How many car accidents occur because of this wacky environmental regulation

From the Seattle Times:

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." . . .

The city's patrol cars are rear-wheel drive. And even with tire chains, officers are avoiding hills and responding on foot, according to a West Precinct officer. . . .

I wonder if:

1) Crime is going up or down? -- It is harder for the police, but it also might be harder for the criminals.
2) There are more accidents and fatalities?



Blogger Randy said...


Lots of big cities don't use salt any more. They use some beet juice solution, which was developed by a scientist who left the "green" recipe in the public domain rather than personally profit.

I lived in 2 cities that used it, and it seemed to work as well as salt without leaving the nasty salt film on the car.

Google "beet snow" to see how it is growing then call Seattle and give them a heads up.

12/23/2008 3:10 PM  
Blogger be603 said...

oh man, with the hills in Seattle?!!!

12/23/2008 10:03 PM  
Blogger What Would I Know said...

I thought that Puget Sound consisted of salt water. I could be wrong as I have only been to the Atlantic Ocean and things may be different on the West Coast

12/24/2008 8:54 PM  
Blogger Joe C said...

You know what would be an interesting blog post? One that contained the answer to the question: "How many car accidents occur because of this wacky environmental regulations(sic)(sic)".

You know what's a worthless blog post? The one you wrote.

Come back with some actual data, and we'll talk.

12/27/2008 12:30 PM  

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