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Winter rules

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Winter rules

Postby jjoyce » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:34 pm

As Jeff Fitzgerald would say, I get it. Walking on the sidewalk in the snow can be challenging. Some people don't shovel. Sometimes sidewalks are slippery. But walking in the street is a supremely horrible idea in weather like this. Please don't do it.

Can we make that a rule?

What else should be a rule? On my drive in to work this morning, I saw a few people breaking that walking in the street rule. Also:

- In the midst of brake lights, fish-tailing and uncontrolled skidding on the belt line this morning, a woman talking on her phone. No.

- A driver going about ten mph in a gigantic SUV, strangling the steering wheel and destroying travel conditions for at least 50 others stuck behind her. If driving in this weather is that horrifying for you, then stay home.

- Obviously accustomed to dropping the huz right at the front door of the DOA building on East Wilson every morning at 8:45, a woman in a mini-van defiantly attempted that this morning, despite the fact that it stopped two lanes of uphill traffic with little momentum to begin with. Bad weather should force you to alter your scheme. Please do so. There's a whole world of miserable chumps outside your windshield. Do us a favor, huh?

- Too impatient to wait through an inconvenient red light, a pedestrian waits for a gap in traffic and then attempts to sprint across the street. Due to the slush, he has a hard time getting going and staying upright. A quartet of oncoming motorists, focused on keeping their vehicles shiny-side-up and moving forward aware that they have zero stopping ability simultaneously freak out. Why not just wait for the green? Everyone's late for everything today.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby Detritus » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:39 pm

Here's one: Your FWD SUV may go better in the snow, but it does not stop better. You might keep that in mind when you hit 70 trying to pass another car on the beltline, and then realize that car has lights, a siren, and a cop inside.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:53 pm

Speaking as one who's been driving in winter conditions for years and years and years, I can tell you the person who passes me in a big huff when I'm going a prudent speed will often be found in the ditch a mile or two down the road, wondering what happened. This makes my bad self laugh.

I second the rule about not stopping -- or making other people stop -- on an uphill incline. The rain just washed all the salt off our streets, and we're going to have to deal with actual ice until the trucks come around with the sand/salt again. It helps to carry a plastic bucket of sand/salt in your car. (Take it out of the streetside barrels -- that's why we have them.) If you get caught on ice (especially in a streetside parking spot), you can sprinkle some sand under your driving wheels and get going again.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby rrnate » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:17 pm

My main winter driving rule of the last few years has been to not complain about other winter drivers. It feels great!

My second rule is "keep a shovel in the car", just in case. It has served me well.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:45 pm

This rule is very specific to me:

If you are hired to plow my neighbor's driveway, how about pushing it passed my driveway too, instead of leaving an enormo pile for me to clear, especially when you see me outside plowing my driveway at the same time!? I am the last house on the street, so it's not really asking that much. It's an extra 10 feet tops.

Seriously, the guy who plows my neighbor's driveway is a dick.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:29 pm

rrnate wrote:My main winter driving rule of the last few years has been to not complain about other winter drivers. It feels great!


I have a somewhat similar rule when dealing poor drivers. Remember who is sitting in the back seat before you open your mouth.

Last thing I need is for mini me to start sharing new words daddy taught him, at his church associated day care.

The other rule I try to use is assume every other car is being driven by a drunk orangutan who can't see over the dashboard and modify my own driving accordingly.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby fennel » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:40 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:If you are hired to plow my neighbor's driveway, how about pushing it passed my driveway too, instead of leaving an enormo pile for me to clear, especially when you see me outside plowing my driveway at the same time!? I am the last house on the street, so it's not really asking that much.

I can't quite picture this. Is the person depositing snow in the street itself?
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Re: Winter rules

Postby mifflander » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:45 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:The other rule I try to use is assume every other car is being driven by a drunk orangutan who can't see over the dashboard and modify my own driving accordingly.


That's a good year round rule of thumb in this town, not just when the roads are slippery.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:02 pm

Some of these hired plow guys really don't know enough to be plowing. We've got one like that around here too.

It's illegal to just shove the snow into the street and leave it there. I don't know what you're going to do with that information, unfortunately.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:11 pm

snoqueen wrote:It's illegal to just shove the snow into the street and leave it there. I don't know what you're going to do with that information, unfortunately.

The city's report a problem webset. One's name need not be given. List the address that hired those bozos. The city then can investigate. Here's the link to snow/ice problems.

There was a negligent landlord down the block (and next to a daycare) that never cleared their sidewalk for two winters running. I finally reported it during the second winter. The walk was totally cleared a few days later. I assume it came with a ticket.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:55 pm

Detritus wrote:Here's one: Your FWD SUV may go better in the snow, but it does not stop better. You might keep that in mind when you hit 70 trying to pass another car on the beltline, and then realize that car has lights, a siren, and a cop inside.

Yes yes yes. Four-wheel drive does little to nothing when you're driving at high-speed in slippery conditions, but once you're stuck in a ditch, it will help you get out again (which is what it's for in the first place).
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Re: Winter rules

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:00 pm

fennel wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:If you are hired to plow my neighbor's driveway, how about pushing it passed my driveway too, instead of leaving an enormo pile for me to clear, especially when you see me outside plowing my driveway at the same time!? I am the last house on the street, so it's not really asking that much.

I can't quite picture this. Is the person depositing snow in the street itself?
Yeah, I can see why you're confused -- not my clearest writing example.
Only the snow that was already in the street gets left in front of my driveway. The guy has a plow on his truck, which he uses to clear the street in front of the neighbor's driveway. He also has a snowblower in the truck, which is what he uses on the actual driveway. If he'd drive the plow an extra 10 feet, the bulk of the street snow would end up pushed up against the curb just past my driveway. Instead, he "only does what he's paid to do" -- keep the neighbor's driveway accessible -- which means I get extra "street" snow in front of my driveway.

The kicker here is that nobody lives in the house next to mine. It was the childhood home of some woman who refuses to sell it, but she and her husband live elsewhere and just hire someone to take care of the snow removal. So they don't actually need the driveway to be immediately accessible after it snows. I, on the other hand, actually live in the house I own and have normal driveway-accessibility needs.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby brentron909 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:24 pm

My dilemma about winter driving involves not going, but stopping. You know, the gray area between whether or not its cool to proceed through a stale yellow/ red light. If hitting the brakes will either get you going sideways or get the car stuck in deep snow, when is it allowable-but-not-entirely-legal to proceed? Do you get a couple extra seconds of courtesy time after the light changes? Is it cool just to blow through if there isn't any cross traffic? Midwestern drivers are for the most part pretty courteous, and experienced at driving in the snow, but red lights in the snow seem to turn us all into a bunch of sociopathic maniacs. Speaking from personal experience of course.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby john_titor » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:25 pm

jjoyce wrote:
What else should be a rule?


If one is fit and able, possesses a two-stage snow-blower, and receives the amount and quality of snow as we did today, then one must celebrate the singularity that is man and machine. Being able to use the trick where the auger effortlessly pulls the machine along, is nirvana revealed in snow. The ability to get down to clean cement abides with the craftsman in me. Beautiful snow. Not too heavy, not too wet, not too much. Bang a gong, bring it on.
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Re: Winter rules

Postby fennel » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:38 pm

jjoyce wrote:Sometimes sidewalks are slippery. But walking in the street is a supremely horrible idea in weather like this. Please don't do it.

Can we make that a rule?
No. That would be silly.

But you could pull over and offer the pedestrians a ride. That would get them off the street, and you could earn some carbon karma credits to boot.
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