Hillman City.) Of course Queen Anne Hill and other steep hills are to be avoided in any snow and ESPECIALLY in freezing rain. The city closes most of the trouble spots anyway. But the city has never developed a serious response to snow removal. Plows on the front of garbage trucks are used in many towns, but maybe the next mayor will get it right.

  • Anonymous

    As someone who lived in Chicago, Atlanta, DC, San Francisco, and NYC – and has visited the same cities Art mentioned in winter – I think the main difference is that, while every city has a percentage of knuckleheads who think their AWD acts as some sort of magical snow/ice-cancelling device, our equally small percentage here simply has more opportunity to create massive problems for the scores of careful drivers around them. One over-reaching guy in a feather-light Honda, equipped with what Costco assured him were the ultimate all-season radials, can get sideways on a tiny hill and snarl traffic for blocks around. I saw this graphically on Bainbridge, where they irrationally see closing schools as some sort of badge of weakness, with dozens of soccer moms and dads sliding into the ditches along the west end of High School Road while trying to get Hjalmar and Ragna to first period Pop Culture 101. Now that I live in Bellevoid, the problem is worse because of the Captain of the Universe guys who treat media pleas to stay off icy roads as an affront to their manhood. I’ve spent several happy hours pushing dorks like this off patches of ice this week and responded to each grudging “Thank you” with “Get some chains or stay home.”

    I don’t like missing work any more than anyone else does but what would be worse, getting behind in my attempts to supply the world with wine or being in Harborview for a month, in traction? We live in a beautiful but treacherous place and common sense is required to deal with it, sometimes. We DO have extreme weather here, sometimes, despite the common perception. Chicago, The Windy City? Having lived there for three years, I can tell ya there was never, for ten minutes, a wiund storm as violent as the election day storm back in the late 90s when I stupidly rode the ferry and, as it rolled, could see only water out of the windows on one side and then on the other. I’ll empathize about tornadoes and wildfires and like that. When it comes to winter extremes, the rest of the country can visit for a week and see how they do in it.

  • StephenBody

    As someone who lived in Chicago, Atlanta, DC, San Francisco, and NYC – and has visited the same cities Art mentioned in winter – I think the main difference is that, while every city has a percentage of knuckleheads who think their AWD acts as some sort of magical snow/ice-cancelling device, our equally small percentage here simply has more opportunity to create massive problems for the scores of careful drivers around them. One over-reaching guy in a feather-light Honda, equipped with what Costco assured him were the ultimate all-season radials, can get sideways on a tiny hill and snarl traffic for blocks around. I saw this graphically on Bainbridge, where they irrationally see closing schools as some sort of badge of weakness, with dozens of soccer moms and dads sliding into the ditches along the west end of High School Road while trying to get Hjalmar and Ragna to first period Pop Culture 101. Now that I live in Bellevoid, the problem is worse because of the Captain of the Universe guys who treat media pleas to stay off icy roads as an affront to their manhood. I’ve spent several happy hours pushing dorks like this off patches of ice this week and responded to each grudging “Thank you” with “Get some chains or stay home.”

    I don’t like missing work any more than anyone else does but what would be worse, getting behind in my attempts to supply the world with wine or being in Harborview for a month, in traction? We live in a beautiful but treacherous place and common sense is required to deal with it, sometimes. We DO have extreme weather here, sometimes, despite the common perception. Chicago, The Windy City? Having lived there for three years, I can tell ya there was never, for ten minutes, a wiund storm as violent as the election day storm back in the late 90s when I stupidly rode the ferry and, as it rolled, could see only water out of the windows on one side and then on the other. I’ll empathize about tornadoes and wildfires and like that. When it comes to winter extremes, the rest of the country can visit for a week and see how they do in it.

  • Dianap

    WORD!!!!!
    Thank you….my sentiments exactly…….I laugh when down in So. Cal and rain hits while on the 405……….literally brings the trafic to a full blown stop……..traffic collisions…and idiots drivers loose it…..
    Thank you for your perfect insight on the LA comment….Teh ”Snow WIMP” comment really chapped my Western Washington hide!!

  • Dianap

    WORD!!!!!
    Thank you….my sentiments exactly…….I laugh when down in So. Cal and rain hits while on the 405……….literally brings the trafic to a full blown stop……..traffic collisions…and idiots drivers loose it…..
    Thank you for your perfect insight on the LA comment….Teh ”Snow WIMP” comment really chapped my Western Washington hide!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamdali David Linstad

    Thank you Art. Oh and let’s not forget LA’s Carmageddon last summer that snarled the entire So Cal area is sounded like all because of one little weekend freeway construction project.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamdali David Linstad

    Thank you Art. Oh and let’s not forget LA’s Carmageddon last summer that snarled the entire So Cal area is sounded like all because of one little weekend freeway construction project.

  • Kurt

    So it’s apparently impossible to drive in the snow out there… and yet, people still try? So they’re not snow wimps; instead, they are just snow morons. I’m not sure which is worse.

  • Kurt

    So it’s apparently impossible to drive in the snow out there… and yet, people still try? So they’re not snow wimps; instead, they are just snow morons. I’m not sure which is worse.

  • schneider

    Art,

    More wonderful than usual.
    As I sit here in Des Moines – my car iced in the driveway and no power for the second day, your golden words warmed this chilly house up.
    I’ve sent it on to several dozen weather whimps on the East Coast and heartland and to my visiting daughter.

    The camping stove has broduced a pot of somewhat acceptible-tasting coffee so as long as the batery on the iPad last, we will survive. .

  • schneider

    Art,

    More wonderful than usual.
    As I sit here in Des Moines – my car iced in the driveway and no power for the second day, your golden words warmed this chilly house up.
    I’ve sent it on to several dozen weather whimps on the East Coast and heartland and to my visiting daughter.

    The camping stove has broduced a pot of somewhat acceptible-tasting coffee so as long as the batery on the iPad last, we will survive. .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1461123362 Jen Taylor

    Thanks for this response!  I’m glad to see real professional writers in the media responding to these ridiculous and uncalled for name callings by folks from the L.A. Times.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1461123362 Jen Taylor

    Thanks for this response!  I’m glad to see real professional writers in the media responding to these ridiculous and uncalled for name callings by folks from the L.A. Times.

  • Jdrutland69

    It made us look stupid cause how come eastern washington gets more snow then we do function ok but two inches and it’s state of emergency. That basically tells everyone that half our state can handle snow. Now look at that sentence HALF OUR STATE. I’m from here and I’m ashamed.

    • Michael

      Did you even read the article?  Eastern Washington is FLAT.  Downtown Seattle is NOT.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000107572383 Doug Davis

        If you think Eastern Washington is flat, you’ve never been here!

        • Chris Harmon

          it may not be flat but there sure isn’t the level of traffic to compete for roadspace with

    • Coppertop

      Have you ever been to Eastern WA?  It is actually flat compared to the hills that we deal with in Metro Seattle, Tacoma, etc.  I drive both sides of the state all the time (even during winter), and can say without a doubt that the snow consistency is much drier over there, and the locals are using studded tires.  Given the rarity of the heavy, wet snow we deal with here, it just doesn’t make sense for us to use the same kind of tires they do over there. I lived in Chicago for several years and found that even the boots I used there didn’t provide the type of traction I needed here.

  • Jdrutland69

    It made us look stupid cause how come eastern washington gets more snow then we do function ok but two inches and it’s state of emergency. That basically tells everyone that half our state can handle snow. Now look at that sentence HALF OUR STATE. I’m from here and I’m ashamed.

    • Michael

      Did you even read the article?  Eastern Washington is FLAT.  Downtown Seattle is NOT.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000107572383 Doug Davis

        If you think Eastern Washington is flat, you’ve never been here!

        • Chris Harmon

          it may not be flat but there sure isn’t the level of traffic to compete for roadspace with

    • Coppertop

      Have you ever been to Eastern WA?  It is actually flat compared to the hills that we deal with in Metro Seattle, Tacoma, etc.  I drive both sides of the state all the time (even during winter), and can say without a doubt that the snow consistency is much drier over there, and the locals are using studded tires.  Given the rarity of the heavy, wet snow we deal with here, it just doesn’t make sense for us to use the same kind of tires they do over there. I lived in Chicago for several years and found that even the boots I used there didn’t provide the type of traction I needed here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=722928386 Anne-Caroline Acey Sieffert

    Hum, obviously your credentials aren’t as good as you think they are–or you have never been to Providence, RI. True story: there is a house on Benefit Street here which has slabs of granite in front. Why? Because one winter a truck was driving down College Hill to the train station, and because of the ice and snow, it went directly through the house.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=722928386 Anne-Caroline Acey Sieffert

    Hum, obviously your credentials aren’t as good as you think they are–or you have never been to Providence, RI. True story: there is a house on Benefit Street here which has slabs of granite in front. Why? Because one winter a truck was driving down College Hill to the train station, and because of the ice and snow, it went directly through the house.

  • Knowles-Tuell

    I spent the first half of my life in or near Seattle, and I learned (sometimes by trial and error) how to drive in snow and the icy conditions.  I’ve spent the second half of my life on the East Coast, from South Carolina to Albany, NY.  The schools close in Columbia, South Carolina (a flat city) if there is a threat – not actual snow, just a forecast – of snow (even 1 – 3 inches), and people panic if there is more than an inch on the ground.  And, as another commenter noted, the traffic in Washington DC is bad without snow and gets horrendous once it snows.  I now live in the Albany area, and we had a total of more than 7 feet of snow last winter.  There were plenty of traffic snarls and accidents, and only in downtown Albany are there many hills, and none as long or steep as Seattle.  Even with better plows, salting, etc., I didn’t find the drivers to be any better than Seattle drivers.  Yes, as one commentator said, whether we live in Seattle or Albany or Chicago or Dallas, we ought to use our brains a bit more, but it is fair to say that, if we don’t experience it on a nearly annual basis (as Albany and Chicago and Washington DC do) we have less opportunity to learn by either observation or experience.  At the very least, Seattlites ought not to be called wimps for their snow driving habits!

  • Knowles-Tuell

    I spent the first half of my life in or near Seattle, and I learned (sometimes by trial and error) how to drive in snow and the icy conditions.  I’ve spent the second half of my life on the East Coast, from South Carolina to Albany, NY.  The schools close in Columbia, South Carolina (a flat city) if there is a threat – not actual snow, just a forecast – of snow (even 1 – 3 inches), and people panic if there is more than an inch on the ground.  And, as another commenter noted, the traffic in Washington DC is bad without snow and gets horrendous once it snows.  I now live in the Albany area, and we had a total of more than 7 feet of snow last winter.  There were plenty of traffic snarls and accidents, and only in downtown Albany are there many hills, and none as long or steep as Seattle.  Even with better plows, salting, etc., I didn’t find the drivers to be any better than Seattle drivers.  Yes, as one commentator said, whether we live in Seattle or Albany or Chicago or Dallas, we ought to use our brains a bit more, but it is fair to say that, if we don’t experience it on a nearly annual basis (as Albany and Chicago and Washington DC do) we have less opportunity to learn by either observation or experience.  At the very least, Seattlites ought not to be called wimps for their snow driving habits!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001891434385 Debi Wong

    I would imagine San Francisco would be in a similar situation if they had received a snow dump there.  Before I left CA in 1977, I had experienced 2 snowstorms and it completely paralyzed the city.

    I lived in Seattle from ’86-02 and will return in April.  They don’t get the frequency of snowstorms to warrant a large fleet of plows and the heavy wet snow they get is much harder to push around and dispose of than the lighter, dryer snow we get in northern New England where I am now.  Good article!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001891434385 Debi Wong

    I would imagine San Francisco would be in a similar situation if they had received a snow dump there.  Before I left CA in 1977, I had experienced 2 snowstorms and it completely paralyzed the city.

    I lived in Seattle from ’86-02 and will return in April.  They don’t get the frequency of snowstorms to warrant a large fleet of plows and the heavy wet snow they get is much harder to push around and dispose of than the lighter, dryer snow we get in northern New England where I am now.  Good article!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000107572383 Doug Davis

    We talk about Westsiders like that all the time in Eastern Washington. But come to think about it, we make fun of Westside drivers year round!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000107572383 Doug Davis

    We talk about Westsiders like that all the time in Eastern Washington. But come to think about it, we make fun of Westside drivers year round!

  • Degsme

    Bullpucky…. Troy NY is as hilly, Montpelier VT is as hilly, Most of Colorado is as hilly,  the suburbs of NY, Reno etc. etc. etc.

    Seattle drivers are bozos.  I’ve made it up and down the steepest hills in Seattle for almost 30 years in the snow with skills learned driving growing up outside of NY and have NEVER had an accident in the snow. 

    Yes you have to adapt your technique… and more importantly you have to PAY ATTENTION TO DRIVING.. something seattlites have difficulty doing even on a Latte binged summer commute.Your rant might have a point if Seattle could deal with other types of inclement weather but we get pile ups from Too Much Sun or when it rains after not having rained, or when the wind blows some froth across the 520, or when it starts to get dark earlier, or when it stays light later.

    As a city we are bozos when it comes to driving

    • Sarah

      …none of those cities are the same size as Seattle. They’re much smaller.

