Connecting The DOTs

When people complain about poor plowing, I’m generally ambivalent.

I don’t go full Jasper McLevy — the former Bridgeport mayor once said “God put it there, let Him take it away” — but I also don’t expect road crews to remove it all, instantly, the moment each flake hits the road.

However, an email from an alert — and very shaken — “06880” reader deserves mention. Particularly because she sent photos too.

She writes:

Conditions were icy and terrible on I-95 between 4-8 p.m. tonight.

After almost 3 hours of very slow driving (seeing numerous accidents, plus multiple cars that slid off the road), we made it from New York City to Westport.  We stopped for over an hour, hoping the roads would be treated. But no luck.

I-95 - 2- February 15, 2016

No sign of any plowing or road treatment the entire way.  The snow was light but lasted a few hours. Freezing sleet and rain worsened road conditions.

I-95 - February 15, 2016

I am curious how we can find out what safety measures were taken today, since there was no sign of road crews anywhere.

It almost seems as if the Connecticut Department of Transportation hoped tonight’s predicted rain would clean up this mess, and they could save a few dollars on plowing.

I cannot believe 95 was such a mess tonight, with relatively little snow over a period of hours.

“06880” likes to believe the best in people, and organizations. So we will not go out on a limb, and suggest that any plowing decision was influenced at all by the predicted rain.

Or the fact that today was Presidents Day — meaning holiday pay.

4 responses to “Connecting The DOTs

  1. Flavien Freedman

    I was travelling from New York City to Westport but on the Merritt around the same time today. The roads were also in pretty bad shape but I did see plows out and about on my route.

  2. I live with a view of I-95 from my home, the trucks were out before the snow started putting down the chemicals. Then they were out plowing all afternoon. I think the first time I heard the line of plows, actually plowing, was when there was only an inch of snow.

  3. Beth Orlan Berkowitz

    I was driving on I 95 southbound from Fairfield back to Westport and all the roads were pretty slick around 5:00 pm. I didn’t see many plows out, but I am sure they were. It was coming down very steadily, so I don’t think they could really keep up with it and the snow became kind of icy as it hit the vehicles and ground because of the intense cold we have had the past few days. You could tell some of the roads had been plowed, but the local main roads were much better than 95 so I got off at exit 19 instead of 17 and it was better. I do think there are a lot of poor drivers out there that should know they are not good drivers, especially in the snow, that don’t help th situation. I saw at least 5 cars that stopped at traffic lights put too much gas on when the light turned green and start to skid. Stupid move, especially when sitting leaning over the steering wheel with white knuckles or holding their cell in one hand talking on it and then they would drive about 2-6 mph. I found that if I just gave a very small amount of gas and started moving forward slowly I could go steadily at about 20mph-25mph without loosing any traction, even if I had to switch lanes to avoid one of these white knuckled drivers going 5mph or less often in the left lane. It would also help if these drivers actually brushed off their cars especially their windows, headlights and brake lights before they started driving. Yes it is against the law to drive without brushing off the tops of your cars too, but I won’t push that. I saw lots of people waiting for the wind or defroster to rid the windows of the snow while driving. People if you cannot see out the rear or front windows it is NOT smart to drive even if the DOT has cleared the roads really really well. People driving with stupidity do cause a lot of accidents even if they get lucky themselves. Accidents cause traffic and rubber necking to be nosy causes even more traffic! Just drive smart and mind your own business and traffic will move more steadily and more people will not have as many accidents. Then the DOT will be able to clear the roads more efficiently. Or just stay home when it’s bad out and wait for all the accidents to be cleared and the roads to be cleared.

  4. We live in a place where it snows as a normal part of the winter, and it’s rarely a surprise when it does. If we want to be able to drive at all times, then it is our responsibility to be prepared. It’s nice when the government plows, but it is unrealistic to expect the roads to be clear at all times.

    The easiest choice is to plan ahead and not go out if you might have to drive in ice or snow… But that’s unrealistic for most people, so you are left with being prepared. Prepared means having a properly prepared vehicle and driver training. Snow tires (NOT all season tires) are a must, traction control will not compensate for a lack of friction between your car and the ground. SUVs are not snowmobiles, a Prius with snow tires will out perform your Cayenne with all seasons (up to a certain depth anyway;). There are also driving schools which will teach you car handing skills and vehicle dynamics which are more effective than ABS. You just have to be willing to invest in it.

    Tire Rack sells wheel and snow tire sets they’ll ship to your door ready to put on the car with tools you already have (if you don’t know how to change a tire… Learn!). Don’t have room for wheels in your garage? Townfair Tire has deals where they will mount and balance your snows every season (not a good idea to drive with snows in summer), other places have deals too. There are no excuses, if you think you can’t afford snow tires then you certainly can’t afford an accident and should just stay home and stay out of the way of those of us who are prepared.

    I went out at 5:30 yesterday to pickup dinner and the roads were beautifully covered in white, and my Outback with General Altimax Arctics (not studded) didn’t slip a bit – except when I tested the grip in braking, acceleration and turning in a safe place before getting to traffic so that I could be properly prepared.