The forecast snow did indeed arrive. None of the roads had been salted and it had been cold long enough that the snow stuck even on well-traveled roads.
I saw several PennDOT trucks out spreading salt, but the only municipal truck—well, that’s a story.
As the snow began to fall, I didn’t initially have any trouble with traction. Everyone, and I do mean everyone slowed down considerably, but it wasn’t until I was headed up the last hill—not even a very steep hill, in fact, really a rather gentle hill by Pittsburgh standards—in Pittsburgh’s Brighton Heights neighborhood on the way to pick up a passenger that I noticed my traction control system (TCS) activate.
After I picked him up, I noticed a few more TCS activations and told my passenger, that this would be my last trip of the night. The reason for this became clear as Google had routed us up Polish Hill on the way to his destination. A car had plowed into a telephone pole on route Google had selected and I had to very slowly weave my way through several stopped cars (apparently their drivers were afraid they would lose traction going downhill) on the fairly obvious detour. As I reached the intersection with Bigelow Boulevard, a Pittsburgh truck had reached the top of the hill where that car had slid into the telephone pole.
That was the only municipal snow plow I saw, even outside Pittsburgh, where the roads were just as bad. I’m a more than a little puzzled and disturbed by this. It’s not like the storm hadn’t been forecast.
To the extent I was in control on these roads, it was because I had ordered my car with options for winter driving. I drove past a few cars whose drivers were plainly terrified. My car performed well, but even so, there are limits. After I’d dropped my passenger off, I blew one red light simply because I couldn’t stop. Fortunately, there were no other cars at that intersection. It was a harrowing drive, that took more than twice as long as it would have normally, to the gas station where I get gas every night and then home. But I made it. And the car is unscathed.
I don’t know if I’ll be working tomorrow. This was not a reassuring start to the season.
Megan Guza, “Pittsburgh City Council must vote whether Wilkinsburg annexation will appear on borough’s ballot,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 5, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-must-vote-whether-wilkinsburg-annexation-will-appear-on-boroughs-ballot/
Jacob Bacharach, “The Next Coup Attempt Will Be More Dangerous,” review of The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It by Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague, New Republic, January 4, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/164914/next-coup-attempt-will-dangerous-teague-bowden-book-review
Stephen Marche, “The next US civil war is already here – we just refuse to see it,” Guardian, January 4, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/04/next-us-civil-war-already-here-we-refuse-to-see-it
Ashley Parker, Amy Gardner and Josh Dawsey, “How Republicans became the party of Trump’s election lie after Jan. 6,” Washington Post, January 5, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republicans-jan-6-election-lie/2022/01/05/82f4cad4-6cb6-11ec-974b-d1c6de8b26b0_story.html
Molly Jong-Fast, “The Scariest Thing About Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Atlantic, January 6, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/61d5bb077097fc002053fbb4/the-scariest-thing-about-marjorie-taylor-greene/
Daniel McCarthy, “January 6 was an alarm bell,” Spectator, January 6, 2022, https://spectatorworld.com/topic/january-6-was-an-alarm-bell/
Ben Sixsmith, “The Capitol riot transformed right-wing activism in America,” Spectator, January 6, 2022, https://spectatorworld.com/topic/capitol-riot-fall-rise-right-wing-activism/
Tina Nguyen, “My Country, Right or Far Right?: January 6th and the World It Created,&rdq; Puck News, January 6, 2022, https://puck.news/january-6th-and-the-world-it-created/