January 17, 2011 at 3:13 am in INFORUM
Chat about the most slippery routes in the Fargo-Moorhead area during your morning commute. Continue Reading
Tags: snow, weather 73 Comments »
Slippery routes? Pretty much everywhere. I don’t think Moorhead has plowed at all today. Actually, I don’t think they have plowed hardly any of the past 6-8″ or so of snowfall, meaning most residential streets have several inches of packed snow and ice on them right now.
Will make for an interesting time when the thaw/freeze cycle starts.
I don’t expect perfection, but this winter’s snow removal has been pathetic in Moorhead.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 78 7
Maybe its because they cant budget for snow removal. After all, they blew through their overtime budget on the first day of the year!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 3
Maybe they should hire a few more people to operate this machinery to not only get it done quicker but to save money?!?!?
employee getting paid ($25 hr *40 Hours) + ( $37.5/hr * 20 hours overtime) = $1750
employee 1 getting paid ($25 hr *40 Hours) = $1000
employee 2 getting paid ($25 hr * 20 Hours) = $ 500
I dont know how much they make an hour but… Given a few more employee VS. Fewer working longer hours and getting too much overtime could save alot of money. I can see how Moorhead blew through there $tash.
Like or Dislike: 16 5
I don’t know the hourly pay either, but in an previous article it was stated Moorhead employees get TRIPLE overtime for holiday work. I know they work hard when the city actually allows them to be out there, but that’s an excessive bonus that is pretty much unheard of in the private sector.
Like or Dislike: 14 5
I would bet they have onerous union rules to worry about. They cannot just go running around saving money without first negotiating a minefield of union negotiation. It is not “fair” to the employees.
Like or Dislike: 5 8
I walk from my apt to the downtown Forum building so I can’t really comment on the state of the roads other than noticing people were sliding a bit trying to stop for red lights.
The sidewalks are in a pretty sad state this morning, the wind filled in any previous work that was done.
Like or Dislike: 12 7
Anybody lucky enough to walk to work avoids traffic and saves about $3k/yr.
Like or Dislike: 7 6
do you really want to be walking to work when its -15* or colder with winchills down in the -30*?
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Its not as bad as you’d think. Yesterday morning was probably the worst day so far of the winter. Just needed to wear a facemask and it was smooth sailing.
Like or Dislike: 9 6
We were just in the cities this weekend. They had no problem putting down salt/sand on the major roads to make sure they were safe for drivers, I am not sure why they can’t do that around here, but it is really getting old.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 8
Forty-fourth avenue south is the slipperiest road that I take on my morning commute. To top it off drivers insist on going 30 miles per hour on the road. The intersections are blind and it makes for very unsafe conditions.
Like or Dislike: 10 9
I hope that you are not one of the ones going 2mph???
Hot debate. What do you think? 14 16
Ryan and anybody else walking downtown. Have you tried walking on the west/south side of the us bank? Sheesh! it’s as if they ice ’em down they are so slippery. And the intersections everywhere. A person can develop carpal tunnel writing about all the trouble spots!
Like or Dislike: 7 4
The F/M area is terrible for snow removal on the roads. When I first moved to the area it took a long time to accept the fact that it is going to be bad in this area no matter what. If you have lived outside of this area you likely know what I mean.
Like or Dislike: 16 8
The roads have been noticeably worse this year. You almost need 4 wheel drive just to get around town.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 2
I completely agree desner. If you have lived anywhere else (larger metro area) this is not good snow removal. I thought when I moved here it would be STATE OF THE ART snow removal because of the annual weather. It doesn’t happen quick enough or complete enough and therefore we are constantly driving on snow-packed roads that are very slippery. It seems like there isn’t even much sand on the ground although because of how much snow we’ve gotten it’s probably been plowed away.
Like or Dislike: 9 3
I-29 is terrible all the way through town. The wheel tracks are black ice. With my little car I can only go about 40 and that is tops, or I start to slide, and no my tires are not bad. So my choice is to drive out of the correct lane position to get some grip or to poke along. We need to use something serious on that road to get rid of that stuff before we have a tragedy, not after!