  • Degsme

    Bullpucky…. Troy NY is as hilly, Montpelier VT is as hilly, Most of Colorado is as hilly,  the suburbs of NY, Reno etc. etc. etc.

    Seattle drivers are bozos.  I’ve made it up and down the steepest hills in Seattle for almost 30 years in the snow with skills learned driving growing up outside of NY and have NEVER had an accident in the snow. 

    Yes you have to adapt your technique… and more importantly you have to PAY ATTENTION TO DRIVING.. something seattlites have difficulty doing even on a Latte binged summer commute.Your rant might have a point if Seattle could deal with other types of inclement weather but we get pile ups from Too Much Sun or when it rains after not having rained, or when the wind blows some froth across the 520, or when it starts to get dark earlier, or when it stays light later.

    As a city we are bozos when it comes to driving

    • Sarah

      …none of those cities are the same size as Seattle. They’re much smaller.

  • Not impressed

    I have lived in 32 states(military brat/ military serviceman). These drivers are by far the worst at snow. Seattle latte hippys need to harden up. Teaching my kindergarten class how to tie their shoes was tougher then this.
    4 X 4 is like an adult night light. You only need it if you are scared. When you grow up and realize you don’t have to be scared…you know you don’t need it.

    • Bluebeehatch

      I grew up in Cleveland and went to school in the midwest.  Funny how the vehicles most often on the side of a snowy highway were 4 X 4s, probably from “adults” who felt they didn’t “need it.”  Of course, those were all probably winter vacationers from the great NW, right?

  • Not impressed

    I have lived in 32 states(military brat/ military serviceman). These drivers are by far the worst at snow. Seattle latte hippys need to harden up. Teaching my kindergarten class how to tie their shoes was tougher then this.
    4 X 4 is like an adult night light. You only need it if you are scared. When you grow up and realize you don’t have to be scared…you know you don’t need it.

    • Bluebeehatch

      I grew up in Cleveland and went to school in the midwest.  Funny how the vehicles most often on the side of a snowy highway were 4 X 4s, probably from “adults” who felt they didn’t “need it.”  Of course, those were all probably winter vacationers from the great NW, right?

  • Magnolia Mayor

    Art, yes, the LA folks have no street cred on the topic, but, I’m not sure a native of Tacoma can comment dispassionately.

    Seattle is the land pusillanimous snow drivers…

  • Magnolia Mayor

    Art, yes, the LA folks have no street cred on the topic, but, I’m not sure a native of Tacoma can comment dispassionately.

    Seattle is the land pusillanimous snow drivers…

  • Brady_wright

    Thanks Art.  As a Seattle native, 4WD owner who doesn’t use chains, and a successful driver of more winters here than most, I, too, have been to many other locales in winter.  No comparison.  With 7 or 8 major and several dozen minor hills of at least 750 feet in height, and all the surrounding water features, shaded areas and crowned roads, I would almost pay to import a few Los Angelinos, rent ‘em a Toyota and turn them loose on the streets at about 10th and Cherry.  Who’d be the stars of the next Youtube video THEN?

  • Brady_wright

    Thanks Art.  As a Seattle native, 4WD owner who doesn’t use chains, and a successful driver of more winters here than most, I, too, have been to many other locales in winter.  No comparison.  With 7 or 8 major and several dozen minor hills of at least 750 feet in height, and all the surrounding water features, shaded areas and crowned roads, I would almost pay to import a few Los Angelinos, rent ‘em a Toyota and turn them loose on the streets at about 10th and Cherry.  Who’d be the stars of the next Youtube video THEN?

  • Gregb

    AMEN

  • Cabugge

    I always laugh when people out of Montana or the Northwest say they know how to drive in the snow and don’t understand why Seattleittes can’t.  Usually, I find out later they had a ‘small’ accident in the snow.
    What’s up with the semi drivers this year?  They are in the ditches everywhere.

  • Gregb

    AMEN

  • Cabugge

    I always laugh when people out of Montana or the Northwest say they know how to drive in the snow and don’t understand why Seattleittes can’t.  Usually, I find out later they had a ‘small’ accident in the snow.
    What’s up with the semi drivers this year?  They are in the ditches everywhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/discorax Ryan C Davidson

    I ? Art!! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/discorax Ryan C Davidson

    I ♥ Art!! 

  • Spoonman840

    Very good article Art, unfortunately you’ve touched on only part of the problem.  I’m gonna hit on a big point (but again only part of the problem as well):  People put WAAAAAY too much faith in their 4WD and AWD cars here. 

    I’m a Seattle Native and have witnessed all kinds of craziness on the roads over the years, both in and outside of the city limits.  Currently I live in Edmonds and have over the last three days personally witnessed people drive at optimal-condition speeds in their Audis and Subarus thinking that they’re gonna be just fine cause the dealer that sold them the thing told them so.Fact is, folks, the two biggest things you need while driving around up here (and yes, easterners bring up a good point) is common sense and to schedule your time wisely.  Simple as that.
    My full time car is a 2000 TJ Wrangler with the option to kick it into 4WD and the recent addition some chains for this weather.  Even with all this help, I still take my time and stay alert, figure the best alternate routes with the least amount of hills, and give myself plenty of time to get to my destination with the possibility of me still not getting there.
    True there are many who work more than one job and need the income, all it takes is a little planning and communication.  If your employer is unaware or uncaring to your predicament-oh well, it’d be better in the long run to be a little late or call it in rather than put your life and property (and others as well) at risk.

  • Spoonman840

    Very good article Art, unfortunately you’ve touched on only part of the problem.  I’m gonna hit on a big point (but again only part of the problem as well):  People put WAAAAAY too much faith in their 4WD and AWD cars here. 

    I’m a Seattle Native and have witnessed all kinds of craziness on the roads over the years, both in and outside of the city limits.  Currently I live in Edmonds and have over the last three days personally witnessed people drive at optimal-condition speeds in their Audis and Subarus thinking that they’re gonna be just fine cause the dealer that sold them the thing told them so.Fact is, folks, the two biggest things you need while driving around up here (and yes, easterners bring up a good point) is common sense and to schedule your time wisely.  Simple as that.
    My full time car is a 2000 TJ Wrangler with the option to kick it into 4WD and the recent addition some chains for this weather.  Even with all this help, I still take my time and stay alert, figure the best alternate routes with the least amount of hills, and give myself plenty of time to get to my destination with the possibility of me still not getting there.
    True there are many who work more than one job and need the income, all it takes is a little planning and communication.  If your employer is unaware or uncaring to your predicament-oh well, it’d be better in the long run to be a little late or call it in rather than put your life and property (and others as well) at risk.

  • Snow driver

    Great article! I grew up in Idaho where we had constant snow.  Drove to school, drove skiing, drove everywhere. I still drive skiing and have a Subaru for that reason.  But now I live on Magnolia hill.  I just tried to drive out, thinking there wasn’t that much snow and that I only had to get four blocks down the hill, and I immediately slid into a snowbank, luckily not hitting any other cars. You are right, it’s simple physics.  Ice and hills. Yes, there are foolish people out there who try to drive when they shouldn’t. But even experienced snow drivers know when to hang it up and stop.  I promptly moved my car to the side of the street with the help of a neighbor and will try to work from home.  LA folks can tell us how to deal with forest fires, but the snow comments are crazy.

  • Snow driver

    Great article! I grew up in Idaho where we had constant snow.  Drove to school, drove skiing, drove everywhere. I still drive skiing and have a Subaru for that reason.  But now I live on Magnolia hill.  I just tried to drive out, thinking there wasn’t that much snow and that I only had to get four blocks down the hill, and I immediately slid into a snowbank, luckily not hitting any other cars. You are right, it’s simple physics.  Ice and hills. Yes, there are foolish people out there who try to drive when they shouldn’t. But even experienced snow drivers know when to hang it up and stop.  I promptly moved my car to the side of the street with the help of a neighbor and will try to work from home.  LA folks can tell us how to deal with forest fires, but the snow comments are crazy.

  • Crowding

    “no downtown that receives snow is as hilly as Seattle”

    Pittsburgh is. But they get more practice and infrastructure for snow too.

  • Crowding

    “no downtown that receives snow is as hilly as Seattle”

    Pittsburgh is. But they get more practice and infrastructure for snow too.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6Y5WBEYPT2AMGQLJEBNSL6PTLY bubbaries

    Finally Someone smart. Shame that’s a rarity nowadays

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6Y5WBEYPT2AMGQLJEBNSL6PTLY bubbaries

    Finally Someone smart. Shame that’s a rarity nowadays

  • Canuck

    Although typically Vancouver BC, which is quite similar to Seattle in geography, handles snow events much better.  One big reason is that many municipal vehicles, although not dedicated snow removal equipment, can be converted readily should the need arise (oil coolers, hydraulic lifts, etc. don’t add much to the cost of the purchase cost of the vehicles)  You see garbage trucks and other maintenance vehicles doing double duty as snowplows during storms.

  • Canuck

    Although typically Vancouver BC, which is quite similar to Seattle in geography, handles snow events much better.  One big reason is that many municipal vehicles, although not dedicated snow removal equipment, can be converted readily should the need arise (oil coolers, hydraulic lifts, etc. don’t add much to the cost of the purchase cost of the vehicles)  You see garbage trucks and other maintenance vehicles doing double duty as snowplows during storms.

  • Cmbducks

    You really need to come to Cincinnati to witness a winter storm. For a place that gets snow every winter, we don’t deal with it well.  First, once the snow is predicted, there is the mad dash to the grocery to buy bread, milk and whatever other items you consider essential (e.g., beer, potato chips, etc.) if you’re going to be confined for more than 24 hours – we’re talking about having to stalk the people exiting the store for their parking spot.  If it is the first snow of the year, everyone drives like they’ve never been in snow before – EVER.  We have hills to rival Seattle – and they’re on the freeways as well as residential streets.  It only takes a little snow or ice on an untreated freeway hill to back traffic up for miles.  We feel your pain Seattle and we’ve heard those people who come here from Minnesota and upstate New York and wonder why snow sends us into a panic

  • Cmbducks

    You really need to come to Cincinnati to witness a winter storm. For a place that gets snow every winter, we don’t deal with it well.  First, once the snow is predicted, there is the mad dash to the grocery to buy bread, milk and whatever other items you consider essential (e.g., beer, potato chips, etc.) if you’re going to be confined for more than 24 hours – we’re talking about having to stalk the people exiting the store for their parking spot.  If it is the first snow of the year, everyone drives like they’ve never been in snow before – EVER.  We have hills to rival Seattle – and they’re on the freeways as well as residential streets.  It only takes a little snow or ice on an untreated freeway hill to back traffic up for miles.  We feel your pain Seattle and we’ve heard those people who come here from Minnesota and upstate New York and wonder why snow sends us into a panic

  • Terry D. Moore

    Thank you Art!! Well written. So there.

  • Terry D. Moore

    Thank you Art!! Well written. So there.

  • Voice of Reason

    A lot of you people criticizing Seattle/PNW drivers don’t make any sense. First you say that we ought to have sense enough to know better than to drive up/down hills in the snow, or to try to drive when we don’t have any experience in the snow. Then your turn around and criticize us because the city shuts down. HELLO! The city is shut down BECAUSE most of us don’t try to drive in it since it is nearly impossible to avoid steep hills, or we just don’t feel comfortable driving in it.

    If we shouldn’t drive in it, then the city SHOULD shut down. If you think we should try to drive in it, you’re just an idiot.

    Either way, your criticisms make no sense.

  • Voice of Reason

    A lot of you people criticizing Seattle/PNW drivers don’t make any sense. First you say that we ought to have sense enough to know better than to drive up/down hills in the snow, or to try to drive when we don’t have any experience in the snow. Then your turn around and criticize us because the city shuts down. HELLO! The city is shut down BECAUSE most of us don’t try to drive in it since it is nearly impossible to avoid steep hills, or we just don’t feel comfortable driving in it.

    If we shouldn’t drive in it, then the city SHOULD shut down. If you think we should try to drive in it, you’re just an idiot.

    Either way, your criticisms make no sense.

  • Voice of Reason

    A lot of you people criticizing Seattle/PNW drivers don’t make any sense. First you say that we ought to have sense enough to know better than to drive up/down hills in the snow, or to try to drive when we don’t have any experience in the snow. Then your turn around and criticize us because the city shuts down. HELLO! The city is shut down BECAUSE most of us don’t try to drive in it since it is nearly impossible to avoid steep hills, or we just don’t feel comfortable driving in it.

    If we shouldn’t drive in it, then the city SHOULD shut down. If you think we should try to drive in it, you’re just an idiot.

    Either way, your criticisms make no sense.

  • WWNative

    THANK YOU ART!  People need to realize the “freeze-thaw-freeze” cycle, abundance of hills, and people who seem to think 4 wheel drive helps you stop… all contribute to the joys of winter driving in Seattle. 

  • WWNative

    THANK YOU ART!  People need to realize the “freeze-thaw-freeze” cycle, abundance of hills, and people who seem to think 4 wheel drive helps you stop… all contribute to the joys of winter driving in Seattle. 

