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Old 12-20-2008, 07:03 AM   #21
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Has anyone tried Yaktrax? I guess they are kind of light duty crampons that you strap on your boots to give better traction on icy sidewalks. I doubt they would reach me in time for this cold spell, but there may be others and there will certainly be other years.

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Old 12-20-2008, 08:46 AM   #22
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..................................Travelover, if you have problems with them slipping off, you could always upgrade to the Yaktrax Pro which have a strap that goes over the top of your shoe.

--Linney
Thanks I'm aware of the Pro series, but too cheap to buy 'em. The string / clip thing has worked great for 3 years now.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:09 PM   #23
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snow preparedness: a standby plane ticket to florida.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:11 PM   #24
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I thought I hadn't travelled enough to find better places to live out my retirement. Now I feel smarter (whether I am or not) by just being in Arizona.

My wife is from northern Michigan, she left there in the 1980's. You don't have to live that way. Move.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:34 PM   #25
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I have seen a lot of complaining up here in Seattle about how bad the snow clearing is. I have also noticed that the majority of drivers don't use chains.

I wonder if folks that use chains and carry winter clothes and a shovel in their trunk are as whiney as the those that expect the roads to be bare and dry all year.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:36 AM   #26
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Chains and studded tires are illegal to use when driving here, they wreck the roads.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:59 PM   #27
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Chains and studded tires are illegal to use when driving here, they wreck the roads.
That's what they say here, too. But after driving around quite a bit in the past couple of days, I really don't think that chains or studs could hurt the pothole filled roads, streets, and highways any worse than they already are! One of the main state highways through town, looks like the surface of the moon with all those gaping craters in it!

Back when I was still working, I had to contend with ice and snow-packed roads & hills to get to work, and also to do my work. So I always had chains in my vehicles for when it got bad out.....law or no law! Nowadays, if it's icy, snowy, or whatever, I just look out the window and thank my lucky stars that I don't have to venture out, like all those working stiffs still have to!
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:15 PM   #28
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I have seen a lot of complaining up here in Seattle about how bad the snow clearing is. I have also noticed that the majority of drivers don't use chains.
I don't have chains. I learned to drive in the SF Bay area, and coping with snow was not part of our instruction. I'm sure there are many people here from warmer parts of the country who have simply never learned to drive on snow. I've been told by people from other parts of the country that our snow in Seattle is really slicker than in other regions, because it's usually not as thoroughly frozen. After the snowfall, the temperature often rises above freezing during the day, water runs down to the pavement level and then freezes into a layer of ice underneath at night....very slippery indeed. And then there are the hills....

My car has front wheel drive, so I will drive a short distance on fresh snow, but once it gets packed down it's buses and "Shanks' Mare" for me until it melts. There are so many other people here who (admittedly or not) have no idea how to drive in the snow, that it's just safer to leave the car in the garage on those infrequent occasions when we get a heavy snowfall. Usually that's only a few days; this time it was nearly three weeks, the longest I recall in the nearly 27 years I have lived here.

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I wonder if folks that use chains and carry winter clothes and a shovel in their trunk are as whiney......
When I got back from my parents' house Saturday, the gutter in front of my house was clogged with snow and slush, so the water couldn't drain away as it would normally. I knew that would keep me from getting out the next morning, so I cleared out the clogs, and with help from a neighbor, removed ice and snow from the last few feet of steeply sloping crown up to the driving lane of the street (which was mostly clear). I hoped that overnight rain would remove the rest of the ice for me and it did. (hallelujah!) As I was giving a finishing touch to the ditch, a neighbor from the other side came out and remarked that it was the City's responsibility to clear the street and she gave it has her opinion that if the mayoral election was this year, the incumbent would have been trounced. I could understand her ire if storms of this magnitude were an annual event, but I bet she would gripe even more about the higher taxes that would be needed to keep snow-clearing crews in readiness every winter for amounts of snowfall that occur perhaps every 5 years or even less frequently.

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....as the those that expect the roads to be bare and dry all year.
Nobody who has lived in Seattle through even part of a winter expects the roads to be bare and dry all the time. We expect them to be bare and wet for at least 4 or 5 months of the year.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:50 AM   #29
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My 19 year-old daughter has lived all her life in Seattle and it only took her a few minutes to learn to put on chains. After that she was able to drive to work without having to worry about getting stuck.

In Seattle chains are not forbidden. The city policy is to make the roads passable for cars with chains.

Chains do a lot less damage to the roads than the freezing and thawing process does. Those potholes knocking your alignment off are not caused by chains.