Like or Dislike: 14 6
In some states like PA they have been known to apply magnesium to the road (mixed with something) to melt really stubborn ice. I wish they would do that, or at least put on some coarse gravel that won’t blow away.
Like or Dislike: 6 10
You’re thinking of Calcium magnesium acetate. More expensive than the calcium chloride Fargo uses in their sand.
Like or Dislike: 3 0
I slid like crazy on 13th Avenue South this morning, especially nearing the stoplight at 25th Street. There’s also an icy path just after the bridge heading west on First Avenue North (from the Hjemkomst to downtown Fargo) … the pickup in front of me crossed back and forth across three lanes! Time to pump the brakes.
Like or Dislike: 5 4
Pumping the brakes depends on the car. It’s true that the driver has to pump the brakes on a car without without ABS, but on cars with ABS the driver should maintain pressure on the pedal and let the ABS work. ABS tends to make the brake pedal vibrate and the motors make a buzzing sound, but they’re normal indications that the ABS is doing its job and modulating the brakes for you. (Sometimes drivers mistakenly take the vibration and buzzing as a sign that something is wrong, and let off the brakes.)
Like or Dislike: 8 3
A bit off topic, but I always have found it interesting that studies have shown that ABS does not necessarily make for better safety. They have found that in most cases, you are better off locking up the brakes and plowing head on into an accident rather than attempting to avoid it as ABS allows you to do.
Of course I’m sure we all feel we are good drivers and can take full advantage of the benefits of ABS, but statistics show otherwise.
Like or Dislike: 4 10
Pete said: On January 18, 2011 at 8:19 AM
“A bit off topic, but I always have found it interesting that studies have shown that ABS does not necessarily make for better safety. They have found that in most cases, you are better off locking up the brakes…”
You’re kidding, right?!?! ABS stands for Anti-Lock Braking System, which PREVENTS you from locking-up the brakes.
Please provide a source for these “studies” to which you refer.
Like or Dislike: 8 4
Of course I know what ABS is, that’s why I find it interesting. Here you go:
Of course it is an older study, but since almost all cars do have ABS it really doesn’t make any difference today. I did say up front it was off topic, my only point being that modern technology isn’t always as great as some people believe. Kind of like when I explained 4 wheel drive trucks and the laws of physics to you last week.
Like or Dislike: 3 2
Ah abs is there to help with keeping locking up of brakes from happening. However if you slam hard enough on the petal or apply an large amount of force then the abs will allow the locking up of brakes.
Some here know that I do not like the new electronic crud that is supposed to assist drivers. And the reason being is that people rely on these items and when they fail to perform end up in a big hurt. Also takes away control from the driver that could be attempting to control or reducing damage from an accident.
One rule of thumb I abide by is that if I am sliding on a highway and cannot control attempt to drive as straight as possible into the ditch. In town It’s to take on the curb and snowbank. I’d rather not damage other vehicles or cause any harm to those around me. If you can’t control it best to try and alleviate any damage caused.
I’ve lost control both in town and on the highway and that rule has been the savior for me being alive and not hitting other cars.
Like or Dislike: 5 1
Can’t say I read your “explanation” to me of four-wheel-drive trucks and the laws of physics. I think you have me mistaken for someone else…
You cannot lock-up your brakes with ABS – if you can, the system is not functioning properly.
You’re right, that study is old. It DOES make a difference, because ABS used in vehicles nowadays operates differently than any of the vehicles mentioned in the study. The current generation of ABS not only prevents wheel-lock under braking, but also electronically controls the front-to-rear brake bias. It also comes into play with vehicles that have other safety features, for example, Electronic Stability Control. If you “of course know what ABS is”, why would you say “They have found that in most cases, you are better off locking up the brakes…” YOU CAN’T LOCK-UP YOUR BRAKES WITH A PROPERLY-OPERATING ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEM.
I’ll take an ABS-equipped vehicle every time over a non-ABS vehicle.