  • WWNative

    THANK YOU ART!  People need to realize the “freeze-thaw-freeze” cycle, abundance of hills, and people who seem to think 4 wheel drive helps you stop… all contribute to the joys of winter driving in Seattle. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/carolyn.gimarelli Carolyn Gimarelli

    I have also live in the Pacific NW and the Midwest, and visited Alaska in the dead of winter for 3 months. Nothing compares to the PNW snow. End of story. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/carolyn.gimarelli Carolyn Gimarelli

    I have also live in the Pacific NW and the Midwest, and visited Alaska in the dead of winter for 3 months. Nothing compares to the PNW snow. End of story. 

  • Cgschwark

    Wimps. Any Great Lakes area driver knows how to avoid the worst roads. There are more than one road there too. Shut down a whole city for 4″ of snow what a waste. 12″ or 14″ of snow with 40mph winds ; 4 ft. Drifts ; tough. Work has to be done. Seattle; do like some cities do. Get plows and salt spreaders fitted to your garbage trucks. You do what you have to do. But shut down a whole city for 4″of snow. WIMPS!

    • Guest

      Considering we get snows like this only every 3-4 years or so, it would be a colossal financial waste to invest in plows and salt spreaders on garbage trucks.  Those are tools we simply don’t need 90% of winters.

  • Cgschwark

    Wimps. Any Great Lakes area driver knows how to avoid the worst roads. There are more than one road there too. Shut down a whole city for 4″ of snow what a waste. 12″ or 14″ of snow with 40mph winds ; 4 ft. Drifts ; tough. Work has to be done. Seattle; do like some cities do. Get plows and salt spreaders fitted to your garbage trucks. You do what you have to do. But shut down a whole city for 4″of snow. WIMPS!

    • Guest

      Considering we get snows like this only every 3-4 years or so, it would be a colossal financial waste to invest in plows and salt spreaders on garbage trucks.  Those are tools we simply don’t need 90% of winters.

  • Handcarved55

    Art Thiel, thanks for the good thinking and writing that went into that post!  As a transplanted Coloradoan, here now for seven years and loving it all, I will cease any disparaging thoughts about how much snow affects anyone else locally.  I have seen the effects of changing weather off the water, ice-laden branches, irregular patches of snow and ice, and how treacherous the hills can be for anyone out in it here…even walking! 

  • Handcarved55

    Art Thiel, thanks for the good thinking and writing that went into that post!  As a transplanted Coloradoan, here now for seven years and loving it all, I will cease any disparaging thoughts about how much snow affects anyone else locally.  I have seen the effects of changing weather off the water, ice-laden branches, irregular patches of snow and ice, and how treacherous the hills can be for anyone out in it here…even walking! 

  • seattlecantdriveinsnowbychoice

    Art : “A driver atop Queen Anne Hill, after a typical snow-melt-refreeze-snow
    cycle as we’ve seen this week, simply has no chance to get to the bottom
    of the hill without sideswiping half the parked cars en route. Pure
    physics, friends. Not driving skill.”

    BS. Get real tires, and learn to drive. Watch this :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GnecnBNefw&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    basically if you live in a town that gets snow… do any 1 of the following 3 :

    1. Pay taxes to afford snowplows + salt trucks so the road is clear.
    2. Get real tires and learn to drive.
    3. Be quiet and stay home, and out of the way of those who chose option 2.

    I lived in Seattle for more than 10 years

    • RealityCheck

      Funny, I scrubbed through that whole video (of people driving modified cars on a FLAT frozen lake with specially- designed tires bearing studs that would need to be removed as quickly as chains on dry pavement – how convenient) and I must have missed the part where you drove down Queen Anne hill successfully. Darn. I really wanted to see your mad skills. Let us know when that video gets posted.

      • seattlecantdriveinsnowbychoice

        Look right above this thread genius.

      • seattlecantdriveinsnowbychoice

        Many of the cars in video were *racing* on a frozen lake (talk about ice) on non-studded winter tires. It was a competition of speed… and those guys would have zero problems anywhere in seattle… any road.

  • seattlecantdriveinsnowbychoice

    Art : “A driver atop Queen Anne Hill, after a typical snow-melt-refreeze-snow
    cycle as we’ve seen this week, simply has no chance to get to the bottom
    of the hill without sideswiping half the parked cars en route. Pure
    physics, friends. Not driving skill.”

    BS. Get real tires, and learn to drive. Watch this :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GnecnBNefw&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    basically if you live in a town that gets snow… do any 1 of the following 3 :

    1. Pay taxes to afford snowplows + salt trucks so the road is clear.
    2. Get real tires and learn to drive.
    3. Be quiet and stay home, and out of the way of those who chose option 2.

    I lived in Seattle for more than 10 years

    • RealityCheck

      Funny, I scrubbed through that whole video (of people driving modified cars on a FLAT frozen lake with specially- designed tires bearing studs that would need to be removed as quickly as chains on dry pavement – how convenient) and I must have missed the part where you drove down Queen Anne hill successfully. Darn. I really wanted to see your mad skills. Let us know when that video gets posted.

      • seattlecantdriveinsnowbychoice

        Look right above this thread genius.

      • seattlecantdriveinsnowbychoice

        Many of the cars in video were *racing* on a frozen lake (talk about ice) on non-studded winter tires. It was a competition of speed… and those guys would have zero problems anywhere in seattle… any road.

  • Tortilla Flat

    Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Tortilla Flat

    Thank you thank you thank you.

  • NotTooCheapToBuySnowTires

    Here’s my video response to this:  
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=506Deq4xgs8

    Seattle residents are either too cheap or too ignorant to have the proper equipment for winter driving.

    • seattlecantdriveinsnowbychoice

      Well done!

    • VicE

      I like the Subaru, but c’mon, driving on this hill was easy.  Plenty of snow (vs. sheet of ice) and not steep at all.     

      • NotTooCheapToBuySnowTires

        I’m curious what grade you think that hill that I started up from a complete stop was?  Also, this was on Thursday in N. Seattle.  So it’s 2+” of snow, a 1/8th inch sheet of ice from melting a little and then refreezing, and then 2+” inches of snow.  

  • NotTooCheapToBuySnowTires

    Here’s my video response to this:  
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=506Deq4xgs8

    Seattle residents are either too cheap or too ignorant to have the proper equipment for winter driving.

    • seattlecantdriveinsnowbychoice

      Well done!

    • VicE

      I like the Subaru, but c’mon, driving on this hill was easy.  Plenty of snow (vs. sheet of ice) and not steep at all.     

      • NotTooCheapToBuySnowTires

        I’m curious what grade you think that hill that I started up from a complete stop was?  Also, this was on Thursday in N. Seattle.  So it’s 2+” of snow, a 1/8th inch sheet of ice from melting a little and then refreezing, and then 2+” inches of snow.  

  • Ann

    Wimp!

  • Ann

    Wimp!

  • Chalmer99

    Thanks for your excellent article describing snow in Seattle. Ya those folks in LA are Teflon people
    in more ways than one.

  • Chalmer99

    Thanks for your excellent article describing snow in Seattle. Ya those folks in LA are Teflon people
    in more ways than one.

  • Chimsquared

    you’re completely right, of course. but two things can be equally true. and seattle drivers are pathetic in the best conditions.

  • Chimsquared

    you’re completely right, of course. but two things can be equally true. and seattle drivers are pathetic in the best conditions.

  • Guest

    Just drink our starbucks as your jealousy boils the cup.

  • Guest

    Just drink our starbucks as your jealousy boils the cup.

  • Maralyn Crosetto

    If I wrote as well as you, I could have written that column.

  • Maralyn Crosetto

    If I wrote as well as you, I could have written that column.

  • Anonymous

    “…without sideswiping half the parked cars en route.”
    There shouldn’t BE any parked cars en route. Every city that knows what it’s doing bans parking on primary arterials and transit routes in advance of a major weather events. This allows them to clear the most important roads completely, down to the pavement, from curb to curb.This is the Achilles’ heal in your Seattle Exceptionalism-based logic.

  • HungerGatherer

    Hehehe – they shut down the comments section on this buffoon’s “story” in the LA Times…

    Art – nice work here – feel free to stray from sports once in a while – we need your voice.

  • dpballard

    “…without sideswiping half the parked cars en route.”

    There shouldn’t BE any parked cars en route. Every city that knows what it’s doing bans parking on primary arterials and transit routes in advance of a major weather events. This allows them to clear the most important roads completely, down to the pavement, from curb to curb.

    This is the Achilles’ heal in your Seattle Exceptionalism-based logic.

  • HungerGatherer

    Hehehe – they shut down the comments section on this buffoon’s “story” in the LA Times…

    Art – nice work here – feel free to stray from sports once in a while – we need your voice.

  • Bj277

    LOVE this!!!!!!!!!  

  • Bj277

    LOVE this!!!!!!!!!  

  • Jeffro

    You nailed it with regard to Angelinos and their inability to drive in rain.  Rain!?  It may as well be pouring radioactive motlen lead from the skies given their reaction behind the wheel.

  • Jeffro

    You nailed it with regard to Angelinos and their inability to drive in rain.  Rain!?  It may as well be pouring radioactive motlen lead from the skies given their reaction behind the wheel.

  • Woods

    Everything in this article was spot on, and I’m glad that it seems like rain is finally here to wash the snow away.

    One thing confused me, though- you say we didn’t get snow last winter? I say we most certainly did! I know I didn’t imagine those snow days last year, or the Amtrak delays.. perhaps you only meant it was less severe?

  • Woods

    Everything in this article was spot on, and I’m glad that it seems like rain is finally here to wash the snow away.

    One thing confused me, though- you say we didn’t get snow last winter? I say we most certainly did! I know I didn’t imagine those snow days last year, or the Amtrak delays.. perhaps you only meant it was less severe?

  • SnowSense

    Please stop making excuses. If you had more snow plows and used salt instead of sand, your problems would be halved.

  • SnowSense

    Please stop making excuses. If you had more snow plows and used salt instead of sand, your problems would be halved.

  • FrequentPoster

    What lazy horseshit.

    Now, it’s true that no one in L.A. has any reason to point fingers. That much I’ll buy into. After all, that’s a place where the freeways grind to a halt it rains, for God’s sakes. But this idea that Seattle’s hills and “unique” snow get it off the hook, well, don’t make me laugh.

    For starters, a whole lot of Seattle really isn’t all that hilly. No one expects the city to plow 15% grades, or have gigantic rock salt mountains on hand like they do in Milwaukee or Cleveland or Minneapolis. Those are straw men, and have no relevance to the issue.

    Secondly, the temps at near-freezing have an important upside: Salt works best when it’s 25 degrees or higher. Spread it when it’s that warm, and within a half-hour you have bare pavement. Bet ya didn’t think of that, huh? As someone who grew up in the Midwest and lived there a long time, I remember those times when they told us it was too cold for the salt to do its trick, and we’d have to wait for things to warm up. Not so around here.

    Thirdly, with respect to snow removal equipment, the city can have its cake and eat it too. In other cities, they attach plows to garbage trucks. Not here. Why? And then there is the big change in private vehicle ownership in the last 20 years, namely the proliferation of full-size pickup trucks. Which can be fitted with plow blades, and hired for $20 an hour. It’s what they do elsewhere.

    Here, the city would need to buy a few hundred blades. It’d be a one-time cost of maye $1 million (or higher, given the rampant corruption here that no one will mention because it’ll harsh their mellow), including salt spreader attachments for them. Store the equipment at fire and police stations, schools and libraries around town. Come the snow, and pickup truck drivers pre-selected by the city come pick up the stuff and go clear streets. I have a friend who does this in the Midwest, the only difference being that, because it snows more often there, he owns his own plow attachment.

    But no. This is Seattle. People here are different, smarter, and oh so much lazier. Can’t learn a thing from anyone else. This city’s motto ought to be: “When the going gets tough, Seattle stays at home.” Wimps? Maybe yes, maybe no. But definitely slugs. And really smug slugs at that.

    • Anonymous

      ^^^^^^ This.

      All of it, but especially the first sentence.

    • compelledtoreply

      Are you suggesting that the city spend $1 million of your tax dollars to get that mountain of rock salt and army of private plows so that you can get down a steep hill when it snows 4 days out of the year not to mention spend more money patching the pot holes resulting from salting the roads?

      • FrequentPoster

        Are you suggesting that the city spend $1 million of your tax dollars to
        get that mountain of rock salt and army of private plows so that you
        can get down a steep hill

        You didn’t even bother to read what I wrote. Typical lazy slug.

  • TheFrequentPoster

    What lazy horseshit.

    Now, it’s true that no one in L.A. has any reason to point fingers. That much I’ll buy into. After all, that’s a place where the freeways grind to a halt it rains, for God’s sakes. But this idea that Seattle’s hills and “unique” snow get it off the hook, well, don’t make me laugh.

    For starters, a whole lot of Seattle really isn’t all that hilly. No one expects the city to plow 15% grades, or have gigantic rock salt mountains on hand like they do in Milwaukee or Cleveland or Minneapolis. Those are straw men, and have no relevance to the issue.

