Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bad drivers, bad roads or both?

With three inches of snow down and more falling, The Eagle started looking at snow removal practices Wednesday morning. Turns out Wichita has about the same bar that other cities do -- they don't plow until a couple inches have fallen. May be a common practice, but Wichitans aren't necessarily used to it.

Click the "Read more" link to see what readers wrote to The Eagle after the paper solicited comments on at lunch time.

As someone who lived 12 years in western MN and eastern ND, I can tell you this morning's commute was a breeze. Snow at least provides some traction and is much easier to drive on than ice. In the winter I actually prefer to drive on snow pack than scraped roads that become icy. The trick is to drive cautiously, don't take your half out of the middle, don't drive too fast, but don't drive too slowly either. Just a calm, steady pace. If you go too slowly, you can get stuck in the deeper snow and slush. It just takes common sense and courtesy.
My commute today was a little out of the ordinary for most working people. I walked out, sat down in the car and started it up. I opened a book (a mystery novel) and read a few pages while the car warmed up and defrosted, then drove off. The roads were dry and the commute was uneventful. I locked the car and walked into the house. This morning while most people was fighting the slick roads and snow, hoping to get to work on time without someone running into them, I was sleeping like a baby under a warm blanket. I got out of bed without an alarm clock going off and sat at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee, watching the fine snow drift down over the yard. Nature is so pretty and white, sparkling and glistening on top of the yellow-brown grass! On mornings like this I really enjoy working 2nd shift!
Driver here in Kansas lack respect for snow and ice. I am from North Dakota and learned to respect ice and snow.
Seems like the driver in this state never want to slow down.
Wonder why there are so many accidents when it snows.
Even when it rains here the accidents are above normal. Too much speed!!!!!!
My drive to work is not very far, so it was fine. I do, however, feel bad for the man who's car was stuck in the middle of the Harry & Hillside intersection. It looked as though his car died on him, not as though the snow was a factor.
I go north on Woodlawn to 21st St. for work. Coming in this morning just north past the Eastborough/Douglas signal light an ignorant driver (which is the norm) driving his truck higher than the posted speed limit (35 mph) trying to bypass all of us cautious drivers - there is one lane ahead heading towards Central with the left lane closed due to ongoing construction. This idiot in the left lane - speeding - then literally squeezing between the two cars along side him (one car in front of me) - of course we had to slam on our brakes for the jerk to squeeze in. Luckily no accident happened But idiots can't drive in good wheather much less bad wheater. I guess people don't care about losing their lives or costing others theirs. There is never, ever a cop around for speeders in this area.
When I first got out on the roads this morning at 6:05 a.m., it was not snowing. By the time I got up to the intersection of Central and Meridian, it had started snowing fairly hard. Then by the time I got to Zoo Blvd. and Hoover, the snow was already accumulating on the roadways. By the time I got home about 6:40, it had started snowing where we live (Washington south of Pawnee). The street was already covered with white and was getting slick.
I knew better than to take the freeways for it seems the people forget they are driving on possibly slick roadways. Pickup trucks seem to be the worst. They think they are heavier and therefore exempt from slipping and sliding. Of course, they find out different most of the time when they lose control and either flip their trucks or, gain back control and hopefully learn not to do that again.
I took back roads to work this morning – Pawnee to Rock Road. It was already pretty slick but people were generally taking it easy. I didn’t see any idiots thinking they were on dry pavement.
The commute to work this morning was terrible. I left for work early, and got to work late. I just don’t understand why traffic was stopped on I-235 when there was no accident in sight. I can understand people going slow on the highway for slick roads, but why in the heck do you have to STOP ON A HIGHWAY. Maybe the drivers test should include an IQ test.

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