I don't see why it matters where you are from whether or not you prepare for bad weather. We moved here from Phoenix and one of the first things we did was buy some rain coats and tire chains.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:24 AM   #30
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(snip)In Seattle chains are not forbidden. The city policy is to make the roads passable for cars with chains.
Studded tires are also allowed, but have to be off by (IIRC) April 1.

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Chains do a lot less damage to the roads than the freezing and thawing process does. Those potholes knocking your alignment off are not caused by chains. (snip)
And now that the snow has mostly melted, the potholes are revealing themselves. ISTM there are considerably more of them than there were before the storm.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:16 AM   #31
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My 19 year-old daughter has lived all her life in Seattle and it only took her a few minutes to learn to put on chains. After that she was able to drive to work without having to worry about getting stuck.

In Seattle chains are not forbidden. The city policy is to make the roads passable for cars with chains.
Not sure where you live, but maybe it is not in city where there are so many steep hills. Walking around I saw cars with chains get stuck, get into crashes, and be hit by other cars. Many hilly bus routes were completely shut down, even for routes running the short 40' buses. Buses have chains, why were they unable to go?

I've driven a lot with chains; I've gone over the passes in snow and ice, I've spent snowly years in Eastern Washington. One of the things I know is that chains are not much good on ice, and cable chains which are the only thing that can be fitted on many small cars without damaging the car are almost useless on ice.

So while you and your daughter are undoubtedly superior drivers and even superior people, maybe those who chose to walk also made rational decisions, and are not just whiners. In fact, I haven't seen any whining except yours about how whiny we Seattle snow walkers are.

Ha
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:06 PM   #32
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Buses have chains, why were they unable to go?
I don't know much about buses, maybe they weren't able to navigate because they are a lot bigger and heavier than passenger cars.

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cable chains which are the only thing that can be fitted on many small cars without damaging the car are almost useless on ice.
We drive a 2000 Ford Escort and were able to fit it with standard chains with no problems. There are several brands of standard chains that fit SAE Class S vehicles.

If you want to walk that is your choice. Folks that have jobs to get to and know the buses aren't running need to know how to fend for themselves. If that makes us seem superior to you then you have my pity.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:23 PM   #33
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We drive a 2000 Ford Escort and were able to fit it with standard chains with no problems. There are several brands of standard chains that fit SAE Class S vehicles.

If you want to walk that is your choice.
Thank you Sir! And if I drove a 2000 Ford Escort, I wouldn't be too worried about wrecking it either.
ha
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:36 PM   #34
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:01 PM   #35
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:24 PM   #36
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:52 PM   #37
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My city is built on a relatively steep hill. It used to presumptiously refer to itself as San Francisco of the north. Still no chains or studs as they are illegal all over Minnesota and yes they do damage the road surfaces.

On the other hand, we get plenty of snow here so the city is prepared. They plow constantly from the time snow starts, if possible. After the storm is over the city salts bus routes and certain uphill streets immediately and liberally so you generally can get around. There are side streets that remain problematic for a while but they get to them relatively fast. I did used to watch out of my office window people trying to go uphill, spinning the wheels, and then having to back down. They just didn't know what hill to take up or stubbornly believed they would get up the hill.

We had six inches of snow yesterday, I just was out driving around in my little front wheel drive jetta with snow tires. No problem.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:16 PM   #38
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As a 30 year resident N. of Seattle, what scares me about this little snow episode, (longest time of snow on the ground, since the 14th of Dec) is something I've read about in Cliff Mass's new book. (uw weather person) It is called the Pacific Decennial Oscillation and the theme is that we are in the beginning of a 30 year cooler period like the 50's when Green Lake froze so hard folks were ice skating on it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:05 PM   #39
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A son gave me this book for Christmas. I had never heard of him. Very interesting book. I think I might like it if in fact it does get colder. I really enjoyed the late 60s and 70s that were cold and frequently snowy. Mabye I will get to use my ice cleats again.

Ha
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:44 AM   #40
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My city is built on a relatively steep hill. It used to presumptiously refer to itself as San Francisco of the north. Still no chains or studs as they are illegal all over Minnesota and yes they do damage the road surfaces.

On the other hand, we get plenty of snow here so the city is prepared. They plow constantly from the time snow starts, if possible. (snip)
I think that's a major part of the difference. In Minnesota, you know it's going to snow, the only question is when and how much. It snowed another inch or so last night, but appears to be on the melt this morning, which is a more typical sort of snowstorm for Seattle than what we had last month.
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