So I did indeed go out to work Friday. And there are a couple points I should make ahead of the main one, just so there’s no confusion:
- It is entirely normal for my traction alert light to come on when the road is uneven, as when I hit a pothole or a subgrade utility hole cover. The traction control system may activate in such circumstances, but only briefly. I generally notice only the flashing amber light on my dashboard. This has nothing in particular to do with winter driving conditions; it happens in the blazing heat of summer as well. This happened Friday just like it always does.
- I did not have serious trouble with traction on Friday like I did Thursday night. That said, there were streets I treated more gingerly than others.
- I never went to or through Carrick, where there were such horrendous problems last year, and indeed, they didn’t see a snow plow for nearly two weeks. Not having gone there Friday, I don’t know what it was like. City Councilman Anthony Coghill, who represents the area and was up in arms last year, said this year was better than previous years (plural, so presumably not just last year).
In general, the roads were clear. I didn’t notice roads that weren’t clear until it had started snowing again. The snow was light and brief, I think insufficient to account for the layers of slush and snow I did see. It’s possible, however, that it snowed more heavily in these places when I wasn’t in them at the time and this might be an alternative explanation.
I didn’t see these layers of slush and snow until I got downtown, and then into Northside, and then Oakland. They were not deep enough to have been left over from last night, so I think what happened is that these areas did not receive a second treatment that I fully expect they would have under now former Mayor Bill Peduto. The roads still seemed safe; I saw nothing like the panic I saw Thursday night.
So I’m guessing that snow plowing efforts have been more evenly redirected under Ed Gainey. This would have been very quick work; he was only inaugurated Monday. On the other hand, it’s apparent the issue had his attention. He spent the night with a public works truck driver plowing and treating streets:
CommUnity. Tonight is our first snow of the winter. I’m headed out with Matt south of the Mon to Brookline to ensure the we are doing everything we can to treat and plow our streets. pic.twitter.com/u3Z3SLRVRq
— Ed Gainey (@gainey_ed) January 7, 2022
Gainey, by the way, mentions Brookline in the foregoing tweet. He included two photographs, one of which shows a street sign saying “26th St.” I thought the picture was from the Southside and the neighborhood indicated on the street sign is unintelligible. But I now think I was wrong; the corresponding street in Southside would be South 26th Street. It is more likely the Strip District, which is not south of the Monongahela, but rather south of the Allegheny, well to the north of the Monongahela. If I make out the street number, I think 100, correctly, this could be looking down Smallman Street.
I’m also seeing tweets like this:
Bitter cold temperatures not helping snow packed streets in Pittsburgh’s Overbrook neighborhood. This is Pinecastle Avenue more than 24 hours after Thursday’s snowfall. Basically a thick sheet of ice now. Neighbors are concerned about their safety. Story tonight on @KDKA. pic.twitter.com/ESOlYKssb3
— Jessica Guay (@JessicaGuayTV) January 8, 2022
Overbrook is very near to Carrick.
We’ll see how this works out. I think the Department of Public Works, along with corresponding agencies in other municipalities, should have been more proactive in treating roads for a storm that had been forecast well in advance, but it does look like there’s been some redirection of resources from previously well-served neighborhoods to previously less well-served neighborhoods. It’s an improvement of sorts.
Julia Felton, “Plowing continues on snow-covered Pittsburgh streets,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/plowing-continues-on-snow-covered-pittsburgh-streets/
Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, more receptive to policy for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate/2022/01/06/93b4d45c-6f2e-11ec-a5d2-7712163262f0_story.html
Justine McDaniel and Erin McCarthy, “About 90% of COVID-19 patients in some of Pa.’s hardest-hit hospitals are unvaccinated,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 7, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-hospitalizations-pa-vaccines-omicron-20220107.html
I’m still not seeing how Democrats can promise even now to pass voting rights legislation when they need to change filibuster rules to do so and can’t get Joe Manchin to go along with such a change. Lacking an explanation, I’m still left believing “the Democrats really feel much more comfortable in opposition, where they can complain about the Republicans, than in power; when in power, they’re supposed to accomplish things and they fail at this miserably.”
Fredreka Schouten, “Senate Democrats vow they’ll pass voting rights legislation with or without Republicans. Here’s what their proposals would do,” CNN, January 7, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/07/politics/voting-rights-electoral-count-john-lewis-act/index.html
- KDKA Television, “Pittsburgh Councilman Publicly Criticizes ‘Unacceptable’ State Of Roads After Snowfall,” December 27, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/12/27/pittsburgh-councilman-publicly-criticizes-unacceptable-state-of-roads-after-snowfall/↩
- Julia Felton, “Plowing continues on snow-covered Pittsburgh streets,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/plowing-continues-on-snow-covered-pittsburgh-streets/↩
- Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey promises to unite city in inaugural address,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 3, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-mayor-ed-gainey-promises-to-unite-city-in-inaugural-address/; Olafimihan Oshin, “Ed Gainey sworn in as Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor,” Hill, January 3, 2022, https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/588041-ed-gainey-sworn-in-as-pittsburghs-first-black-mayor; Jordana Rosenfeld, “Ed Gainey sworn in as Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor; addresses questions on policing,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 3, 2022, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/ed-gainey-sworn-in-as-pittsburghs-first-black-mayor-addresses-questions-on-policing/Content?oid=20862169↩
- Paul Guggenheimer, “Season’s 1st winter snowfall headed to Western Pennsylvania,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 4, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/seasons-first-winter-snowfall-headed-to-western-pennsylvania/↩
- Fredreka Schouten, “Senate Democrats vow they’ll pass voting rights legislation with or without Republicans. Here’s what their proposals would do,” CNN, January 7, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/07/politics/voting-rights-electoral-count-john-lewis-act/index.html↩
- Siobhan Hughes, “Democrats Seek Filibuster Changes to Pass Elections Bills,” Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-seek-filibuster-changes-to-pass-elections-bills-11641128403; Siobhan Hughes, “Manchin Deflates Democrats’ Hopes of Changing Filibuster, Passing Election Bills,” Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/manchin-deflates-democrats-hopes-of-changing-filibuster-passing-election-bills-11641328293↩
- David Benfell, “Democrats and contradiction,” Not Housebroken, January 3, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/18/democrats-and-contradiction/↩