#EPIC FAIL: 2 inches of snow, 18 hours of gridlock, thousands of Atlantans stranded - Daily Agenda - Atlanta Magazine

#EPIC FAIL: 2 inches of snow, 18 hours of gridlock, thousands of Atlantans stranded

How a region of 6 million was paralyzed by a storm predicted days ago

We all know that Atlantans can't cope with snow, and we're generally quick to defend ourselves from critical Yankees who don't understand that you can't stockpile salt and plows for flakes that fall with less frequency than the Spider-Man franchise gets another reboot. But the gridlock that started at noon yesterday and is continuing into this morning can't be blamed on Southern climate. (Gov. Deal: We'll get to your "unexpected storm" comments shortly.) This fiasco provides brutal evidence of metro Atlanta's tragic lack of transit planning (or transit options for that matter) and staggering leadership vacuum.

How did a region of 6 million become paralyzed by 2 inches of snow?

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  1. jim posted on 01/29/2014 11:43 AM
    the "2 inches of snow" doesn't really represent what it was. when we get snow in the south, it is just ice on the roads. compare the ski slopes in north carolina with the ones in vermont. that's the difference. snow, ice. looks pretty on the ground here. solid ice on the roads.
    1. Aline posted on 01/29/2014 07:55 PM
      @jim It is ICE on the road everywhere else where condensed precipitation reaches below freezing temps and accumulates at 2 inches or less. We had 3 inches overnight Tuesday night in Maryland, life WENT ON. Quit creating excuses for your state's inadequacy.
  2. Brian posted on 01/30/2014 10:14 AM

    Alline, stop talking like you have a clue what you're saying. I have live in eastern Ohio, Colorado and in the South (Texas). Unlike you apparently, I have experienced freezing precipitation in both regions. It is INDEED different. The temperatures in more northern climates is colder. The ground gets colder and stays colder, so when snow hits, it stays snow. There may be isolated places where snow melts/refreezes immediately at the beginning of a storm. Down south, the temperatures stay above freezing most of the time in winter, and usually drop only a few hours before a snow storm. The result is, the ground is not cold/not below freezing. Snow melts slightly and refreezes from the beginning resulting in solid sheets of ice everywhere. It's very different from what I've PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED LIVING in colder climates vs what happens down south.
    1. Shelly posted on 01/30/2014 03:27 PM
      @Brian Brian, I live in MN. Snow melts on our roads every day. Then it refreezes when the sun goes down. It does not stay snow. Exhaust from tailpipes and the sun melts it even on days below freezing. We drive on that every day, and we also drive all the time on black ice. We have a lot to deal with on our roads and have our share of accidents too, but people drive differently in the north because we're used to it. We drive on ice all the time. Trucks put down sand and salt for traction every day, several times a day. Now we have chemical mixtures that go down on the roads creating slippery slush. It's treacherous but somehow we manage it, in large part by staying put and not driving when the road conditions are very bad. That's usually something the weather channels predict.
  3. Gre posted on 01/30/2014 01:01 PM
    Deceitful headline. I grew up in upstate New York with massive snowstorms. Ice is different-- only takes a half inch to make driving impossible without spikes (which are outlawed). So knockoff the stereotype of southern drivers.

    Your citizens-drivers did as well as could be expected, probably better with no fights, many acts of kindness.. government goofed up without a plan for the interstates, trucks, and dismissal/closure of schools and workforces.
  4. shellyl posted on 01/30/2014 03:21 PM
    I don't know whose fault the gridlock was, but Atlantans should be proud there was no road rage and no violence. People acted like grownups and helped each other. My husband was stuck in the traffic jam for over 8 hours and he said no one really drives slow enough there for the road conditions (he's from MN) but there was no fighting, just people helping each other. That is a positive to be proud of, despite the hardship of the whole ordeal for everyone.
    1. A posted on 01/31/2014 07:44 PM
      @shellyl Agreed. That is impressive. Thankfully, the death toll didn't exceed much higher than it did. I'm also thankful of the people helping out others during their time of need. They didn't have to do it but they did.
  5. Eric posted on 01/31/2014 03:55 PM
    I believe one of the editor's of this magazine explained the true problem with Atlanta's inability to deal with traffic & weather and most know it but are afraid to acknowledge it but the simple fact is there are too many cars that are forced to utilize the highway system in this region, and no regional mass transit alternative to take people out of their cars and ultimately cars off the road. Traffic has, is and will continue to be bad going forward until this "region" changes its stance on a single, regional solution I.e, monorail which extends west to Carroll county, and east thru Social Circle, North to Chattanooga and South through Macon, feeding multiple points in between. Toll roads, lanes and HOV lanes are not the answer - you need to give the people in this region a viable alternative and get them out of their cars - please!!!!!
  6. Hubb posted on 02/01/2014 06:12 PM
    I don't think we should call it Snowapocalypse, the problem was the ice and traffic hitting the streets in a matter of minutes. We don't have a great and expansive public transportation system like other big cities.

    There was such an outpouring of kindness that my faith in humanity bumped up a few notches.
  7. Anon posted on 03/07/2014 12:37 AM
    I was in the storm, and I can say the whole entire thing happened because people didn't use common sense about their own city. Everyone in ATL knows the freeway is a jammed mayhem mess every day, but they all just jumped on in anyway. Not only that, but the drivers are some of the worst, deliberately not using turn signals on a calm day to miff fellow drivers. Then, these people go to work and act like your never courteous enough to them ever. In Atlanta, it's always these kind of paradoxes. This storm just is the southern 'way of how we do things here' and nothing ever changes with the attitude.
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