open Letter to SPD

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    with winter approaching please acknowledge that AWD and Four Wheel Drive vehicles with competent drivers can navigate the West Seattle Bridge when there is snow and ice on the street. it is absolutely annoying to be trapped in West Seattle because the SPD doesn’t use common sense. the WSP uses common sense on the passes!



    They don’t have the time or personnel to stand there and (a) give everybody a driving test or (b) say “OK, xx types of vehicles can get through.” Imagine the liability. There’s always a way out. Low bridge seldom closes. 1st Avenue Bridge seldom closes. I worked for years in a career that did not allow workers to stay home for bad weather (TV news) and there was always SOME way to get to and from work, even if it took a while. – Tracy



    signs that say closed except 4 wheel and all wheel drive!



    Given the way some folks with 4WD and AWD drive around here, I’m gonna go with no.



    Anyone who owns a 4WD or AWD in the city should be subject to a additional road tax for operating a vehicle with a drive train that reduces its gas mileage in an era of global warming.

    Pay the tax, and maybe we can discuss whether you can use the WS bridge an extra 2 days a year.


    Genesee Hill

    Always nice to see the Range Rovers in the nice warm garages, all tucked in for the winter…



    Hooper, was that you,in your 4X4, during the snowy Winters of the mid-’80’s to the mid-’90’s riding my ass because you figured somebody driving a ’67 VW Beetle should be driving as recklessly as you, rather than my exercising due caution and driving a speed reasonable to the conditions?

    (Damn! I think you’re responsible for my run-on sentences too!) >:-(




    c@lbob, we all pay that one. Much of the price of gas is taxes, and that’s paid in proportion to how much gas you buy. Which is how much you burn.

    Which is a combination of how much you drive, and how efficiently you drive. Gas pump doesn’t care, it just charges you the tax.

    Just to throw in a little extra, let’s also remind the hybrid/electric folks that their juice doesn’t come for free either. Regenerative braking is pretty slick, but when you plug into the wall socket it’s just like buying gas.



    These yahoos go tearing through my neighborhood every time it snows. Many (or most) are driving while drunk and/or stupid, like the guy spinning out in the intersection with a wobbly toddler perched loosely on the seat in front of him. People out walking their dogs have to jump for cover, and your nice landscaping serves as an airbag when one of these idiots swerves off-road to avoid the occasional SUV – also sliding out of control.

    A big “no”.



    JKB plugging in to the wall does not include tax to help pay for roads; thus they are getting a free ride.

    anonyone yes there are idiots who drive AWD and 4 wheel drive vehicles. But what about the jerks who drive vehicles with no tire tread (that is illegal) and get stuck in the snow causing huge delays for other folks? The other day I saw a motorists with bald tires trying to go up the steep incline on Beacon Hill and spinning their tires.

    miws – yes slowing down during ice and snow is appropriate; however some people drive toooooo slow and should be cited. both motorists who drive too fast AND too SLOW need to be cited.



    It really is a misconception to think that 4×4 and AWD equates to “always ok to drive on icy/snowy streets”. I grew up in Bend, OR where it snows and ices all winter long and like clockwork, there was always a nice long line of fender benders involving SUVs and all wheel drive cars after the first few storms. Even the most careful driver in a AWD car can experience uncontrolled skidding and spins in bad weather. If a mountain city that owns a very large fleet of snow plowers, entire lots of crushed cinder, and a population of experienced icy weather drivers shuts down roads due to weather, I think its a safe bet that here in Seattle, we may just want to error on the side of caution and trust that the SPD is not trying to go out of their way to make our lives difficult. Maybe, just maybe, it is trying to do the most amount of good for the greatest number of drivers.

    Also, FYI – my little four door AWD Subaru Impreza gets far better gas mileage then most of the non-AWD cars in its class. Not all AWD cars are gas guzzling tanks.



    hooper, quite right. Caught me tangling up two issues that aren’t the same at all. Plugging in to the wall does leave you responsible for the eco-consequences for how the power was generated, even if your consumption of it is nice and clean.

    But yes, the tax structures and how that money is distributed are completely different.


    In freezing weather the upper bridge becomes a sheet of ice. 4WD may prevent you getting stuck in mud or snow but it will not help your traction on ice, nor can it help you to stop!

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