Thursday, February 24, 2011

Make that extra salty, please!

Salt Soup!

So for some unknown, very annoying reason, Seattle had decided that it's still winter. Yes, I know officially it is still winter, but it's almost March. In Seattle, the flowers are starting to bud and it's time to start thinking about spring. Except, not now. Snow, temperatures below 20 ARGHHHHH!!!!

So all week long there has been lots of talk about snow. In fact, that's pretty much all anyone has been talking about all week. The snow that was falling, the snow that wasn't falling, the snow that might fall etc. I think actually there was a lot of snow in surrounding areas, but in Seattle we didn't actually get much snow. What we did get was salt! So here's the seattle salt story. A couple years ago we had a really big snow storm. The Seattle powers that be decided that they didn't want to salt the streets. I guess salt runs off the road and gets in the water and is bad for the environment. So Seattle leaders decided no salt, but lots of dirt (oh, maybe sand). So it snowed, they dumped tons of sand on the street, the snow didn't melt, driving wasn't any easier and we just had lots of very dirty 6 - 12 inch mounds of snow all over our streets. It made driving very nearly impossible and cycling absolutely impossible. So, as people will do when the weather has the audacity to impact their lives, they complained. A lot. The politicians got nervous. And, now we salt. (Okay, there were actually quite a few reasons to legitimately complain about how the city handled that storm, salt may or may not have been one of them.)

So, all day yesterday there were warnings of snow and the city went crazy with the salt. I was riding my bike home thinking, oh, it must have snowed, but then realizing I was actually crunching on salt not snow. Last night it finally did snow. It was kind of warm when it snowed, then quickly got cold. Usually, that is a recipe for ice disaster. And sure enough, in the morning, there was a thin layer of ice on everything...... EXCEPT where it was salty. Guess what Seattle, unlike, sand, salt actually MELTS snow and ice. So, on the salted roads NOTHING. Totally clear. And guess what, it was awesome. I got to work easily. I didn't have to worry about near death from slipping on ice. And now the streets are completely clear.

Now, I don't know what the environmental argument is here. I am not so sure that dumping tons of sand on the streets is really any better for the environment than lots of salt. They probably both suck and kill plants and wildlife and fish. And I'm sure the steel on my bike is developing rust right as we speak. But, personally, I'll take salt with my snow. Thanks Seattle!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Every once in a blue moon, Seattle gets it right. But only after much discussion and finger-pointing. I just hope my emerging bulbs survive the impending deep freeze. Spring, where are you?