Seattle Refuses to Use Salt

…that’s the headline from today’s Seattle Times. After reading the article (well, the above the fold part at least) I can’t believe how idiotic the city is. This is really just precious:

From seattletimes.nwsource.com

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.”

So quick recap:

  • “Great progress”
  • Snow and ice left on major arterials by design
  • Trying to create a hard-packed surface
  • Refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster
  • “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.”
  • “Great progress”

Yup, sounds like a great plan. Sometimes I’m sorry I ever left Colorado.

See also: 2 buses skid down slick hill, barely avoid plunge to I-5 (with amazing picture)