    Secondly, the temps at near-freezing have an important upside: Salt works best when it’s 25 degrees or higher. Spread it when it’s that warm, and within a half-hour you have bare pavement. Bet ya didn’t think of that, huh? I guess you need to travel more, then. Or hey, there’s this Google thing! As someone who grew up in the Midwest and lived there a long time, I remember those times when they told us it was too cold for the salt to do its trick, and we’d have to wait for things to warm up. Not so around here. Seattle’s streets and rock salt are made for each other.

    Thirdly, with respect to snow removal equipment, the city can have its cake and eat it too. In other cities, they attach plows to garbage trucks. Not here. Why? And then there is the big change in private vehicle ownership in the last 20 years, namely the proliferation of full-size pickup trucks. Which can be fitted with plow blades, and hired for $20 an hour. It’s what they do elsewhere. You know, in places that aren’t stuck in the past, building light rail for cities as they existed in the 1960s and imagining that everyone still drives a ’78 Camaro. Come on, get with the times. They’ve changed.

    Here, the city would need to buy a few hundred blades. It’d be a one-time cost of maybe $1 million (or higher, given the rampant corruption here that no one will even mention much less prosecute because it’ll harsh their mellow), including salt spreader attachments for them. Store the equipment at fire and police stations, schools and libraries around town. Come the snow, and pickup truck drivers pre-selected by the city come pick up the stuff and go clear streets. I have a friend who does this in the Midwest, the only difference being that, because it snows more often there, he owns his own plow attachment.

    But no. This is Seattle. People here are different, smarter, and oh so much lazier. Can’t learn a thing from anyone else. This city’s motto ought to be: “When the going gets tough, Seattle stays at home.” Wimps? Maybe yes, maybe no. But definitely slugs. And really smug slugs at that.

    • AndyMatts

      ^^^^^^ This.

      All of it, but especially the first sentence.

    • compelledtoreply

      Are you suggesting that the city spend $1 million of your tax dollars to get that mountain of rock salt and army of private plows so that you can get down a steep hill when it snows 4 days out of the year not to mention spend more money patching the pot holes resulting from salting the roads?

      • TheFrequentPoster

        Are you suggesting that the city spend $1 million of your tax dollars to
        get that mountain of rock salt and army of private plows so that you
        can get down a steep hill

        You didn’t even bother to read what I wrote. Typical lazy slug.

  • Bluesboss

    ……All that an a bag of chips too……..

  • Bluesboss

    ……All that an a bag of chips too……..

  • Physics is Useful

    It is pure physics : watch this video to see the performance difference between all season tires and a proper (non studded even – which is legal in WA)  winter tire :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlYEMH10Z4s

    Stopping distance data can be calculated from the numbers given in the video to tell us the maximal braking force (in gees) the tire can apply to the glare ice.  It is a matter of physics to then determine the maximally steep grade the car could traverse down gaining speed.

    The results of simple physics give – ( old tires would generate less gees)
    Summer – .07g
    All-Season – .08g
    Winter – 0.16g
    ( in dry pavement with good tires this number should be 0.9 or higher)

    This number in turn can be turned to the required force to offset the force caused by incline plane (pure physics!) for a given slope% road. Any dusting of snow, or ruts, or slush will actually help (snow on top of ice gives numbers roughly 2-3x those above).

    Summer tires would be unsafe  (could not stop)  on a slope of 7%  (which is actually pretty steep, most interstate mountain passes are less than this).
    All Seasons help a little but not much – 8%
    Winter tires would work up to 16% slope. This is over twice as steep as a set of worn all-seasons would traverse safely. Furthermore, stopping distances for a 4% slope would be substantially (more than a factor of 4) shorter for the winter tire vs the all-season tire.

    Many roads in Seattle are in fact very steep – but in downtown only Madison James and Cherry exceed (and for 1 block only) the 16% slope. Any dusting of snow, slush would make it possible to traverse down any part or any hill in downtown Seattle with proper winter tires.

  • Physics is Useful

    It is pure physics : watch this video to see the performance difference between all season tires and a proper (non studded even – which is legal in WA)  winter tire :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlYEMH10Z4s

    Stopping distance data can be calculated from the numbers given in the video to tell us the maximal braking force (in gees) the tire can apply to the glare ice.  It is a matter of physics to then determine the maximally steep grade the car could traverse down gaining speed.

    The results of simple physics give – ( old tires would generate less gees)
    Summer – .07g
    All-Season – .08g
    Winter – 0.16g
    ( in dry pavement with good tires this number should be 0.9 or higher)

    This number in turn can be turned to the required force to offset the force caused by incline plane (pure physics!) for a given slope% road. Any dusting of snow, or ruts, or slush will actually help (snow on top of ice gives numbers roughly 2-3x those above).

    Summer tires would be unsafe  (could not stop)  on a slope of 7%  (which is actually pretty steep, most interstate mountain passes are less than this).
    All Seasons help a little but not much – 8%
    Winter tires would work up to 16% slope. This is over twice as steep as a set of worn all-seasons would traverse safely. Furthermore, stopping distances for a 4% slope would be substantially (more than a factor of 4) shorter for the winter tire vs the all-season tire.

    Many roads in Seattle are in fact very steep – but in downtown only Madison James and Cherry exceed (and for 1 block only) the 16% slope. Any dusting of snow, slush would make it possible to traverse down any part or any hill in downtown Seattle with proper winter tires.

  • IcanDrive

    I agree that Seattle drivers should be cut some slack.  But, I still think that Seattle drivers have earned some hassling given our reactions to any amount of snow.
    First, snow and ice driving is different from slush driving, and all three require different techniques.  Driving on snow and driving on ice is not difficult if you take care and think about what you are doing.  If there is fresh snow, I opt to drive on that rather than the well-trod tracks, since I get better traction in my ancient Corolla on fresh snow.  Ice is also not a big deal, as long as you consider and respect inertia and gravity.

    But, here is where Seattle should be cut slack: we have this awful slush.  I’ll drive in snow and ice, and I’ve done that in the arctic.  No big deal.  But the slush we get around here is just plain nasty, and a big hill will be nearly impossible for many cars and many drivers.

    But here is where this forum is getting annoying: chains.  Chains are designed for snow, and are maybe OK on ice.  But chains are worthless on slush.  And, way too many people keep their studded tires or chains on, expecting to get anywhere just fine, and then just leave them on and chew up our roads.  Chains won’t help.

    And I’ve never used, and never needed, chains or studded tires, or anything else fancy that destroys road surfaces, whether I was driving in Seattle, Boston, or the arctic.  Chains don’t help me on snow and ice, and chains won’t help on slush.  So why bother?

    Lastly, we do not have armies of snow plows and sander-salters in Seattle with well-trained and experienced crews.  So, our snow/slush is not plowed almost instantly, as it is in many areas around Boston, for example.  In Boston, if snow falls, MassDOT invades, with force.  Also, every Tom Dick and Harry with a pickup and a plow heads out and gets to work.  We don’t have that kind of force here.  We can’t recruit from the private sector.  Have any of you ever seen a pickup with a plow in Seattle?  I dare say not.  If Boston put out a call for experienced plowers, it would get more qualified applicants than it could handle.  In Seattle, we would have to recruit; we just don’t have a local pool of that kind of talent and experience.  So, Minnesota, Chicago, NYC, and Boston, well, they’re all different.

    LA?  Come on.  If a snowflake even threatened to fall there then half the city would throw up its arms, surrender the city to Mexico, and flee to Hawaii.

  • IcanDrive

    I agree that Seattle drivers should be cut some slack.  But, I still think that Seattle drivers have earned some hassling given our reactions to any amount of snow.
    First, snow and ice driving is different from slush driving, and all three require different techniques.  Driving on snow and driving on ice is not difficult if you take care and think about what you are doing.  If there is fresh snow, I opt to drive on that rather than the well-trod tracks, since I get better traction in my ancient Corolla on fresh snow.  Ice is also not a big deal, as long as you consider and respect inertia and gravity.

    But, here is where Seattle should be cut slack: we have this awful slush.  I’ll drive in snow and ice, and I’ve done that in the arctic.  No big deal.  But the slush we get around here is just plain nasty, and a big hill will be nearly impossible for many cars and many drivers.

    But here is where this forum is getting annoying: chains.  Chains are designed for snow, and are maybe OK on ice.  But chains are worthless on slush.  And, way too many people keep their studded tires or chains on, expecting to get anywhere just fine, and then just leave them on and chew up our roads.  Chains won’t help.

    And I’ve never used, and never needed, chains or studded tires, or anything else fancy that destroys road surfaces, whether I was driving in Seattle, Boston, or the arctic.  Chains don’t help me on snow and ice, and chains won’t help on slush.  So why bother?

    Lastly, we do not have armies of snow plows and sander-salters in Seattle with well-trained and experienced crews.  So, our snow/slush is not plowed almost instantly, as it is in many areas around Boston, for example.  In Boston, if snow falls, MassDOT invades, with force.  Also, every Tom Dick and Harry with a pickup and a plow heads out and gets to work.  We don’t have that kind of force here.  We can’t recruit from the private sector.  Have any of you ever seen a pickup with a plow in Seattle?  I dare say not.  If Boston put out a call for experienced plowers, it would get more qualified applicants than it could handle.  In Seattle, we would have to recruit; we just don’t have a local pool of that kind of talent and experience.  So, Minnesota, Chicago, NYC, and Boston, well, they’re all different.

    LA?  Come on.  If a snowflake even threatened to fall there then half the city would throw up its arms, surrender the city to Mexico, and flee to Hawaii.

  • Mightygrinalot

    Not so long ago, when I drove from S.Everett to San Diego. I listened on their radio station. As one caller in “whined: “who do we sue! (rants),.. for the pot holes in the road from all this rain!” 
    I LAUGHED! But not before grabbing the wheel of one their own, who was about to rip the right front end off her very old 2 door gas saver. From being ripped off by the very deep and half the width of the car, pot hole. I laughed due to the type of rain falling. Was an “Every day, any day” Rain in Seattle. I was kinda pissed at the “Pansy” who had the nerve to call in to find out who to sue,.. the city? The county? Who do we sue?! HE YELLED. & how dare they bother with whats happening here. How about they take care of their smog. Or how about there seems to be not an ounce of dignity in where anyone accept who’s in “LA”. and richer then rich ever needs to be. I drove all the way to Tijuana. No, Im not mexican, or a decent or married into. None the less, Not anywhere in the view, was their pride or dignity showing in the “up keep” of their homes, lawns, let alone blocks. As shallow as the majority of that state is. It be best they keep their opinion and such, in their own back yards. A bunch of spineless woosies if ever I saw a mass’s to be. 

  • Mightygrinalot

    Not so long ago, when I drove from S.Everett to San Diego. I listened on their radio station. As one caller in “whined: “who do we sue! (rants),.. for the pot holes in the road from all this rain!” 
    I LAUGHED! But not before grabbing the wheel of one their own, who was about to rip the right front end off her very old 2 door gas saver. From being ripped off by the very deep and half the width of the car, pot hole. I laughed due to the type of rain falling. Was an “Every day, any day” Rain in Seattle. I was kinda pissed at the “Pansy” who had the nerve to call in to find out who to sue,.. the city? The county? Who do we sue?! HE YELLED. & how dare they bother with whats happening here. How about they take care of their smog. Or how about there seems to be not an ounce of dignity in where anyone accept who’s in “LA”. and richer then rich ever needs to be. I drove all the way to Tijuana. No, Im not mexican, or a decent or married into. None the less, Not anywhere in the view, was their pride or dignity showing in the “up keep” of their homes, lawns, let alone blocks. As shallow as the majority of that state is. It be best they keep their opinion and such, in their own back yards. A bunch of spineless woosies if ever I saw a mass’s to be. 

  • Slursh

    You know, here in Iowa we have the brains enough to stay put for the right amount of time. Your rant reveals your ignorance. Of course, to be expected from a sports writer.

  • Slursh

    You know, here in Iowa we have the brains enough to stay put for the right amount of time. Your rant reveals your ignorance. Of course, to be expected from a sports writer.

  • guest

    They are called “Tire Chains”

  • guest

    They are called “Tire Chains”

  • swk

    As someone who grew up in Seattle but also lived outside of Detroit for a couple of years, I think Art is spot on. My one additional issue that should be considered is the road construction here in Seattle. The streets have a lot more aggregate in the asphalt and concrete. All those little rocks make the streets slicker even with a little rain and a lot worse with wet snow.

  • swk

    As someone who grew up in Seattle but also lived outside of Detroit for a couple of years, I think Art is spot on. My one additional issue that should be considered is the road construction here in Seattle. The streets have a lot more aggregate in the asphalt and concrete. All those little rocks make the streets slicker even with a little rain and a lot worse with wet snow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549674542 Ashling Cassandra de Brittain

    I’m seeing a lot of people here saying that we here in Washington can solve all our snow problems by 1) Making our city and county entities buy snow blades for our garbage trucks
    (or snowplows) , 2) Making our city and county entities buy salt spreaders, 3) Making our citizens buy snow tires, studded tires, or chains, and/or 4) Require our citizen to take professional driving courses that teach them how to deal with the Cascade Concrete that falls out of the sky.  These are the main suggestions.  

