Friday, February 24, 2006

Worst Traffic Ever.

The roads this morning were an ice rink. Here's the story, and here's the video.

The streets from Columbia City to Capitol Hill were icy but, I drove slow and everything was fine. But approaching the Montlake neighborhood, the northbound lanes turned into a parking lot as cars lined up to spin out of control down that big hill.

Some cars tried to turn into the neighborhood, but lighter cars ended up sliding back into 23rd. After half and hour, and well late for work, I gave up on 23rd and pulled a u-turn. Another car pulled a u-turn in front of me; it was a car full of my students. They turned onto John and then onto 19th, but I wasn't able to follow them onto 19th. I slid backward and found my way back to Madison.

This is about when people started losing their minds. A line of cars had followed me into the neighborhood, one dude followed me up a slippery hill. As I started to slide backwards down the hill, I put on my hazards and steered myself back into a drive way. But before I could pull out of the driveway and go somewhere else, the dude that was following me pulled up and blocked me, of course getting stuck go at the same spot, but also blocking me into that driveway. Another commuter got out of his car and had to convince the guy that he was not going to make it.

So I found my way onto Madison eventually and onto 12th, which was treacherous but had fewer cars. I started noticing that people looked stressed out and frustrated. One taxi just stopped in the middle of the street and gave up on driving; another lady zipped around me (so she could get stuck in traffic sooner).

On Aloha my back end started slipping around to my left as I slid out of control downhill. My front end ended up against the curb. There were a handfull of cars who had taken the same trip down the hill I had, and were impossibly stuck. I put the car into reverse and let go of the brake, but rather than actually moving in reverse, my car slipped perpendicular to the direction of traffic, slowly, down to the bottom of the street, where I put the car back into drive and continued on my way.

By now I was an hour late for work and my cell phone was dead. I was less than a mile from work.

So I finally got onto 10th, which is a big fat icy downhill, and there is stupid tourist behind me, riding my ass and looking at houses as he was breaking. I wanted to stop the car and get out and tell him to back off, but I figured he would just rear end me, since he wasn't looking and was so freaking close.

By this time, the Metro busses had all pulled over, parked one after the other, and there were dozens and dozens of passengers going down the hill on foot, making better time than I was. Most of the public schools have the week off, so the media wasn't in their normal spaz mode; in fact, only the tv news reported it. The newspapers didn't even acknowledge it; the radio just said traffic was bad.

So apparently before sunrise, it started raining, and then snowing, and then the skies cleared and temperatures went into deep freeze.

1 comment:

twins15 said...

Guh... I hate icy roads, which is something we get a lot of in ND.