Seattle Times: Seattle refuses to use salt; roads “snow packed” by design […] To hear the city’s spin, Seattle’s road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.
But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means “snow-packed,” as in there’s snow and ice left on major arterials by design.
“We’re trying to create a hard-packed surface,” said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. “It doesn’t look like anything you’d find in Chicago or New York.”
The city’s approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as long as they are using chains, Wiggins said.
The icy streets are the result of Seattle’s refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.
“If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.”
Did someone tell them that the city’s busses can’t get up the hills? That Denny Way [shown at right] is still shut down? That the cop cars are rear wheel drive (and can’t make hills with chains?)
Full of loss.