    In answer to the majority of these suggestions I say: Pony up the money!  I for one do NOT care to pay more in taxes for equipment that will be used once every three to five years for *maybe* a week at most.  Nor do I want those agencies pouring tons of poison on the streets that will be a detriment to the environment and cause my vehicle to turn into a rust bucket in short order.  I also object to telling us up here that studded tires and chains are the answer, I don’t really relish the idea of having to pay more in taxes to repair the roads after they have been torn up by said traction devices. As for taking a pro-driving course, most of the folks who are doing their best to go into work are doing it because they need to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables, I seriously doubt driving lessons are in the budget.

    I’ll say it again, I will refrain from making sarcastic and unsympathetic comments about your various areas of the country when weather karma bends *you* over the barrel.

    • Physics is Useful

      You really just need a set of winter tires. On most cars a set of steel wheels will cost < 500$, this is the additional cost, as every mile you put on the winter tires, is a mile saved on the "3 season tires". As for paying for it, body shops charge the insurance companies a lot to fix cars of those (or those around them) that didn't want to buy winter tires. And we all pay the insurance companies. Seattle definitely has some steep roads, and all season tires are completely inadequate on such a slope. Winter tires however are up to the task.

    • Artthiel

      As I mentioned in the column, anyone stuck with common sense prepares for as much as can be afforded, knowing that some things cannot be managed by self, money or government. Ask the folks in Tuscaloosa, Joplin, or Japan.

    • Mr. Brakley

      It seems like it’s not worth the money until you consider the way we collect taxes in this state. Most revenue comes from sales taxes here, and 50% of all retail business happens between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So if we’re going to collect $1,000,000 per year in taxes from Nordstroms, we get $500,000 of that in the last six weeks of the year. Do you know what else happens in the last six weeks of the year? Snow. Last year Black Friday sales were negatively impacted by our lack of snowplowing equipment. While that’s only one day, that one day means a lot of revenue for the state. A few years ago the city shut down for a full week of the holiday shopping season, and that disruption probably cost the state 10% of their revenue for the year. Snow blades on garbage trucks sound cheaper and cheaper when you consider the opportunity cost of not having the snow blades. If we were an income tax state, not buying plows would make a lot more sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549674542 Ashling Cassandra de Brittain

    I’m seeing a lot of people here saying that we here in Washington can solve all our snow problems by 1) Making our city and county entities buy snow blades for our garbage trucks
    (or snowplows) , 2) Making our city and county entities buy salt spreaders, 3) Making our citizens buy snow tires, studded tires, or chains, and/or 4) Require our citizen to take professional driving courses that teach them how to deal with the Cascade Concrete that falls out of the sky.  These are the main suggestions.  

    In answer to the majority of these suggestions I say: Pony up the money!  I for one do NOT care to pay more in taxes for equipment that will be used once every three to five years for *maybe* a week at most.  Nor do I want those agencies pouring tons of poison on the streets that will be a detriment to the environment and cause my vehicle to turn into a rust bucket in short order.  I also object to telling us up here that studded tires and chains are the answer, I don’t really relish the idea of having to pay more in taxes to repair the roads after they have been torn up by said traction devices. As for taking a pro-driving course, most of the folks who are doing their best to go into work are doing it because they need to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables, I seriously doubt driving lessons are in the budget.

    I’ll say it again, I will refrain from making sarcastic and unsympathetic comments about your various areas of the country when weather karma bends *you* over the barrel.

    • Physics is Useful

      You really just need a set of winter tires. On most cars a set of steel wheels will cost < 500$, this is the additional cost, as every mile you put on the winter tires, is a mile saved on the "3 season tires". As for paying for it, body shops charge the insurance companies a lot to fix cars of those (or those around them) that didn't want to buy winter tires. And we all pay the insurance companies. Seattle definitely has some steep roads, and all season tires are completely inadequate on such a slope. Winter tires however are up to the task.

    • Artthiel

      As I mentioned in the column, anyone stuck with common sense prepares for as much as can be afforded, knowing that some things cannot be managed by self, money or government. Ask the folks in Tuscaloosa, Joplin, or Japan.

    • Mr. Brakley

      It seems like it’s not worth the money until you consider the way we collect taxes in this state. Most revenue comes from sales taxes here, and 50% of all retail business happens between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So if we’re going to collect $1,000,000 per year in taxes from Nordstroms, we get $500,000 of that in the last six weeks of the year. Do you know what else happens in the last six weeks of the year? Snow. Last year Black Friday sales were negatively impacted by our lack of snowplowing equipment. While that’s only one day, that one day means a lot of revenue for the state. A few years ago the city shut down for a full week of the holiday shopping season, and that disruption probably cost the state 10% of their revenue for the year. Snow blades on garbage trucks sound cheaper and cheaper when you consider the opportunity cost of not having the snow blades. If we were an income tax state, not buying plows would make a lot more sense.

  • IMISSSPOKANE

    I was raised in Federal Way, spent 8 years of my adult life in Spokane, and now live in Minneapolis. It’s fun to explain to Midwesterners how despite the fact that it was 0 effing degrees when I woke up this morning, winter is more treacherous in Spokane then in Minnesota.  As we see now, government and the money of government is decided and planned for by Western Washington standards, which is fine for Seattle (most of the time), but not for the East side. The East side has smaller communities, thus less local money, and doesn’t have the state laws that protect folks from harsh winters (in many Midwestern and Eastern states, evictions or turning off heat in the winter is against the law). Seattlites aren’t wimps, but I hope that this is a wake-up call that the E. WA and central WA communities need some support in the legislature to deal with winter. 

    • Artthiel

      Fair point, Imiss. Circumstances are different in many places, but easy generalities are not.

  • IMISSSPOKANE

    I was raised in Federal Way, spent 8 years of my adult life in Spokane, and now live in Minneapolis. It’s fun to explain to Midwesterners how despite the fact that it was 0 effing degrees when I woke up this morning, winter is more treacherous in Spokane then in Minnesota.  As we see now, government and the money of government is decided and planned for by Western Washington standards, which is fine for Seattle (most of the time), but not for the East side. The East side has smaller communities, thus less local money, and doesn’t have the state laws that protect folks from harsh winters (in many Midwestern and Eastern states, evictions or turning off heat in the winter is against the law). Seattlites aren’t wimps, but I hope that this is a wake-up call that the E. WA and central WA communities need some support in the legislature to deal with winter. 

    • Artthiel

      Fair point, Imiss. Circumstances are different in many places, but easy generalities are not.

  • IMISSSPOKANE

    But for the record, Washington drivers suck. I’m one too, but after seeing how great it can be to drive with midwesterners, I have to give some credit.

  • IMISSSPOKANE

    But for the record, Washington drivers suck. I’m one too, but after seeing how great it can be to drive with midwesterners, I have to give some credit.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sticking up for us Art! I have lived in the Seattle/Tacoma area all of my life, except for 4 years in central Germany – where they shut down the roads for ice & fog.  I live on McKinley Hill.  Anywhere else in the country it would be called McKinley Mountain!  There is no safe way up or down when we have snow and ice so I stay home.  When we refer to “downtown” it is actually “down” at the bottom of very steep hills that drop off into the bay.  So, I say to those rude, know-it-all’s who think they can manage our roads better than we can – come on over to Fairbanks street and take a go at it – I dare you!

    • Artthiel

      I know Fairbanks street. Should be in the Olympics, not Tacoma.

  • Tacomapeep

    Thanks for sticking up for us Art! I have lived in the Seattle/Tacoma area all of my life, except for 4 years in central Germany – where they shut down the roads for ice & fog.  I live on McKinley Hill.  Anywhere else in the country it would be called McKinley Mountain!  There is no safe way up or down when we have snow and ice so I stay home.  When we refer to “downtown” it is actually “down” at the bottom of very steep hills that drop off into the bay.  So, I say to those rude, know-it-all’s who think they can manage our roads better than we can – come on over to Fairbanks street and take a go at it – I dare you!

    • Artthiel

      I know Fairbanks street. Should be in the Olympics, not Tacoma.

  • http://twitter.com/Dah_knee Dan

    I can’t stand to hear the Puget Sound transplants arrogant comments about driving in snow as if they’re experts! IT DOESN’T SNOW HERE MUCH! Hell we can go multiple years without snow! Art is correct there aren’t nearly as many hills in other cities who get a lot of snow annually, that there are in Seattle. Its just a fact. And to hear transplants from other parts of the USA act as if they’re expert drivers in snow is nauseating! Stop acting like you’d know how to drive on the steep hills of the Sammamish plateau, or the hills in Pierce country, or somerset hill in Bellevue, or the Lakemont hill in Issaquah or Queen anne hill in Seattle! I can go on and on…….Get back to me when you go from the top of Queen anne hill and make it down safe while staying parallel to the street and not hitting any cars on the way down, then you can talk. The transplants who’ve lived here a couple years who know nothing about the infrequent snow Seattle gets. Go back to Chicago, Idaho, NY or wherever you’re from! I know its hard to believe to some but cars are the same here in the Puget sound then they are anywhere in the USA. I can’t stand hearing these arrogant people act like they know how to drive while everyone else doesn’t. None of you would have the balls to go down any of these steep hills in the Seattle metro area. Get off the computer, try to drive instead of talking about how great of a driver you are in snow and actually drive in it. My gosh if I hear 1 more person who says that they can easily navigate the steep hills of Seattle, I’m gonna puke. Not 1 of the critics has ever been on any of these hills I mentioned. Get back to me after you do this and we’ll see how much of a great driver you are. Stop hiding in your homes and hit the streets

  • DJS425

    I can’t stand to hear the Puget Sound transplants arrogant comments about driving in snow as if they’re experts! IT DOESN’T SNOW HERE MUCH! Hell we can go multiple years without snow! Art is correct there aren’t nearly as many hills in other cities who get a lot of snow annually, that there are in Seattle. Its just a fact. And to hear transplants from other parts of the USA act as if they’re expert drivers in snow is nauseating! Stop acting like you’d know how to drive on the steep hills of the Sammamish plateau, or the hills in Pierce country, or somerset hill in Bellevue, or the Lakemont hill in Issaquah or Queen anne hill in Seattle! I can go on and on…….Get back to me when you go from the top of Queen anne hill and make it down safe while staying parallel to the street and not hitting any cars on the way down, then you can talk. The transplants who’ve lived here a couple years who know nothing about the infrequent snow Seattle gets. Go back to Chicago, Idaho, NY or wherever you’re from! I know its hard to believe to some but cars are the same here in the Puget sound then they are anywhere in the USA. I can’t stand hearing these arrogant people act like they know how to drive while everyone else doesn’t. None of you would have the balls to go down any of these steep hills in the Seattle metro area. Get off the computer, try to drive instead of talking about how great of a driver you are in snow and actually drive in it. My gosh if I hear 1 more person who says that they can easily navigate the steep hills of Seattle, I’m gonna puke. Not 1 of the critics has ever been on any of these hills I mentioned. Get back to me after you do this and we’ll see how much of a great driver you are. Stop hiding in your homes and hit the streets

  • http://twitter.com/Dah_knee Dan

    Comparing mountain towns in the Rockies, and ski spots in Wa is completely different. 3-4 million people in a concentrated area with thousands of roads vs a couple roads leading to the mountains is 1000 times different.

    • Artthiel

      Wow. You go, Dan. Sounds like a man who’s spun a 360 or two in his Seattle life and said the hell with it.

  • DJS425

    Comparing mountain towns in the Rockies, and ski spots in Wa is completely different. 3-4 million people in a concentrated area with thousands of roads vs a couple roads leading to the mountains is 1000 times different.

    • Artthiel

      Wow. You go, Dan. Sounds like a man who’s spun a 360 or two in his Seattle life and said the hell with it.

  • http://twitter.com/Dah_knee Dan

    This isn’t a Seattle issue this is a moron issue. Find me anyone who can navigate the steep hills of the PNW I’ll eat crow. Its not a issue of “no clue” how to drive in snow because NO ONE can drive on steep slick hills. Its physics, not expertize.

    • Mr. Brakley

      Pump your brakes with two feet, and use your low gears. The laws of physics also state that as long as your tires are rolling (not locking) you have control of your car. Believe it or not, expertise does help.

  • DJS425

    This isn’t a Seattle issue this is a moron issue. Find me anyone who can navigate the steep hills of the PNW I’ll eat crow. Its not a issue of “no clue” how to drive in snow because NO ONE can drive on steep slick hills. Its physics, not expertize.

    • Mr. Brakley

      Pump your brakes with two feet, and use your low gears. The laws of physics also state that as long as your tires are rolling (not locking) you have control of your car. Believe it or not, expertise does help.

  • shiplady

    It’s the same way in northwest Oregon and it isn’t even urban here. I have driven in heavy winter weather and snow in some of the most treacherous places in the U.S, and Hwy 30 between Clatskanie and Astoria rivals them all: invisible black ice and temperatures that hover between freezing and not freezing, and create a layer of water on top of the icy road. Can you say skating rink? Sometimes it’s just nuts to try and drive here and I’m not a wimp either. Take that, snooty people who live in other places…;-)

    • Artthiel

      Wise words from shiplady. Anywhere along the Columbia River, especially the Gorge, has a microclimate different than Seattle’s.

