Dear Canada: (at least everyone outside of Metro Vancouver)
We know you know all about our traffic troubles last week when the snow fell.
Oddly, it becomes national news when we have a traffic jam. Granted, it was a pretty big traffic jam that kept people in their cars for up to 12 hours, but it’s not the first time you’ve pointed this out when we’ve had snow.
This time was particularly bad. Apparently, when we were told it was going to snow, everyone went home…at the same time… at 2:30 p.m., trying to get a jump on rush hour traffic.
Because of this, the plows couldn’t clear the streets with all the cars in the way, and traffic was at a standstill as many drivers out here don’t have winter tires on their vehicles.
But come on, give us a break. Snow in Vancouver isn’t like snow on the Prairies, Ontario or even Quebec.
First of all, it’s really wet, because we only get snow around the freezing mark. Cars melt a little of it, then it freezes on the cold roads, so we are driving on wet ice rinks. You try that…it’s not all that easy.
Granted, we should be using winter tires. All seasons don’t cut it (I used to work for a tire company, I know a lot about them.) That would help, but it only takes one or two cars – or trucks – to block a road or bridge. And our 4x4’s don’t help much when they can’t stop.
However, rest of Canada, remember a couple things. First of all, we have these things called hills and gravity, hills and snow don’t mix.
We also have many traffic compression areas called bridges and tunnels, which tend to restrict traffic flow for a long way when someone gets stuck on them. Not too easy getting around them, as there aren’t many alternative routes.
It seems like the first snow catches us off guard every year. It’s always a mess. I guess that’s because we have so much time to forget it when spring arrives early in the year, unlike other parts of the country. And we are just used to driving on clear, albeit wet, roads.
You give us a break about our snowy traffic issues, and we won’t rub it in when the blossoms are on the trees at the end of February.
Your left coast Canadian friends
Brad Sherwin, MBA is a long-time resident of South Delta, and has over 30 years’ experience in marketing, public relations and business strategy. He teaches post-secondary marketing, coaches hockey goalies and is past president of Deltassist.