Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
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.
Y98 traffic reporter Lance Hildebrand is continuing to keep a count of how many mattresses and ladders fall from vehicles onto St. Louis highways. He ended 2015 with Mattresses 145 Ladders 116. Now in 2016 we have Mattresses 7 ladders 6
This amuses me, I have no idea why, but I'm really glad I have not been driving behind someone who had a mattress or ladder fly off a truck.
Update already: Another mattress hit the road now at 8. What is with all these mattresses being transported?
Lance Hildebrand, traffic reporter for Y98 radio in St. Louis, has kept a running total of how many mattresses and ladders have fallen off cars and trucks onto local highways the past year. These two items must be the easiest things to fall.
So for 2015 the total was: Mattresses 145 and ladders 116
Honestly, I would not want to be driving behind someone with a mattress ready to come loose and head toward my windshield.
A notice went out today from the Illinois State Police which informs drivers on the Musial/Veterans Bridge that troopers will be out there in force watching for distracted drivers and ready to give out tickets. "Troopers have responded to an overwhelming amount of crashes with injuries on the bridge over the last few months and hope the extra patrols will help cut down on accidents on one of the biggest travel days for college students.'
For some reason this surprised me > the overwhelming amount of crashes on that bridge. I'm so used to hearing daily reports of crashes along 270 and 64/40 that this area didn't register. And, it seems it isn't speeding causing the accidents but drivers possibly on their phones. And college students...an interesting add on to the story.
Funny but not funny if you're driving, tweet to KY98 traffic reporter Lance Hildebrand today. "large bush in the middle of the road 270 west between 157 and 111 in Illinois can you call someone to pick it up?"
I just hope that whoever sent that message to Lance wasn't the driver. Don't tweet and drive during rush hour or at any time. But nothing like a large bush in the middle of 270 WB during morning drive time.
Last night during the Fox2Now 9 pm news cast, reporter Alex Fees was out in the dark and rain while covering a bad accident in St. Peters. A studio news person asked him how the roads were for travel and he said, "Driving around in the rain you can't see the lane lines that well."
Hurray! I've been saying this for a long time. At some point MoDOT has to come up with a better paint for the highway road surfaces so that driving in foggy, dark and wet times allow drivers to actually see where they are in relation to others and the road itself.
A St. Louis driver tweeted K-98 traffic reporter Lance Hildebrand during this morning's rush, "Good Morning, Lance! You may want to warn people that drivers this AM are treating the white lines as a light suggestion."
It's the second day of thick fog in St. Louis which means difficulty out there on the highways and it seems drivers are swaying out of their lane lines. This does not surprise me because I've mentioned before that many St. Louis interstate lane lines just disappear during wet and dark times. At some point MoDOT needs to get reflective material onto the roadways.