Forecast: flying ice

riversunOkay, it wasn’t an official forecast, just something somebody retweeted but, yes, big shards of ice were flying off cars on my journey home tonight! And just now, NPR was talking about a similar phenomenon in a different city. So it is a thing.

The bad news? A couple inches of snow, then freezing rain before the temps got up into the 30s and it all turned into rain. The good news? A smooth, orderly morning snow commute. It’s March and that means the yahoos of the southeast Great Lake State have finally figured out how to drive in this stuff. And how is that? Slowly, of course, and no tailgating. I feel like a broken record here but no, your AWD vee-hickle will not keep you from sliding when you slam on the brakes. Sliding where? Off the road? Into the vee-hickle in front of you? Into the wild blue yonder? Who cares. S-l-o-w down in that white stuff.

I was annoyed when I got home and realized that there was enough snow/ice that I would have to shovel the sidewalk. This is not something that usually annoys me all that much. I generally like the exercise. Also, I haven’t had to shovel a whole lot this winter. What was annoying me is that the geniuses on the Planet Ann Arbor Council are considering new rules about shoveling snow that would require homeowners to shovel *every* time it snows, even if it is only a light dusting. Ever try to shovel a light dusting? As it stands now, the threshold amount of snow for shoveling is one inch. This frequent pedestrian would prefer a three inch threshold amount. It would take a thesis to explain why but if you are not careful about when and how you clear your snow, ice will form, which is dangerous, rather than inconvenient.

I realize that our loverly planet people are trying to accommodate people with disabilities. The kind of disabilities that require wheelchairs, etc. I am all for accommodating people with disabilities. The problem I have is that I don’t see people traversing the sidewalks in wheelchairs *anywhere* at any time of year. Given the condition of some sidewalks, I’m not sure people in wheelchairs could traverse them safely even in the summer. To me, this seems like fixing a problem that doesn’t exist. There are definitely some snow-shoveling scofflaws around but most people do their best to clear their walks.

Winter is winter around here and it is hard to get around sometimes, even if you are vigorously able-bodied. Last year at this time I was gingerly picking my way around with YakTrax strapped to my boots and an REI hiking pole. Still, I felt like a disabled person. There was sooooo much ice everywhere. And big heaps of snow. Sometimes you had to sort of jump down from a big heap of snow onto a sheet of ice. Somehow. We all tried to keep our sidewalks clear last year but it was next to impossible. I kvetched to a neighbor about the horrible conditions one day but I had to end with, “I could complain to the city about the homeowner but *I* am the homeowner.”

What seems to be lost on the Planet Council is common sense. I won’t say which planet official’s office nixed the existing one inch rule but it is definitely not the office I would go to if I wanted common sense. I care greatly about the ability of disabled people to get around but c’mon, when we get feet of snow or freezing rain, we are *all* struggling to get around. Give us a break!

Of course, the photo is not from today. We were down by the river late Sunday afternoon and I think the writing in the snow says something like, “Hi Pants”. We couldn’t quite decipher it.

3 Responses to “Forecast: flying ice”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I wouldn’t think that a snowy place would be good for people in wheelchairs under any circumstances. Maybe they should move to Florida? 😉 I hear there is another nasty snow storm moving in there. Go away, Winter! Meanwhile, we are sitting at mid-50s and lots of sun.

  2. Pooh Says:

    The landlady of the old farmhouse/apartment building next to our house on Crest used to sweep the snow with a broom as soon as it started falling.

  3. jane Says:

    I saw that proposal late yesterday and had nothing but negative comments in my head. First – the city doesn’t do their own sidewalks particularly well. And you could be out shoveling (or sweeping) very nicely and then the plow (sometimes) comes by — and you must start again. and another thing! (you kids get off my lawn!) the intersections around town often have piles of snow you have to navigate over just to cross the street. as referenced above by KW. so if they could get their own house in order, I might listen to any further ‘improvements’ they might have. or not.

    not to mention that people go out of town all the time for different reasons — so if there’s a dusting over Friday night and they don’t return until Sunday….. they might come home to a citation.

    ok – yes, this proposal pushed my buttons. and I don’t even have to shovel my sidewalk!! ;-(