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It’s melting!

December 28th, 2008 at 3:49 am | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Photo by Bridget C.

Photo by Bridget C.

We are emerging from our snowed-in kitchen full of Christmas cookies and leftover food, to find that, for the first time in a couple of weeks, we can actually see our lawn again. There hasn’t been too much to post about for the last couple of days; “the streets are still slick, drive carefully” and “UPS still hasn’t brought our Christmas presents” seem to be the most common topics around here.

Now that we are able to leave the Hill without fearing for our lives on icy roads, however, it seems like a good time to look back at the last couple of weeks and talk about how it went. What did you think of the city’s handling of the snow and ice? How about Metro? Did you have to make extreme changes to your holiday plans? Did you enjoy the snow? Did you hate it? Tell us what you think, please.

My personal, random thoughts: I loved the snow, but hated not being able to get around, after a few days. I think the city handled it poorly and Metro did the best they could on streets that were not well-maintained. The US Postal Service came to our house every day, so they rock! As did our milkman from Smith Brothers, who did not miss a delivery. But UPS did not get a lot of our presents here before Christmas, although they were all here in Seattle and “out for delivery” before then. (Two packages still haven’t been delivered. I do have to give them credit for delivering one December 23 package to us after 9:00 pm, though. They were working late that night.)

Our experience with the emergency vet trip during the snow made it pretty clear that making transportation possible needs to be a high priority in snow events like these. It’s easy to say “just relax and take a few days off work,” but your perspective changes a lot when an emergency situation pops up and you can’t drive your car, and buses and cabs are not reliable, and walking may not be feasible for a variety of good reasons (such as, “there is no emergency vet in Southeast Seattle, so the walk would be several miles at best, with a sick and possibly dying cat in subfreezing weather”). The 36 seemed to be running pretty well on our part of Beacon Avenue, but the buses we needed to connect to in other parts of town were often cancelled or the trips were reported to take much, much longer than they should, and so it often seemed like a safer option to just stay home — but there are situations when you cannot stay home, and the city needs to do a better job facilitating transport in that case.

Red Apple was open every time I tried to go there during the snow, and the folks working there were cheerful and friendly. It was good to know that even if we couldn’t easily get off the Hill, the Red Apple was here, though they did have shortages of some items.

I am hoping that Sound Transit does whatever possible to make the light rail run in cold and snow. I have been told that the snow isn’t a terrible problem, but the cold is, and that frozen switches could be an issue. If the light rail does work in situations like we’ve just had, it will be a great boon to us on Beacon Hill once the light rail opens.

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