10.18.2006

"Academy" must be Latin for "undriveable".

Yesterday morning, the forecasts here in Colorado Springs called for snow to begin about 8 pm and continue to the wee hours of the morning. A grand total of about an inch of accumulation was to happen. Naturally, none of this was correct. The snow started about 2 pm, and the grand total was more in the 4 to 6 inch range. This kind of inaccuracy happens all the time here. I've never seen such incompotent weatherpersons in my entire life. In their defense, I've also never seen such unpredictable and dramatically shifting weather in my life. But they have technology, experience, and schooling on their side. And they still don't get in the ballpark. Even as I was watching the news last night, the meteorologist was saying the snow was tapering off. But it was still coming down as hard as ever! Put a window in your studio!!!

Temper check, ok...

That's not even my real beef. I've been complaining about the weatherpeople in this town for two years now. My problem this morning is with the City of Colorado Springs. They completely don't understand how to take care of roads (which is symptomatic of the entire state of Colorado not knowing how to take care of roads). As I mentioned, the snow started around 2. When I went home at 4, the roads were only wet, and yet the masses of cars felt the need to go 20 mph the whole way. This is nothing new, I expected this. The first snow of any year is met with sheer panic, no matter where you are. It gave me a chance to listen to some Christmas music on the drive home. Awesome.

Last night on the news they had a story on when the city calls the plows into action. The thing is, it's much much later than you'd think. They don't get that you can't wait for a base of ice to build up under the cars before you start plowing. It was obvious the snow was going to amount to something, so pull the trigger already with the plows! Apparently the snow finally tapered off about midnight or so. And when I went to work at 7 am, you know what they had accomplished by then? Nothing.

Academy Boulevard is the second busiest street in the city, behind only I-25. Thousands of cars drive on it every commute. And yet they hadn't dropped a single piece of salt or sand on the entire road. It literally could've been used for a hockey rink. There were several occassions where I couldn't get going from a stoplight on account of all the sliding my brand new tires were doing. A couple times I nearly wrecked my car not being able to stop in time. This isn't some back street, it's Academy Freakin Boulevard!

Closed circuit to the City of Colorado Springs: I don't care if this snow will melt by tomorrow. I don't care if you're underfunded and understaffed. The second busiest road in a city with 400,000 people needs some salt when it snows. You can't commute on a frozen pond. Here's an idea: send three people to Minneapolis. Wait until a snowstorm. Then, have your three people drive around for a few hours. That's it. I guarantee they'll learn a lot. They'll be amazed by how many plows they see, how accessible most of the roads are, how they don't have to fear for their lives. Who knows, they might even bring back an idea or two.

Please, let's get some people on this right away. I don't have enough clean underwear for this.

4 comments:

jan. said...

at least they can apply salt. in hippy-ville marquette county they won't salt the roads. they just throw sand at the 300 inches of snow per year. the salt will eventually get down to the pavement for you. plus, the snow that falls in october will surely melt before may.

gordon said...

be thankful it melts after a day. when they don't plow my street all winter (which they don't), it creates ice ruts that make it impossible to drive 2 cars across, which inevitably leads to several head on crashes every month outside my apartment. ok, not really, but in theory, based purely on the state of the road, and herein the gigantic, 3 foot deep ice-ruts, there should be numerous deaths occurring on the street.

Nick said...

I am very thankful it melts, and I don't mean to sound like a crank. I'm just saying that every time it snows, the city NEEDS to salt the major roads. I don't care if it's the street outside my apartment, but even in Marquette and St. Paul they take care of a few major streets at least.

gordon said...

you do have a point about major roads typically being plowed. i'll reluctantly agree with you ;)