Feb. 3rd, 2014

This

Feb. 3rd, 2014 03:37 pm
fengi: (Mr. Fengi)
From Spencer Hall's essay about the traffic meltdown in Atlanta:
So if you're glorying in this, and using this disaster of civic ineptitude to gird your own puny loins this morning, great. I encourage this, because I want you to be the worst possible person. Everyone's got a goal, and you're headed down that path whether I want you to or not. You survived that brutal Northern winter all by yourself, writing a check and living in a less deplorably managed city. You did it, you Meteorological Ayn Rands of the world. Be sure to tell the people sleeping in freezing cars on the interstate about it this morning. I think that's what this is for. This is definitely what this moment is for. Your shitbag horizon is calling: go grab it with both hands, and don't bother wearing gloves.
More Musings )
fengi: (Mr. Fengi)
I think making broad generalizations about cities, states and regions is often reasonable, justified or at least amusing. Generalizations can be a valid part of communication.

I disagree with ripping on the south because some of it was overwhelmed by an ice storm as unearned superiority. This is because I live in Chicago which has a spotty record of handling rush hour storms, like this event just two years ago today:
Lake Shore Drive was still shut down Wednesday night as about 50 vehicles remained stranded...Motorists and their passengers were caught on Lake Shore Drive for hours before they opted to evacuate or officials told them to evacuate. They had been trapped by accidents ahead of them and traffic behind during the worst of the snow storm.

"It was scary, there was an accident, a bus that got in an accident, and there were just cars, you couldn't even see the road it was snowing so bad," said Nancy Cowans, stranded driver.

"It was whiteout conditions, very intense and frightening time," said Dr. Robert Zadylak, Advocate Illinois Masonic.

City officials have been taking a lot of heat for not closing Lake Shore Drive before hundreds of people became stranded there.

City officials from the mayor on down had forcefully warned of the gathering storm, repeatedly warned people to stay inside, and warned that Lake Shore Drive was going to be especially dangerous.

But, even as the blizzard began, the Outer Drive remained open and traffic moving until a few predictable spin-outs blocked all northbound lanes, and suddenly, Lake Shore Drive turned into a hellish highway.

The image of snowbound vehicles stranded on Lake Shore drive has already becoming the icon for the "Blizzard of 2011," no matter how fast city officials got the rest of the streets cleared.

...accidents that triggered the major Outer Drive debacle on the North Side and a smaller version on the South Side both involved CTA busses.

Some drivers told the I-Team on Wednesday they were surprised the CTA didn't reroute buses off of the Drive Tuesday because of deteriorating lakeshore conditions. But the CTA's president is sticking with City's Hall rationale.
Chicago is a snow savvy place, yet can still be overwhelmed by extreme conditions. So I understand chaos caused by conditions both rare and extreme.

I don't feel superior for handling winter, as dealing with the seasons where you live is the minimal exercise of primate pattern recognition. It's not an achievement to move around in snow in a region which allocates resources and social structures for that purpose. It's functioning where you live.

Honestly, Chicago barely functions at times. This is an unusually wet winter, and I've noticed the point at which people stops trying is lower than I remember. Outside of the downtown tourist areas, a surprising amount of the city is half-shoveled dirty slush. It's like the outdoors put on white sweatpants, fell in a mud puddle, pissed itself and decided fuck it, I'm wearing these until Spring.