Like or Dislike: 6 3
I see, so you didn’t read my response to you last week. To refresh your memory, you questioned my ability to operate a 4×4. And the safety scores of a certain SUV, which I provided a link to as you requested.
And I didn’t say you could lock up your brakes with ABS. I said studies found in many instances you would be better off locking up your brakes (as in no ABS) and plowing straight into an accident head on as opposed to using the control ABS gives you to go into the ditch and rolling over or plowing into oncoming traffic. You know, like the information you requested a link to says. Did you read it? I’m not sure why you keep requesting links and answers if you are not going to read my responses.
You are correct that it may not be relavent in vehicles with stability control, but that is something most cars on the road today do not have. I was not discussing the merits of stability control. Nor did I say I prefer non-ABS, in fact I haven’t driven an non-ABS vehicle in over 10 years. I’m just saying that statistics don’t always back up popular perceptions.
I don’t know how I can explain myself any clearer, and being as this is off topic, I’ll leave it at that.
Like or Dislike: 3 4
Pete is correct, ABS increases stopping distance. Most people panic and freeze in an emergency situation. They stand on the brake and that’s it till thy hit something. They think because they passed a drivers test, then know how to drive. Ain’t good enough as too many find out.
You can get in trouble by going too slow for conditions also.
When it is slick, you don’t want to be using the brakes much anyway. That’s where people get into trouble because they lose control due to a skid. When it is slick, drive like ya ain’t got no brakes, because you really don’t. Think about that one for a bit.
Something else to keep in mind. If you drive in the outside lane and you find you need to stop and can’t, pull over into the windrow of snow along the side of the street. You’ll stop.
Like or Dislike: 6 1
Good point, @ptschett. My Malibu does require pumping … On the bright side, my legs have been getting a workout.
What year is your Malibu?
Like or Dislike: 2 3
Moorhead has been considerably worse this year… and lack of funds isn’t an acceptable excuse. I mean… do I stop mowing my lawn because I ran out of funds? No. The city would be here mowing and charging an outrageous fee. Maybe Fargo should step in, do it and send them the bill.
Like or Dislike: 20 7
This is true. Moorhead roads are worse than West Fargo and Fargo. When it comes to snow removal during and right after a storm though, West Fargo is the worst.
Like or Dislike: 13 2
Fargo is not any better on the side streets.
Like or Dislike: 8 2
where’s the sand–there is a real lack of sanding all streets this year
Like or Dislike: 15 2
we can’t sand the roads, we need that for the sandbags
Like or Dislike: 18 4
I slid through 32nd ave on the intersection of 45th and 32nd. If the guy that was planning on going left on the arrow – thanks for waiting
How is the interstate now?
Like or Dislike: 3 5
As I see it, developers in Fargo are pretty much given free reign, to build out whereever they want. New schools often follow the new housing tracts. The taxpayer picks up the tab for all of the new infrastructure and the schools in these projects, which is why Fargo property taxes are so ridiculously high. Predictably (myopically?), city fathers are unwilling to add further to our tax burden by increasing expenditures for the additional manpower,fuel and equipment necessary to keep our streets de-iced and plowed on the same timely basis: more and more miles of streets but no equivalent increase in manpower and equpment numbers to maintain them. Don’t get me wrong: street crews are doing an amazing job considering the amount of roads they’re now tasked with maintaining – but they’re already being stretched way too thin – and the steadily increasing amounts of precipitation we’re seeing in recent years is only going to make their jobs more difficult. We should seriously consider placing a moratorium on further expansion of the city’s footprint (adding even more roadways) until we can figure out a reliable source of funding to add more manpower and equipment to our street dept. ….
Like or Dislike: 18 8
Isn’t pretty much every road icy? What gets me are the people who continue to drive 55-65 when it’s obviously icy through town on the interstates. It’s sad they put other people in jeopardy because they are selfish and don’t have respect for others on the road around them. They must have some serious egos thinking they are better and more important than everyone else. Ridiculous.
Like or Dislike: 17 11
Does anybody know who is responsible for the Interstates in Fargo? Is it the Highway Dept. or the city?
