Portland's solution to snow is Spring. It's kind of hilarious, but also kind of tragic. How ill-prepared is this city for snow? Honolulu has to be better prepared!
Coincidentally, I was on the way home from the airport last night after returning from Honolulu. What a mess the roads were. I realized very quickly I-84 was at a standstill, so I got off at the Sandy bypass and drove along Sandy toward the Burnside Bridge. Along the way, there were several Tri-Met busses without chains, as well as motorists in small cars without chains, stranded and blocking intersections and on-ramps.
Even though traffic was crawling at a very slow pace and at a standstill in other spots, getting home was an exercise in thinking on the fly. One of the tricks was to find the flat roads. I was less likely to run into stranded cars and get trapped if there were no hills. Of course, I was acutely aware of other motorists, especially the ones who never should have been out on the roads. Anticipating where they would get stuck allowed me to avoid getting stuck. "Accidents waiting to happen," I thought.
|usually I take the route highlighted in blue, last night I went a different way|
After getting over the Burnside Bridge, I headed up Burnside but there were stranded Tri-Met busses blocking the way. I went through the Pearl District to get around, crossed over to go toward the Ross Island Bridge, and there was another pile-up involving busses and motorists leading to the 26 on ramp. I went around again, this time toward Naito Parkway, and headed toward Barbur, all the while maneuvering around stranded cars and Tri-Met busses. I had to go through more than one parking lot to get around them.
|This photo from the Tri-Met web site is so ironic. All they did for me last night |
was block several potential routes with stranded busses that were not chained up
One side-note to the chaotic mess caused by Tri-Met busses is ODOT's failure. The roads were not prepared, and they never are. Where was the sand? Where was the gravel? Where was the de-icer? Where are the plows? The refusal to use salt is a huge part of the problem, particularly on the hills. In a nutshell, that's why Portland shuts down when it snows: poorly prepared roads, poorly prepared mass transit and poorly prepared drivers. I am unhappy with all of them, but glad to be safe at home.
So, welcome home from Hawaii! LOL! Our plane must've been one of the last to land. Others were diverted to Seattle. Even though it was an annoying drive home, my only problem was with the lack of preparedness of others. Story of my life! I have an SUV with 4WD and chains in the back if needed. I wouldn't be any less prepared to drive in Portland in the snow, but plenty of drivers last night seemed to disagree with that idea. I cursed them under my breath as I crawled by their stranded cars. Hope the hazard lights didn't run down the batteries, LOL! Oh well, maybe Portland's solution will come soon and the snow will melt.