Saturday, December 7, 2013

Going Stir Crazy With Fort Worth Buses On Day Two Of The Great North Texas Ice Storm Of 2013

Today, December 7, 2013, a day which will live on in infamy as Day Two of the Great North Texas Ice Storm, saw conditions worsen.

Yesterday, on Day One of the Great North Texas Ice Storm, I was a little surprised to see the Fort Worth buses busy rolling over the ice, with no noticeable problem getting up and down the hills which were being major vexations for those driving cars.

I thought the Ice Storm may have grounded the buses. I thought wrong.

Today, on Day Two of the Great North Texas Ice Storm, with the ice having grown much slicker over night, I was again surprised to see the Fort Worth buses busy rolling over the ice.

However, today the buses were rolling noticeably slower. And whilst I was helping Miss Puerto Rico deal with a fallen tree this morning we saw one of the buses come down the hill, slowly, and then have a little sideways sliding action whilst maneuvering around a couple stuck cars.

With the Fort Worth bus system, known as the "T", delivering its people packages so reliably under these dire conditions, it occurred to me that it would be an excellent idea, excellent, I tell you, if the "T" would announce via radio and other means that bus service, system-wide, was free during the duration of the dire weather event.

Free bus service on an occasion like this would accomplish several things.

One good thing would be offering free bus service would likely cause a lot of people to decide to take the bus, rather than risk driving.

Another good thing is offering free bus service under these dire conditions would cause people to ride the bus for the first time, and thus discover how good the Fort Worth bus system is.

Additionally, getting extra weight on the bus, in the form of extra humans, would likely make the buses more stable in these slippery conditions.

Also, offering free bus service would likely cause more people to decide to risk the ice to go shopping or to a restaurant.

Due to going slightly stir crazy I was tempted to go on a bus ride today, and pay the fare, which is still way cheaper than driving. And safer.

The stir crazy thing had me back in the outer world late this afternoon. I managed to slip my way up to Albertsons, which is where I saw the Fort Wort bus in the picture above. I saw three Fort Worth buses in the short time I was exposed to their route this afternoon.

Speaking of the sliding. I saw some major slipping issues in the Albertsons parking lot. One was a pickup truck which could get no traction. And then, after many minutes of tires spinning the truck began to slowly move. Another vehicle, of the car sort, could not make it up the gentle slope which leads to the parking lot.

On my way back to my abode I had myself one incident of extreme sliding. I had no control. I was able to ride it out without falling. That slide was at least 20 feet. Very unsettling. And yet, also sort of fun.

I am ready for this to end. But, I believe we are scheduled for several more days of ice and the deep freeze....


Steve A said...

Consider a bicycle for conditions such as these. Unlike a car, one can always depart the vehicle but still bring it back home the old fashioned way.

Durango said...

Steve A, yesterday when I left the Albertsons parking lot I was surprised to see a guy with a bike. Then more surprised to watch him ride it down the hill, feet not on the pedal, but sliding on the ground acting as stabilizers. Are there snow chains for bike tires?

Steve A said...

The problem with snow chains on bike tires is that they only work on bikes with disc or hub brakes. On such, zip ties would also work at a fraction of the cost. They DO commercially sell studded bike tires, but DFW is not a major studded bike tire market.