  • shiplady

    It’s the same way in northwest Oregon and it isn’t even urban here. I have driven in heavy winter weather and snow in some of the most treacherous places in the U.S, and Hwy 30 between Clatskanie and Astoria rivals them all: invisible black ice and temperatures that hover between freezing and not freezing, and create a layer of water on top of the icy road. Can you say skating rink? Sometimes it’s just nuts to try and drive here and I’m not a wimp either. Take that, snooty people who live in other places…;-)

    • Artthiel

      Wise words from shiplady. Anywhere along the Columbia River, especially the Gorge, has a microclimate different than Seattle’s.

  • Dpoarch1

    Perfect comeback.  I was rather put off by the LA Time’s accusation.  I’m glad somebody stuck up for us, and with such humorouse flourish!  I love Art Thiel!

  • Dpoarch1

    Perfect comeback.  I was rather put off by the LA Time’s accusation.  I’m glad somebody stuck up for us, and with such humorouse flourish!  I love Art Thiel!

  • Anonymous

    He’s wrong. Seattle is a wimp city in the snow, mostly because of all the Calfornia transplants here.

    • Artthiel

      Actually, there’s a larger point here. Seattle has always been an employer of people from around the world. There’s a whole bunch of software people in Redmond from India and SE Asia who probably saw their first snowfall this week. Good luck driving behind them.

  • olympiareader

    He’s wrong. Seattle is a wimp city in the snow, mostly because of all the Calfornia transplants here.

    • Artthiel

      Actually, there’s a larger point here. Seattle has always been an employer of people from around the world. There’s a whole bunch of software people in Redmond from India and SE Asia who probably saw their first snowfall this week. Good luck driving behind them.

  • Mr. Brakley

    Umm? Have you heard of Pittsburgh? You remember the guys in black who won that football game a few years ago? They came from a snowy, hilly, place that manages to function. I guess they’re just better at snow driving and football. Probably still the referee’s fault though.

    • Artthiel

      Pittsburgh is only better in football when the referees are on their side. And by the way, have you heard that Jerome Bettis is from Detroit?

      • Mr. Brakley

        I did hear that. You inspired a little research on my part. The Pittsburgh franchise has 33 playoff wins. The Hawks have appeared in 19 playoff games total, winning 8. The refs really must help a lot.

  • Mr. Brakley

    Umm? Have you heard of Pittsburgh? You remember the guys in black who won that football game a few years ago? They came from a snowy, hilly, place that manages to function. I guess they’re just better at snow driving and football. Probably still the referee’s fault though.

    • Artthiel

      Pittsburgh is only better in football when the referees are on their side. And by the way, have you heard that Jerome Bettis is from Detroit?

      • Mr. Brakley

        I did hear that. You inspired a little research on my part. The Pittsburgh franchise has 33 playoff wins. The Hawks have appeared in 19 playoff games total, winning 8. The refs really must help a lot.

  • Guest

    Everyone should cut everyone some slack.  Driving in snow is not supposed to be easy and something you should be able to do if only you were more confident or knowledgeable.   Clearing snow is not an easy task for a city department.  Keeping traffic in check when you have snow is nearly impossible and doesn’t happen in any big city when it snows.

    It’s important to remember that despite our best efforts; Mother Nature is undefeated.  She’s going to kick some a$$.

    • Artthiel

      Well said.

  • Guest

    Everyone should cut everyone some slack.  Driving in snow is not supposed to be easy and something you should be able to do if only you were more confident or knowledgeable.   Clearing snow is not an easy task for a city department.  Keeping traffic in check when you have snow is nearly impossible and doesn’t happen in any big city when it snows.

    It’s important to remember that despite our best efforts; Mother Nature is undefeated.  She’s going to kick some a$$.

    • Artthiel

      Well said.

  • David

    This is all fine and dandy, as Seattle definitely has some hills and such that make things more difficult than they need to be, for some people.  However, your points are tangential to the real issue.  Yes, there are hills; yes, there are icy patches; but we had the same thing in rural Connecticut where I used to live, and ice didn’t leave our streets for months at a time.  However, somehow, we all managed to get to work every day.

    In this area, the number of people driving 10 miles per hour, with their hazards on, clutching the wheel with terrified white fingers, while driving in a straight line on a slightly slushy, very very level and completely devoid of elevation change, street are staggering.  Yes, people on Queen Anne hill get the crappy end of the stick, and they have to just take the bus or walk a few blocks to get food.  The issue is that we still have some of the most uneducated and underprepared drivers in the country.  When a slight rain comes up, average speeds on the roads drop by 20mph or more.  Snow damn near scares people into cardiac arrest when the weather report even mentions it, much less if it dares to show its face floating in the sky.Yes, essentially every year it snows here, even in the lowlands.  If you’ve made a conscious decision to not purchase all season tires and opt instead to keep those fancy summer tires on your brand new SUV, then you probably can afford to take a few PTO days to eat at home and stay the hell off the roads and stop making them dangerous for those of us who ponied up the coin for a spare set of wheels and excellent snow tires for this inevitable weather that does actually come around basically every year.  I live on an icy unplowed back road hill in the Redmond highlands, but I have had zero problems getting around all week, without touching chains.  It’s not about AWD (though I have that too), it’s about having the right equipment (tires! tires! tires!), driving to the conditions, and only going out when you have to (I stay the hell off the roads during commute hours since everyone out there is driving like a blithering idiot).

    You can try to blame the hills, you can try to blame the wet snow, you can blame anything you want, but it’s just the usual pacific northwestern passive aggressive blame game.  Transplant almost anyone from New England here with their car, and they’ll be driving circles around the confused and frazzled standard issue local driver wondering why their brand new SUV isn’t coping with the conditions as well as the salesman told them it would.

    • Artthiel

      David, you re-made part of my argument. In Conn, it stays frozen months at at time. It’s an easier drive. And don’t kid me about the hills in the metropolitan areas there. Seattle, it ain’t.  Look out your window, man — snow, freeze, freezing rain, melt, rain, sun, wind — in 24 hours. And I can find as many inexperienced drivers in Conn as you can here, per capita.

      • David

        It’s an easier drive on sheets of months-frozen ice than on a few inches of slushy powder?  Are you kidding me?  We had pickaxes to break through the ice on our driveway, and it was a multiple-day endeavor, at the end of the season.  And also, in CT we lived in a river valley that had steep hills out both sides to get out.  And we did it, every day of the winter, usually with inches of ice and/or snow on the road, to get to work.  Don’t even try to pretend it’s harder to drive here than there, unless you’re talking about the miserable excuses for drivers pinballing all over the place that make it truly dangerous to be out there.

        In this “snowstorm” the last few days, it added some new powder every day to the top.  It’s literally the easiest and most forgiving frozen conditions to drive in on the planet.  Slush is slippery for all tires, sheet ice is hard with anything but chains and/or studded tires, but packed or unpacked powder are trivial.  In our actual 2 week long snowpocalypse of a couple years ago, there were foot-deep ice ruts in my neighborhood.  That’s actually an excuse to complain about, when it snowed a bunch in a day, then warmed up/rained on top of it and then froze.  When it’s absolutely solid and a foot deep, you can’t drive on it (except with a suburban, which I also had that year).  That was unlucky.  This recent snowstorm was a freaking joke.  Anyone who had trouble getting around either lived on Queen Anne or had the wrong equipment.I look out my window and I see slush and snow, and a couple days ago I saw a lot of snow.  Then I put on a jacket, got in my car, drove down my steep hill, and went to work/errands.  I’ve been out and about every day this past week, and every day I’ve driven around people hopelessly stuck in the snow (no, I’m not going to stop and help someone who’s going to get stuck again 10 feet later — it’s time to call a towtruck and then stay home, and maybe buy a set of chains or better tires for next time.)

  • David

    This is all fine and dandy, as Seattle definitely has some hills and such that make things more difficult than they need to be, for some people.  However, your points are tangential to the real issue.  Yes, there are hills; yes, there are icy patches; but we had the same thing in rural Connecticut where I used to live, and ice didn’t leave our streets for months at a time.  However, somehow, we all managed to get to work every day.

    In this area, the number of people driving 10 miles per hour, with their hazards on, clutching the wheel with terrified white fingers, while driving in a straight line on a slightly slushy, very very level and completely devoid of elevation change, street are staggering.  Yes, people on Queen Anne hill get the crappy end of the stick, and they have to just take the bus or walk a few blocks to get food.  The issue is that we still have some of the most uneducated and underprepared drivers in the country.  When a slight rain comes up, average speeds on the roads drop by 20mph or more.  Snow damn near scares people into cardiac arrest when the weather report even mentions it, much less if it dares to show its face floating in the sky.Yes, essentially every year it snows here, even in the lowlands.  If you’ve made a conscious decision to not purchase all season tires and opt instead to keep those fancy summer tires on your brand new SUV, then you probably can afford to take a few PTO days to eat at home and stay the hell off the roads and stop making them dangerous for those of us who ponied up the coin for a spare set of wheels and excellent snow tires for this inevitable weather that does actually come around basically every year.  I live on an icy unplowed back road hill in the Redmond highlands, but I have had zero problems getting around all week, without touching chains.  It’s not about AWD (though I have that too), it’s about having the right equipment (tires! tires! tires!), driving to the conditions, and only going out when you have to (I stay the hell off the roads during commute hours since everyone out there is driving like a blithering idiot).

    You can try to blame the hills, you can try to blame the wet snow, you can blame anything you want, but it’s just the usual pacific northwestern passive aggressive blame game.  Transplant almost anyone from New England here with their car, and they’ll be driving circles around the confused and frazzled standard issue local driver wondering why their brand new SUV isn’t coping with the conditions as well as the salesman told them it would.

    • Artthiel

      David, you re-made part of my argument. In Conn, it stays frozen months at at time. It’s an easier drive. And don’t kid me about the hills in the metropolitan areas there. Seattle, it ain’t.  Look out your window, man — snow, freeze, freezing rain, melt, rain, sun, wind — in 24 hours. And I can find as many inexperienced drivers in Conn as you can here, per capita.

      • David

        It’s an easier drive on sheets of months-frozen ice than on a few inches of slushy powder?  Are you kidding me?  We had pickaxes to break through the ice on our driveway, and it was a multiple-day endeavor, at the end of the season.  And also, in CT we lived in a river valley that had steep hills out both sides to get out.  And we did it, every day of the winter, usually with inches of ice and/or snow on the road, to get to work.  Don’t even try to pretend it’s harder to drive here than there, unless you’re talking about the miserable excuses for drivers pinballing all over the place that make it truly dangerous to be out there.

        In this “snowstorm” the last few days, it added some new powder every day to the top.  It’s literally the easiest and most forgiving frozen conditions to drive in on the planet.  Slush is slippery for all tires, sheet ice is hard with anything but chains and/or studded tires, but packed or unpacked powder are trivial.  In our actual 2 week long snowpocalypse of a couple years ago, there were foot-deep ice ruts in my neighborhood.  That’s actually an excuse to complain about, when it snowed a bunch in a day, then warmed up/rained on top of it and then froze.  When it’s absolutely solid and a foot deep, you can’t drive on it (except with a suburban, which I also had that year).  That was unlucky.  This recent snowstorm was a freaking joke.  Anyone who had trouble getting around either lived on Queen Anne or had the wrong equipment.I look out my window and I see slush and snow, and a couple days ago I saw a lot of snow.  Then I put on a jacket, got in my car, drove down my steep hill, and went to work/errands.  I’ve been out and about every day this past week, and every day I’ve driven around people hopelessly stuck in the snow (no, I’m not going to stop and help someone who’s going to get stuck again 10 feet later — it’s time to call a towtruck and then stay home, and maybe buy a set of chains or better tires for next time.)

  • Hehehe

    All I have to say is thank you for putting la back in their place. There’s no reason to bash on Seattle when we have a rare fairly severe snow storm…as of told others….send the snow there way and see how well they get around.

    • Artthiel

      We all tend toward provincialism. Sometimes it takes a traveler to see it, and I value the critics from outside Seattle who point out our problems. It’s just that snow and Seattle don’t mix well for any driver.

      • Objective Observer

        Ding Ding Ding! Provincialism…..the most apt word to describe Seattle and it’s residents. Hands down. End of the story. Never seen anything quite like it.

