More Of The White Stuff

As I was pulling into our parking lot at work this morning, I noticed a hint of something poking out of the snow-covered ground near my parking spot.

I stopped short of the snow-covered object, got out of the car and retrieved it. It was a little dirty and damp, but no one had driven or parked over it. I gave it a few firm shakes to free it of any attached snow. I had recovered my lost scarf. After being washed, I can put it to some use again.

That aside, it snowed another 10 cm near our household and workplace last night. The side roads were a little slippery due to the new snow accumulation, but the main roads and highway were nearly free of any ice. No longer were motorists confined to driving 20 to 40 km/hr. Traffic was finally moving along at the designated street and highway speeds.

With the climate getting warmer today (above 0C!), snow is finally starting to melt, making for safer roads.

Where Are All The Snow Plows?

I decided to drive a FWD car to work today.

It didn’t help much.

Roads were still slippery today, especially intersections. Black ice was plentiful. The smell of burnt rubber was in the air.

I didn’t see a single snow plow during my commute this morning and this evening. The local paper reported that the city had been working 24 hours a day clearing roads. Where were they? All of the major intersections in town were still in the same state they were yesterday evening — very slippery.

The Accord sedan I drove didn’t handle the slippery intersections very well, mostly due to a lack of traction control. My RWD G35 actually faired better with traction control enabled. It swayed a little (an inch or two) in the rear, but gained traction within a second and carried on. In contrast, the Accord swayed to the right at two intersections and took several seconds to gain traction at another local intersection. I recall my Accord V6 coupe (same year as G35) exhibiting similar behavior during a winter storm a couple of years ago. In retrospect, I think the 03 Accord’s traction control implementation wasn’t as refined as the one in the 03 G35 (eg. reducing engine output to gain traction and per-wheel torque distribution).

Continue reading “Where Are All The Snow Plows?”