Like or Dislike: 5 3
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Really! You do not know who is responsible for the Interstates in Fargo? Take a wild guess.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 7 27
The state is responsible for the interstates. City does nothing with them.
Like or Dislike: 7 1
I thought about selling my new car after visiting Fargo last week. It was so worthless driving around town that I figured it must have a serious design flaw. But I live in Wisconsin and was glad to see, after a treacherous trip through Minnesota, that when I hit the Wisconsin state line the roads instantly turned dry and safe. I think I will wait til spring to visit Fargo again.
Like or Dislike: 8 6
Interstate (I29) is actually not to bad (compared to some streets and avenues around town)….but almost every morning i see people in the ditch or smashed up into those middle concrete barriers and also people just going way to slow. And then traffic gets backed up because of police and tow trucks having to deal with those situations. The interstate conditions are well enough to drive the speed limits if you allow yourself and the next guy enough room.
Like or Dislike: 12 11
People are going “too slow”because they are sliding all over if they try to speed up. The people who are trying to go the speed limit, like you say they should, are the ones that smash into the concrete barriers. Interstate from 52nd ave S clear up to 19th ave N is like a pinball chute.
Like or Dislike: 16 13
Well your not suppose to accelerate hard. If your “sliding all over”, your either accelerating to hard, braking to hard or turning to sharp to fast. If your spinning out and you accelerate more…..obviously thats not going to help you.Ease into it and you will be fine. Accelerating and braking diligently (while observing your surroundings) does not mean you have to go excessively slow in between .
Like or Dislike: 10 10
Depends on your idea of “excessively” slow. Most traffic on the interstate I’ve observed has been going 45-50. Anybody who thinks that is too slow in a 55 zone in icy conditions should not be driving. Period.
Like or Dislike: 18 7
“Accelerating and braking diligently (while observing your surroundings) does not mean you have to go excessively slow in between .”
Couldn’t have said it better myself, piranha. Too bad more people can’t figure this out when driving on city streets…
Like or Dislike: 8 8
It is the speed difference that causes the problems. Having to slow down to 35-40 because of one person when the traffic is going 50-55.
I used to regularly pass one person on the way to work, that normally would go 30 MPH on S 25th (a 35mph), then when it was cloudy slow down to 20-25. A collage are person, hands at 10 and 2, staring straight ahead.
Don’t get me started on those drivers that use the speedometer in the vehicle in the adjacent lane.
All the intersections in this city are a joke. For an area the size of Fgo, Mhd, and West Fgo to have every major intersection a fricking skating rink is ridiculous. What is the problem with putting down some chemicals??? Maybe these yahoos at city hall need a lesson on budgeting for winter road maintenance. For Mhd to be out of budget funds on the first day of the year should be embarassing at the least. Hey Denny, you need to worry about more than how many sand bags we got full. Seems each year its getting worse and worse as the towns get bigger and bigger. Maybe need to scale back the growth and take care of what you got first.
Like or Dislike: 12 5
It’s hard to pick a worst spot, but one noteworthy one is just west of Nodak where 36th Street N intersects with Main Avenue. A week ago I was going through there at 5 PM and traffic was backed up because a semi couldn’t find enough grip to take the right turn, and eventually had to back up and go left instead. Even today the FWD cars I was behind were spinning their tires.
The roads here in Fargo are a joke. We went to the new Walmart today, slide at the light, hit the snow bank, got stuck. We were going maybe 10 mph when this happened. Some of the stop signs over in North Fargo, you also can’t stop for. I think the roads are worse this year then any other year before.
Like or Dislike: 11 3
Don’t go to the new Wal-Mart. That will fix that.
Like or Dislike: 4 5
I think that Fargo should put a stop to expansion until city services can keep up with it. I have seen sanding trucks put down sand on busy roads only to have a plow run by it 45″later. Very counterproductive. How many accidents are caused each year by the lack of snow/ice control, but yet in south Fargo they are putting in “round-abouts” at every intersection to reduce the chances of accidents.
Like or Dislike: 14 2
I can see the headlines now. Massive pile ups @ roundabouts as people could not slow down on the icy, snow covered roads. Or we will hear of people trying to drift thru them.