        I’ve lived in many parts of the US (growing up, school, now work).  I have never, ever, experienced a populous who gets so defensive at any mention of them being less than perfect.  Spend some time on any of those “10 worst dressed cities”, “10 rudest cites”, “10 best cities in which to retire”,  etc, and you will find that every city gets picked on over something.  But guess what? Most others will either say “well, they do have a point”, or perhaps “I don’t agree, but I could see why they might think that”.  But not here (I am a 6 year Seattle resident, on a steep hill in West Seattle above Admiral).  God forbid someone point out that our weather sucks (True by almost any measure)(yeah, but all 5 weeks of our summer are amazing!!), that our traffic is horrible (care to disagree?), that our fair city has damn near the most frosty, aloof, un-friendly citizenry anywhere outside of well…..anywhere (Seattle chill anyone?)  Nice people = yes.  Friendly people = no mam.  Jesus, Seattle doesn’t even know the meaning of self-deprecating. Tell somebody from Denver that it is a bit of a cow town, and they will likely agree with you (even though it has one of the most well diversified economies and highest educated workforce as defined by advanced degrees per worker).  Tell somebody from SF that their city is dirty and has too many homeless and they won’t argue your point (despite the fact that it is a world class city, amazing restraunts, theatre, art, diversity). Tell somebody from  Boston that they are Massholes, and they will proudly tell you that you are correct.  Tell somebody from Minn/St. Paul that they drink too much, and they will offer you a drink.  But not here, nope.  Can’t criticize our weather (we like dampness and mold, no really, we do!) Try to argue with a Washingtonian about almost any WA based corporation and you will be roasted on a spit.  Boeing = worlds one and only airline manufacturer!  Starbucks = well, nevermind, even Seattle isn’t stupid enough to argue in Starbucks favor.  Washington wines = best in the world. The cherries taste better. The onions are amazing, sweeter, nothing compares.  Our Salmon. Our beer.  Our…..  Nordstrom = world’s premier retailer! Amazon, long live Amazon. MSFT = the world’s only relevant tech company. RealNetworks. DId I mention Expedia? Or Wamu? oops. The beat goes on.

        I will agree with you that Seattle does not have the countries worst snow drivers. I’d probably give the nod to Phoenix or Orlando.  But Seattle does have the countries worst overall drivers.  Sun?  Nope, can’t do it, gets in my eyes, have to slow down and or slam on the brakes (“jesus dear, what is that crazy ominous thing rising from the east as we cross 520?).  Rain?  Nope, afraid you are going to…..what? Melt? Hydroplane?  It rains 366 days a year and you can’t drive in the rain? Seriously?  Wind? Why can’t you drive in the wind?  Heat?  Well, never mind, if it’s hot out you are probably at the movie theatre or Bellevue Square hiding out in the air conditioning. Freeway on ramps? Nope, dont know how to use em.  Four way stops?  Crap, we might just be sitting here all day, everyone is so damn nice that they are afraid to make the first move. So, for those keeping score:  cant drive in snow, sun, rain, fog, wind, overcast conditions, freeways, the pass, hills, dales, paved, un-paved. Damn, what have I left off the list?

        But wait, there is more.  WTF with the left lane highway driving?  55 in the passing lane, next to the guy doing 55 in the middle lane, next to the woman doing 54 in the far right lane. God forbid you sit back and hope they will pull over into the next lane so you can pass.  Politely flash them, thinking maybe they dont see you behind them. No response. Try again. No response. Don’t tailgate, but move a little closer. Nothing.  Tailgate. Nothing.  Flash again.  No response.  Finally have an opportunity to pass on their right after 10 minutes, and they either flip you off or give you the stink eye as you go by.  Newsflash, not only is it rude and unsafe, and impedes what are already busy highways, but it is also ILLEGAL to camp in the far left lane when someone wants to pass, even if you ARE going the speed limit and they are going over it. It shouldnt take 4 hours to get to Portland people, move to your right, they do it in the rest of the world, why can’t you?

        Many cities have hills. Many cities have snowy hills. Many cities have snow that melts, and then freezes, and then melts, and then freezes.  Shady spots do exist outside of heavily wooded evergreen areas. I’ll grant you that we have a few steep hills that nobody ought to be driving down when icy.  but we also have thousands of roads, avenues, lanes, courts, places, streets that are pancake flat.  And dollars to doughnuts we have just as many issues on those as we do on queen anne hill or downtown.  

        Sorry Art, your skin is too thin on this one.  Generally speaking, LA doesn’t have a leg to stand on, but they are right on the money on this one.

  • Hehehe

    All I have to say is thank you for putting la back in their place. There’s no reason to bash on Seattle when we have a rare fairly severe snow storm…as of told others….send the snow there way and see how well they get around.

    • Artthiel

      We all tend toward provincialism. Sometimes it takes a traveler to see it, and I value the critics from outside Seattle who point out our problems. It’s just that snow and Seattle don’t mix well for any driver.

      • Objective Observer

        Ding Ding Ding! Provincialism…..the most apt word to describe Seattle and it’s residents. Hands down. End of the story. Never seen anything quite like it.

        I’ve lived in many parts of the US (growing up, school, now work).  I have never, ever, experienced a populous who gets so defensive at any mention of them being less than perfect.  Spend some time on any of those “10 worst dressed cities”, “10 rudest cites”, “10 best cities in which to retire”,  etc, and you will find that every city gets picked on over something.  But guess what? Most others will either say “well, they do have a point”, or perhaps “I don’t agree, but I could see why they might think that”.  But not here (I am a 6 year Seattle resident, on a steep hill in West Seattle above Admiral).  God forbid someone point out that our weather sucks (True by almost any measure)(yeah, but all 5 weeks of our summer are amazing!!), that our traffic is horrible (care to disagree?), that our fair city has damn near the most frosty, aloof, un-friendly citizenry anywhere outside of well…..anywhere (Seattle chill anyone?)  Nice people = yes.  Friendly people = no mam.  Jesus, Seattle doesn’t even know the meaning of self-deprecating. Tell somebody from Denver that it is a bit of a cow town, and they will likely agree with you (even though it has one of the most well diversified economies and highest educated workforce as defined by advanced degrees per worker).  Tell somebody from SF that their city is dirty and has too many homeless and they won’t argue your point (despite the fact that it is a world class city, amazing restraunts, theatre, art, diversity). Tell somebody from  Boston that they are Massholes, and they will proudly tell you that you are correct.  Tell somebody from Minn/St. Paul that they drink too much, and they will offer you a drink.  But not here, nope.  Can’t criticize our weather (we like dampness and mold, no really, we do!) Try to argue with a Washingtonian about almost any WA based corporation and you will be roasted on a spit.  Boeing = worlds one and only airline manufacturer!  Starbucks = well, nevermind, even Seattle isn’t stupid enough to argue in Starbucks favor.  Washington wines = best in the world. The cherries taste better. The onions are amazing, sweeter, nothing compares.  Our Salmon. Our beer.  Our…..  Nordstrom = world’s premier retailer! Amazon, long live Amazon. MSFT = the world’s only relevant tech company. RealNetworks. DId I mention Expedia? Or Wamu? oops. The beat goes on.

        I will agree with you that Seattle does not have the countries worst snow drivers. I’d probably give the nod to Phoenix or Orlando.  But Seattle does have the countries worst overall drivers.  Sun?  Nope, can’t do it, gets in my eyes, have to slow down and or slam on the brakes (“jesus dear, what is that crazy ominous thing rising from the east as we cross 520?).  Rain?  Nope, afraid you are going to…..what? Melt? Hydroplane?  It rains 366 days a year and you can’t drive in the rain? Seriously?  Wind? Why can’t you drive in the wind?  Heat?  Well, never mind, if it’s hot out you are probably at the movie theatre or Bellevue Square hiding out in the air conditioning. Freeway on ramps? Nope, dont know how to use em.  Four way stops?  Crap, we might just be sitting here all day, everyone is so damn nice that they are afraid to make the first move. So, for those keeping score:  cant drive in snow, sun, rain, fog, wind, overcast conditions, freeways, the pass, hills, dales, paved, un-paved. Damn, what have I left off the list?

        But wait, there is more.  WTF with the left lane highway driving?  55 in the passing lane, next to the guy doing 55 in the middle lane, next to the woman doing 54 in the far right lane. God forbid you sit back and hope they will pull over into the next lane so you can pass.  Politely flash them, thinking maybe they dont see you behind them. No response. Try again. No response. Don’t tailgate, but move a little closer. Nothing.  Tailgate. Nothing.  Flash again.  No response.  Finally have an opportunity to pass on their right after 10 minutes, and they either flip you off or give you the stink eye as you go by.  Newsflash, not only is it rude and unsafe, and impedes what are already busy highways, but it is also ILLEGAL to camp in the far left lane when someone wants to pass, even if you ARE going the speed limit and they are going over it. It shouldnt take 4 hours to get to Portland people, move to your right, they do it in the rest of the world, why can’t you?

        Many cities have hills. Many cities have snowy hills. Many cities have snow that melts, and then freezes, and then melts, and then freezes.  Shady spots do exist outside of heavily wooded evergreen areas. I’ll grant you that we have a few steep hills that nobody ought to be driving down when icy.  but we also have thousands of roads, avenues, lanes, courts, places, streets that are pancake flat.  And dollars to doughnuts we have just as many issues on those as we do on queen anne hill or downtown.  

        Sorry Art, your skin is too thin on this one.  Generally speaking, LA doesn’t have a leg to stand on, but they are right on the money on this one.

  • Schrodinger

    I completely agree that is pointless for Seattlites to attempt descending/ascending the hills here when it snows: That is because, as far as I’m concerned, Seattlites are the worst drivers in the country bar none. Let me start off by saying that I had no problem getting up and down both Magnolia and Queen Anne in a 2 wheel drive car with normal tires. No snow tires. No chains. You guys cant even drive in the rain, which is something that one would think you would be used to. People here have no concept of a fast (passing) lane. They drive side by side, taking up all lanes, at the same ridiculous speed. Let’s not forget to mention the pissy drivers, the hall monitors of the road, the ones who take offense to being passed because they are not moving efficiently. 

    • Artthiel

      Schro, another thing that my travels have taught me is that there’s always a cohort in every city that claims its city’s drivers are the worst in the world. NY, Chi, SF, LA, everywhere there’s someone like you claiming everyone else is bad, and they’re not. Amazing.

  • Schrodinger

    I completely agree that is pointless for Seattlites to attempt descending/ascending the hills here when it snows: That is because, as far as I’m concerned, Seattlites are the worst drivers in the country bar none. Let me start off by saying that I had no problem getting up and down both Magnolia and Queen Anne in a 2 wheel drive car with normal tires. No snow tires. No chains. You guys cant even drive in the rain, which is something that one would think you would be used to. People here have no concept of a fast (passing) lane. They drive side by side, taking up all lanes, at the same ridiculous speed. Let’s not forget to mention the pissy drivers, the hall monitors of the road, the ones who take offense to being passed because they are not moving efficiently. 

    • Artthiel

      Schro, another thing that my travels have taught me is that there’s always a cohort in every city that claims its city’s drivers are the worst in the world. NY, Chi, SF, LA, everywhere there’s someone like you claiming everyone else is bad, and they’re not. Amazing.

  • dmyers00

    Western NY State native, 20-year Seattlite here. While I agree with all points, and have long since dropped my chuckles aimed at Seattle drivers et al, you can’t let the city off the hook like that. It’s inexcusable that they’re not prepared for these things with more plows and salt.

    • Artthiel

      No city in the world has enough equipment and salt to make navigable all the streets that have steep grades in Seattle. Spend a day driving around and see for yourself.

  • dmyers00

    Western NY State native, 20-year Seattlite here. While I agree with all points, and have long since dropped my chuckles aimed at Seattle drivers et al, you can’t let the city off the hook like that. It’s inexcusable that they’re not prepared for these things with more plows and salt.

    • Artthiel

      No city in the world has enough equipment and salt to make navigable all the streets that have steep grades in Seattle. Spend a day driving around and see for yourself.

  • E Harris

    I had the opportunity to work in Seattle for a week. When I heard about this snow storm I thought about the hilly, winding roads and the huge trees and was thankful to be in Michigan.

    • Artthiel

      Please let me know if you, or anyone you know, escapes from nature. I’ve been to the UP, and don’t think I’m cut out to be a Yooper.

  • E Harris

    I had the opportunity to work in Seattle for a week. When I heard about this snow storm I thought about the hilly, winding roads and the huge trees and was thankful to be in Michigan.

    • Artthiel

      Please let me know if you, or anyone you know, escapes from nature. I’ve been to the UP, and don’t think I’m cut out to be a Yooper.

  • rollmyeyes

    Face it, LA told the truth, and the truth hurts! Seattle’s claim of being so outdoorsy with people climbing Rainier and kayaking the sound is a total fraud. One snowflake and the whole town goes into apocalyptic seizures. I grew up on steep hills and wet snow in my native Michigan. This town is pathetically wimpy.

    • Artthiel

      Hey, roll, next time you’re in LA when it rains, check out the panic. And next time you’re back in Detroit, check out the panic when the gunfire stops. We’re all uncomfortable in environments where we are less familiar. 

  • rollmyeyes

    Face it, LA told the truth, and the truth hurts! Seattle’s claim of being so outdoorsy with people climbing Rainier and kayaking the sound is a total fraud. One snowflake and the whole town goes into apocalyptic seizures. I grew up on steep hills and wet snow in my native Michigan. This town is pathetically wimpy.

    • Artthiel

      Hey, roll, next time you’re in LA when it rains, check out the panic. And next time you’re back in Detroit, check out the panic when the gunfire stops. We’re all uncomfortable in environments where we are less familiar. 

  • KarenH

    You’re my new hero Art.  Thanks for your commentary!

  • KarenH

    You’re my new hero Art.  Thanks for your commentary!

  • Steve

    Ya lost me at “No downtown that receives snow is as as hilly as Seattle. Period. The Priniciple of Verticality. There’s just too much up here to get down safely.” Never been to Pittsburgh? A helluva lot more snow too.

