Thursday, January 30, 2014

Whether it’s cold or whether it’s hot, we’ll have weather, whether or not.

I am aware that my opinion doesn’t count for much except to me, but the Internet makes it possible for any damn fool to have a forum. Mostly, my personal forum is about bikes and using local resources. Coming further south and leaving the Exurbs of Atlanta means that I was not trapped in the Amazing Weather Event of ’14. Instead, I ride year round, have an abundance of fresh produce well within riding distance and I don’t have to put up with snow. This posting isn't about either.

It’s easy for Yankees who are familiar with cold weather and driving in the snow to be disdainful of a city like Atlanta being immobilized by less than 2 inches. After experiencing my first winter weather in the South I realized that showing my transplanted-Yankee-icy-road-driving-prowess was badly misplaced because of the too large number of unskilled drivers who braved the cold and ice while turning me, other drivers and assorted inanimate objects into unintended targets.

Atlanta has virtually no geographical limits to its expansion, has inadequate mass transit to accommodate the people who live within the Atlanta metropolitan area (as designated by United States Office of Management and Budget) and no means for commuting from beyond the metro area other than highways and cars. So, when something compounds the commute, like foul weather, bad things are sure to happen.

Weather projections were more than adequate for the recent “disaster” but as is often true, especially among Atlanta city officials, the fear of looking bad was a part of their decision making process. Atlanta for all its desire to be an international city has an inferiority complex and bad press is especially upsetting, or so it seems. The governor hastened to suggest that the Weather Service warnings were inconsistent, yet the entire metro area was placed under a warning long before schools and businesses opened. There was no lack of forewarning only lack of good sense. The governor feared the potential loss of revenue if business closed and gave no regard to the thousands of kids and tens of thousands of commuters who suffered.

Maybe the governor wasn’t living in Atlanta and environs for Snowjam ‘82 or the sleet and ice in January of 1988 or the Blizzard of ’93. I was. It sucked every time. Staying home might be an inconvenience and it might make the area look wimpy to snow-veteran northerners, but it keeps the roads from turning into temporary residential communities. Took me hours to drive less than 10 miles during the ’82 Snowjam, not because I could not handle conditions but because of the gridlock of cars. Kids miss one more day of school and businesses don’t open; seems better than the aftermath of this recent foolishness. The National Weather Service and the Weather Channel had everything correct. And if looking wimpy to snow-skilled Yankees is an issue just watch how they handle the next week-long 90 plus degree days.

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