32nd Avenue and truck stop alley.
Like or Dislike: 10 1
From what I gather here everybody think the cities should raise taxes to provide more city employees, more equipment, more overtime, more chemicals, more fuel, and more support. This is a change from the usual comments that there are to many city employees, that taxes are too high, that to much money is budgeted for some things, etc., etc., etc. It make it very hard to govern when the populace cannot make up it’s mind. Oh, and I see no one like that I question someone not knowing who is responsible for maintaining the interstate highways. That is very funny. Perhaps I offend to many people who do not know. One hint may be to look at the equipment that maintains the road. If it says “City of Fargo”, then the equipment is probably on a city street.
Like or Dislike: 8 11
The want smaller government till it negatively impacts them, then cost is no object till they get the bill by way of a tax increase.
Well at least no one so far has said private enterprise can clear the streets better than government.
If any one is that dumb, then check out the cost of private snow removal.
Like or Dislike: 4 2
Extremely glazed and icy road surfaces are becoming the new norm for winter driving in our region…Already this winter, we’ve had sleet, mist, rainfall, and fog in Fargo or the wider area. In my experience these types of precipitation events used to be very rare during the winter, but in recent years they seem to be occurring with increasing frequency …and of course when the temperature is zero at ground level, and a fine mist falls from warmer air above us, it freezes to the road on contact. Add glazed road surfaces to zero vixibility at intersections (huge piles of snow) and the results are predictable. The situation is becoming untenable …
Hmmm… Global warming? Climate Change? Ya think, maybe?
I love that new deicing system tha cost over a million dollars for the I-94 over the Red river and is totally non functional. suppose the contractor that put that package together is sunning his or her buns in Florida or the Bahamas?
North Shore, Oahu.
This may start out to strong butâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.. What a bunch of whiners, these comments clearly canâ€™t be coming from the North Dakotans I grew up with. Letâ€™s get some things in perspective.
1. On Antilock brakes, if they lock up theyâ€™re not working properly. First generation are not nearly as good as the new ones, new ones tied with stability control i.e. skid control and traction control are fantastic, stay in school, get a good job, buy a good car.
2. They go to fast for me theyâ€™re inconsiderate, boo hooâ€¦.see stay in school, if you canâ€™t drive in a straight line on a slippery road itâ€™s more than likely your car, or you suck at driving.
a. You should have a set of summer tires and a set of winter tires, I know all season are ok but you cannot beat a set of good winter tires. They should have a soft rubber compound and have lots of deep tight lugs for snow and ice. Good ones will only last about 2 years. You must have good tires.
b. Check your air pressure, how many times have you been told, well Iâ€™m telling you again. You cannot go or stop in a straight line if your damn tires are under inflated. Itâ€™s like trying to skate with one boot on, sort of, you get my drift. Air leaks from tires around the bead and thru the rubber, donâ€™t fall for the nitrogen gimmick the air you breathe has like 80% nitrogen in it, why pay for it, buy a damn gauge and put some air in them.
c. Have the alignment checked, you cannot go straight if the tires are going any which way they damn well please, parts have to be tight and need to go in a straight line without fighting each other to do it.
d. Ok fine, you need to dive the speed at which it is safe to dive for the conditions present at that time.
3. If you have a hard time driving the current speed, maybe you should stay in town with the girlies.
4. Where did you people learn to use the white line on the right hand side of the road for a guide that you need to drive down the center of, you do know thatâ€™s to tell you that itâ€™s the side of the driving surface and that the fn ditch is 10â€™ away! Donâ€™t be too proud, pick up a driverâ€™s Ed book and find out what all those lines mean. Single, double, triple white and yellow lines, white and yellow side markers dashed and solid lines, where to stop at stop sighs with and without markers ect. ect.
5. And while weâ€™re at it, who in the hell told you that traffic has to pull over so you can get your slow ass onto interstate? We pay taxes to buy a mile and a half of good on ramp, put the pedal down, get up to traffic speed pick a spot and fn merge! And ya it would be a lot easier if people followed the 2 second rule, but lifeâ€™s a bitch, you can always drive in town.