  • Steve

    Ya lost me at “No downtown that receives snow is as as hilly as Seattle. Period. The Priniciple of Verticality. There’s just too much up here to get down safely.” Never been to Pittsburgh? A helluva lot more snow too.

  • your mom

    “Or has everyone forgotten last winter’s snow-free mildness?”

    You can’t be serious.  Last year’s “snow-free mildness” included the earliest snowfall in Seattle in decades, when we were utterly b*tchslapped over the days preceding Thanksgiving. 

  • your mom

    “Or has everyone forgotten last winter’s snow-free mildness?”

    You can’t be serious.  Last year’s “snow-free mildness” included the earliest snowfall in Seattle in decades, when we were utterly b*tchslapped over the days preceding Thanksgiving. 

  • Lynnae P

    ‘Danger’ Jim Foreman is an interesting nickname. I started ‘Little Skippy Foreman’ ten years ago but it didn’t stick. Still working on Jesse ‘Majestic’ Jones.

  • Lynnae P

    ‘Danger’ Jim Foreman is an interesting nickname. I started ‘Little Skippy Foreman’ ten years ago but it didn’t stick. Still working on Jesse ‘Majestic’ Jones.

  • 2pw

    Nothing comes close on the
    White-Knuckle-O-Meter to the thought of getting behind the wheel of an
    expensive, shiny, heavy object in Seattle in the snow, except perhaps driving in LA in the rain.  Apparently their shiny objects on wheels are outfitted with some device that slams the brakes when the windshield wipers are turned on.

  • 2pw

    Nothing comes close on the
    White-Knuckle-O-Meter to the thought of getting behind the wheel of an
    expensive, shiny, heavy object in Seattle in the snow, except perhaps driving in LA in the rain.  Apparently their shiny objects on wheels are outfitted with some device that slams the brakes when the windshield wipers are turned on.

  • momamia

    Oh man – I am from the Seattle area and never really thought we would have to deal with snow when we moved to Raleigh, NC and if there is even talk of snow everyone here goes insane. If you need bread or milk you can forget about finding it, even at Costco. If you want to drive anywhere you are totally fine cuz NO ONE will leave their house. They stock up on bread and milk (not sure why those 2 things get you through the snow) and then lock them selves in their house for days until the “Threat” of snow is over. Then they post photos of the “dusting” of snow and act like it’s 6 feet. Our first winter here there was about 2-3 inches and everything, even the McDonalds, closed. We drove around just for the sheer entertainment of seeing how ridiculous every one was.

  • momamia

    Oh man – I am from the Seattle area and never really thought we would have to deal with snow when we moved to Raleigh, NC and if there is even talk of snow everyone here goes insane. If you need bread or milk you can forget about finding it, even at Costco. If you want to drive anywhere you are totally fine cuz NO ONE will leave their house. They stock up on bread and milk (not sure why those 2 things get you through the snow) and then lock them selves in their house for days until the “Threat” of snow is over. Then they post photos of the “dusting” of snow and act like it’s 6 feet. Our first winter here there was about 2-3 inches and everything, even the McDonalds, closed. We drove around just for the sheer entertainment of seeing how ridiculous every one was.

  • Waprog2

    It’s a combination of problems. I have driven in Pennsylvania in the winter, the home of wet snow, ice and mountain roads with hairpin turns. I have done the black and glaze ice of Idaho. No thanks. But, I think we can do some personal prep.
    1. Get snow tires and put them on your back wheels unless you have front wheel drive. Put them on the fist day of winter, and leave them on until the last day of winter. DON’T use studs.
    2. Buy cheap, non-clumping clay kitty litter in a big bag and put it in the trunk of your car. This weighs you car down in the back. Can also be used to spread on the ground for traction for spinning wheels.
    3. Learn alternate routes to places you must go.
    4. Put a snow shovel in your car.
    Don’t figure I don’t know what I’m talking about because I don’t drive in Seattle.

  • Waprog2

    It’s a combination of problems. I have driven in Pennsylvania in the winter, the home of wet snow, ice and mountain roads with hairpin turns. I have done the black and glaze ice of Idaho. No thanks. But, I think we can do some personal prep.
    1. Get snow tires and put them on your back wheels unless you have front wheel drive. Put them on the fist day of winter, and leave them on until the last day of winter. DON’T use studs.
    2. Buy cheap, non-clumping clay kitty litter in a big bag and put it in the trunk of your car. This weighs you car down in the back. Can also be used to spread on the ground for traction for spinning wheels.
    3. Learn alternate routes to places you must go.
    4. Put a snow shovel in your car.
    Don’t figure I don’t know what I’m talking about because I don’t drive in Seattle.

  • longagolute

    Art – Is it true that you were playing in a basketball game at UBC, made a drive to the basket, ran into the crashbars on the end doors, and wound up locked outside?  That would be enough to make anyone a weather cynic

  • longagolute

    Art – Is it true that you were playing in a basketball game at UBC, made a drive to the basket, ran into the crashbars on the end doors, and wound up locked outside?  That would be enough to make anyone a weather cynic

  • Unklmike

    One of the local newscasts inadvertently ran a segment that should be on YouTube by now. A newscaster was broadcasting on site about the horrendous conditions, pointing out a car in the background that had skidded off the road, with rear wheels spinning to no avail. The newscaster then turned back to the camera and returned to his script. The driver of the stuck car had it figured out though: He put the car in Drive, then ran around behind the car to give it a push. As it started moving forward, he scrambled to catch up and dove back into the driver’s seat just as the car ploughed nose-first into the ditch on the far side of the road. 

    For some reason, I don’t think that any amount of great advice like that appearing in your blog would have done him any good. Everyone who lives in the great Northwest, or wherever snow might fall, should own tire chains and know how to put them on.

  • Unklmike

    One of the local newscasts inadvertently ran a segment that should be on YouTube by now. A newscaster was broadcasting on site about the horrendous conditions, pointing out a car in the background that had skidded off the road, with rear wheels spinning to no avail. The newscaster then turned back to the camera and returned to his script. The driver of the stuck car had it figured out though: He put the car in Drive, then ran around behind the car to give it a push. As it started moving forward, he scrambled to catch up and dove back into the driver’s seat just as the car ploughed nose-first into the ditch on the far side of the road. 

    For some reason, I don’t think that any amount of great advice like that appearing in your blog would have done him any good. Everyone who lives in the great Northwest, or wherever snow might fall, should own tire chains and know how to put them on.

  • Belladonna

    I guess maybe the city should be a little more prepared and the drivers aware of their abilities before  they get behind a wheel. I grew up in Seattle and now live in Alaska. Where the Burrough is prepared to maintain the road properly, something you said Seattle roads will never see, and the drivers know their limitations and drive within them.
    We have hills not as many as Seattle but many of ours fall off into an abyss and end up causing avalanches. The roads are covered in ice for 6 months with continous snow and freezing temperatures. It is possible to be prepared and aware. If your skills don’t match that of the weather stay out of your car, if your car is ill equipped don’t try and use it, if your city cannot manage the weather well enough said.

  • Belladonna

    I guess maybe the city should be a little more prepared and the drivers aware of their abilities before  they get behind a wheel. I grew up in Seattle and now live in Alaska. Where the Burrough is prepared to maintain the road properly, something you said Seattle roads will never see, and the drivers know their limitations and drive within them.
    We have hills not as many as Seattle but many of ours fall off into an abyss and end up causing avalanches. The roads are covered in ice for 6 months with continous snow and freezing temperatures. It is possible to be prepared and aware. If your skills don’t match that of the weather stay out of your car, if your car is ill equipped don’t try and use it, if your city cannot manage the weather well enough said.

  • ski instructor

    I’ve been a ski instructor for a long time, which means that if the road to the area is open, you are expected to be there, failure is just not an option. And if it’s 20 degrees, compact snow is pretty fun to drive on, it’s grippy.
    That being said, you forgot to mention the road condition that strikes fear into my heart, the rain on compact snow situation. There’s just no way to drive on this, you can’t even walk on it. And this happens to some degree every time we have snow in the lowlands as part of the warmup phase after every snow storm.
    When given the wet snow that we get, Colorado drivers drive just as badly in it as Seattleites do, I saw this on a white knuckle drive from Breckenridge to the airport one April.

    • ski instructor

      I forgot to thank Mr.Thiel for writing this article, it was about time someone did it. I can only blame my ommission on a dangerously low blood caffeine level :-)

  • ski instructor

    I’ve been a ski instructor for a long time, which means that if the road to the area is open, you are expected to be there, failure is just not an option. And if it’s 20 degrees, compact snow is pretty fun to drive on, it’s grippy.
    That being said, you forgot to mention the road condition that strikes fear into my heart, the rain on compact snow situation. There’s just no way to drive on this, you can’t even walk on it. And this happens to some degree every time we have snow in the lowlands as part of the warmup phase after every snow storm.
    When given the wet snow that we get, Colorado drivers drive just as badly in it as Seattleites do, I saw this on a white knuckle drive from Breckenridge to the airport one April.

    • ski instructor

      I forgot to thank Mr.Thiel for writing this article, it was about time someone did it. I can only blame my ommission on a dangerously low blood caffeine level :-)

  • Bridger

    I’m a big believer in reciprocity.  The kind that makes people look at their own behavior and realize  what goes around comes around.  I like living in Seattle……mostly.  However, it is a city quick to criticize others exuding hubris while not taking a hit well itself.  Seattle, on all levels you suck at dealing with real winter.  Period.  You excel at other things, not this.  Live with it.  Learn from it.  I’ve lived in Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Idaho and 6 other states so am well versed in the white stuff.

    I’ve lived in states hat Seattle has very publicly criticized for their perceived shortcomings and have oft asked myself “really, so you’ve never lived here, but you are experts on how things should be.” So schadenfreude may be quite relevant here.  It’s a good word and one I’m quite familiar with having lived with the somewhat intolerant Germans and Austrians.

  • Bridger

    I’m a big believer in reciprocity.  The kind that makes people look at their own behavior and realize  what goes around comes around.  I like living in Seattle……mostly.  However, it is a city quick to criticize others exuding hubris while not taking a hit well itself.  Seattle, on all levels you suck at dealing with real winter.  Period.  You excel at other things, not this.  Live with it.  Learn from it.  I’ve lived in Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Idaho and 6 other states so am well versed in the white stuff.

    I’ve lived in states hat Seattle has very publicly criticized for their perceived shortcomings and have oft asked myself “really, so you’ve never lived here, but you are experts on how things should be.” So schadenfreude may be quite relevant here.  It’s a good word and one I’m quite familiar with having lived with the somewhat intolerant Germans and Austrians.

  • Mplsnative

    Thanks for defending us from the most self absorbed, transparent and plastic city in the nation. They can stick to their grass fires and houses precariously perched above the ocean void, awaiting the next quake to send them into the ocean.

    I grew up in Minnesota, lived in Colorado for four years and have had a lot of white knuckle winter drives. I will drive in the snow here, but don’t when I don’t need to or pick my spots carefully. Yes, the hills are steeper in Seattle and are unforgiving. If the southern Californians doubt that, fly them up, rent them a bike and have them run a few laps up the counterbalance.

  • Mplsnative

    Thanks for defending us from the most self absorbed, transparent and plastic city in the nation. They can stick to their grass fires and houses precariously perched above the ocean void, awaiting the next quake to send them into the ocean.

    I grew up in Minnesota, lived in Colorado for four years and have had a lot of white knuckle winter drives. I will drive in the snow here, but don’t when I don’t need to or pick my spots carefully. Yes, the hills are steeper in Seattle and are unforgiving. If the southern Californians doubt that, fly them up, rent them a bike and have them run a few laps up the counterbalance.

  • Hope in Wisconsin

    Hey, I’ll give you the hills. Even though we have hills here, you have more. I’ll give you that you don’t need a ton of snowplows. However, there are ways to prep the roads so you don’t get that “Seattle cement” situation. If it is bad enough to be given a cute nickname, it is serious enough to be planned for.  My city spreads a wet mixture of salt and something else on the roads BEFORE the temp drops or the big storm comes. It dries, and helps keep the flakes and ice at a warmer temp so it is water instead of ice. Your city could do the same, especially on those hills. Then you won’t appear in as many YouTube videos. Win-win!

  • Hope in Wisconsin

    Hey, I’ll give you the hills. Even though we have hills here, you have more. I’ll give you that you don’t need a ton of snowplows. However, there are ways to prep the roads so you don’t get that “Seattle cement” situation. If it is bad enough to be given a cute nickname, it is serious enough to be planned for.  My city spreads a wet mixture of salt and something else on the roads BEFORE the temp drops or the big storm comes. It dries, and helps keep the flakes and ice at a warmer temp so it is water instead of ice. Your city could do the same, especially on those hills. Then you won’t appear in as many YouTube videos. Win-win!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XHTCP6PQ2IFCB3RQXIA7VMCF3U Anonymous

    So, the real problem is nobody in Seattle has ever heard of salt….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XHTCP6PQ2IFCB3RQXIA7VMCF3U yahoo-XHTCP6PQ2IFCB3RQXIA7VMCF3U

    So, the real problem is nobody in Seattle has ever heard of salt….