Discussion:
Should roads be closed in advance of storms (editorial)
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h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2016-01-26 16:17:51 UTC
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In the wake of 500 vehicles trapped for nearly 24 hours on the
Pennsylvania Tpk in the snowstorm, an editorial asks if
it might be better just to close roads in advance of such storms.

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20160126_Road_to_nowhere.html
Kenny McCormack
2016-01-26 17:12:44 UTC
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Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
In the wake of 500 vehicles trapped for nearly 24 hours on the
Pennsylvania Tpk in the snowstorm, an editorial asks if
it might be better just to close roads in advance of such storms.
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20160126_Road_to_nowhere.html
The problem here is that there is always about 3 false alarms for every one
actual calamity (in the weather predicting biz). So, you'll have a lot of
"road closed for no reason" occurrences and people really, really don't
like it when that happens.
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jgar the jorrible
2016-01-26 20:03:21 UTC
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Post by Kenny McCormack
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
In the wake of 500 vehicles trapped for nearly 24 hours on the
Pennsylvania Tpk in the snowstorm, an editorial asks if
it might be better just to close roads in advance of such storms.
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20160126_Road_to_nowhere.html
The problem here is that there is always about 3 false alarms for every one
actual calamity (in the weather predicting biz). So, you'll have a lot of
"road closed for no reason" occurrences and people really, really don't
like it when that happens.
In addition, there's a spread of problems - note the 1" that fell in DC and paralyzed the whole place. For want of some salt, the road system was lost.

There's always going to be a problem allocating resources to deal with storms, which inherently have a wide variance of issues.

And of course, even if you get the above right, not only are there stupid people, but otherwise intelligent people start showing Dunning-Kruger, and people are always either going to think they are smarter than the gummint, or overestimate what the gumming can provide.

Personally, I barely avoided getting stuck overnight one time, just due to luck. President's Day weekend, '91 or '92, I was pulling a trailer up the NB 15, intent on retrieving furniture from Vegas. Coming up out of Baker, it started to snow, and I heard on the radio things were closed at Mountain Pass (miles beyond). All traffic stopped. I, and a few other bright souls, went over the median and back to Baker. Apparently I got the last rathole room available there. The next morning, I got going and passed miles of cars who had apparently spent the night, just as they reopened the highway.

But it's better than the guy who's car got covered by snow from a plow and he died. http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/01/24/man-apparently-trapped-in-running-car-by-plow-deluge-dies/

jg
--
@home.com is bogus.
http://www.kusi.com/story/31040944/two-chinese-exchange-students-killed-in-crash-identified-saturday
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2016-01-26 20:17:32 UTC
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Post by Kenny McCormack
The problem here is that there is always about 3 false alarms for every one
actual calamity (in the weather predicting biz).
Are there really that many false official forecasts?

Remember, we're talking about the official forecast as issued by
the weather bureau or independent outfit; NOT the sensationalized
hype by the news media.

Also, official weather forecasts include percentage of certainty--
they tell us whether an upcoming storm is indeed a 'sure thing'
or 'possibility'. In this particular storm, it was a sure thing,
or even worse than expected.

Highway departments have long utilized official forecasts, not
news media reports.

ABC News has reported of late on several approaching nasty storms,
and storms were as bad as predicted--with massive flooding or
mudslides in the impacted areas.

In the specific case of this storm and the Penna Tpk mess, I am
curious as to what were the circumstances of the 500 motorists.
Did they bother to check the forecast before the trip? IF they
were advised that a bad storm was coming, was their trip
absolutely necessary under the circumstances? I would think
with high winds and two feet of snow approaching, pretty much
anything ought to be postponed or cancelled. A health
care or public safety worker _has_ to go, but I don't think
a college sporting event is that critical.

Unfortunately, closing a highway in the advance of a storm causes
other problems. Some of the closure points are in rural areas--
where are 500+ people gonna stay? Secondly, some folks will
insist on going on, and then screw up local roads.
Stop-IL-TollwayRipoffs
2016-01-27 01:28:35 UTC
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Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
In the wake of 500 vehicles trapped for nearly 24 hours on the
Pennsylvania Tpk in the snowstorm, an editorial asks if
it might be better just to close roads in advance of such storms.
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20160126_Road_to_nowhere.html
Maybe if the tollroad flunkies maintained a hourly plowing schedule and monitored traffic to consider closing, but thats a Professional management process. If Penn. is like IL, the tollroad staff is full of political cronnies. Somehow Caltrans/CHP is able to manage I-80 over Donner Summit.
Andrew M. Saucci, Jr.
2016-01-31 02:20:00 UTC
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Absolutely. It actually isn't that uncommon. Many interstates in
snow country have gated ramps, and I am sure that the gates are used.
Even secondary roads often have gates that are used in heavy snow. It
prevents accidents and keeps the roads clear for the snow plows.
Sensible people do not travel in heavy snow. Essential workers make sure
that they get to where they will be needed before the storm and stay put
until it is over.

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