6. People in the ditchâ€¦. To many reasons to name, but the most common ones would be speed for conditions, the condition of your car i.e. tires and crap, and these assholes with their Suv /pickups with their auto 4 wheel drive that doesnâ€™t kick in until theyâ€™re spinning around in a circle headed for the ditch, God thatâ€™s funny, except for the ones that get hurt, sorry. Auto four wheel drive, not that good when your spinning in a circle is it? New ones are getting better though, see stay in school.
So whatâ€™s all the gripping about? Stay inside make a little love, get the kids to shovel the drive, hell, itâ€™ll be summer in a couple of weeks and we can all bitch about that.
Oh and I almost forgot, itâ€™s slippery everywhere so watch out for your fellow man, have a little patience, show a little courtesy, and drive safe everyone.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 17
miranda, you have some very valid points.
However even on the new cars you can still lock up the wheel’s if you provide enough pressure to the petal or slam hard on the brakes. ABS has always been for low pressure wheel lock up.
Your tire argument has many valid points but one thing you forgot to mention is the cheaper the tire you buy from china the worse it is. Spend some money and get some good rubber under you. You can buy tires for $50/each or you can buy a set of tires for $100/each. I’d buy the $100 tire myself, but then again I’ve been buying and selling tires for years. I do my research and I don’t rely on what the salesman says. Now as for your nitrogen argument that has valid points but the fact is that 20% that isn’t nitrogen leaks out of the tire and why they loose pressure. Nitrogen fill is a good thing. Reduces the heat build up in the tire and maintains a more constant pressure. I’ve been looking into that for a while and I see some very promising results.
The new vehicles that have auto 4×4 are crap but they are getting better but I’d rather be out and know my vehicle is in 4×4 then to let it auto decide for me.
Now I drive older vehicles as they are paid for and I do not need the newest and so called greatest thing on the market. I also do all my own maintenance too. Then again I know my cars inside and out and also know how they handle in many critical situations. Yes I’ve been there done that but the majority of the time I’ve had to react is due to other poor drivers on the roads.
Like or Dislike: 4 3
Nope, I don’t work for OK tire. I am independent, always have been. If Nitrogen fill wasn’t a good thing then NASCAR wouldn’t be using it or was that INDY, I can’t remember. But what I do know is that it got started in Racing. Bridgestone and Firestone are the same tire basically.
I am looking @ adding Nitrogen to my arsenal of products I have as they now have a more small shop friendly version vs. the giant set up they had before.
As for your new cars far superior then the old ones I do have to disagree. The new cars you dont have full control of the car as the computer takes over so there for you do not get a full understanding of what the car can and cannot do. I like my old cars so that I can control how they act and understand why they do what they do. But then again I enjoy being able to look under the hood and see an engine instead of plastic covering, and I dont need a computer to fix or diagnose what is wrong with them. Call me old fashion but I like the challange.
Are you comparing racing tires using nitrogen to regular all season tires using nitrogen because that is like comparing an apple and an orange, sure they are both fruit (tires) but they are completely different in how they are made and what they are made to handle. NITROGEN IN TIRES IS A JOKE. But suckers by it every single day.
Like or Dislike: 5 2
I agree. There are some minor benefits to Nitrogen but not enough to offset the hassle.
However if I owned a tire shop I would probably provide it because people are fickle and will always buy what they want regardless of whether or not it is actually worthwhile.
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That was a nice, healthy dose of truth.
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Rusts even the newest cars very fast and corrosive.
Like or Dislike: 6 2
They use it in Illinois, and they have cars.
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As far as anti-lock brakes go, any ABS system, from newest Bosch system to your 20+ year old Benz system, can lock up on ice. How it works is the wheels’ speed is compared with one another, and if you slam on your brakes so all four wheels instantly lock up, the computer will simply think the car is stopped and not modulate any brakes. It’s getting more rare as ABS is improved, but it still happens, but on highly-polished, glare ice, it’s very possible.
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