The snow started coming down right about the beginning of yesterday's afternoon rush hour and as the evening went on the news became focused on the horrible traffic jams on St. Louis highways. Drivers stuck on 70, 170, 270, 44, 64 were facebooking and tweeting how long they'd been sitting on the road. There were accidents and crashes everywhere, multiple crashes on these interstate which backed up traffic and kept other drivers from getting home hours after they left work. One woman wrote, "averaging 2 miles an hour, I might as well walk home." Someone else replied, "Took me two hours."
And on and on from one person after another and you know what? The snow at that time wasn't all that bad, a dusting at best as the news cameras showed, but the dusting on very cold pavement was slippery. And, when asked by a local tv newsperson if the roads had been pre-treated, a MoDOT spokesman said, "No, we did not pre-treat because we did not know what kind of snow we'd be getting."
As I followed this mess last night I began to wonder why all jams and crashes seemed to be on the Missouri side and not in the Metro East. But I didn't wonder long because I suddenly remembered driving to Collinsville at around 8:30 yesterday morning and seeing my windshield get dotted with liquid de-icer. And as I drove along I saw many IDOT trucks out pre-treating the roadways. This is why winter driving is so much better in Illinois than in Missouri/St. Louis. IDOT knows what they're doing and they do it.
At around 6 last evening in the midst of road chaos in St. Louis, KMOV's Laura Hettiger Tweeted, "Things are moving much better on the Illinois side. Near speed limit."
And this is as it ever is in winter. Kudos to IDOT, big thumbs down to MoDOT.
And guess what? The roads on the Missouri side of St. Louis are still causing problems this morning. Snow covered and slippery. KMOX's traffic reporter, Rodger Brand put up this map of snow covered roads this morning. Missouri! Sheesh.