Talk to me about the roads

OK, I realize that freezing rain may be an anomaly; I am willing to bite the bullet and put in overtime scraping my windshields in a situation like we’ve seen in Dickinson since Thursday night. I plan to continue to be patient though my outside mailbox has been frozen shut for more than three days (the key turns, but the box won’t open). My neighbors say you actually have to go out there with a hammer and really pound it for it to actually open.

I can’t find my hammer since I’ve moved here. Easy enough to go out and buy one, except the roads have been even more treacherous than normal. People who’ve lived here a long time tell me they use dirt on the local roads, no salt. When I try to point out that salt does a much better job of de-icing the roads, I hear the complaints about how salt damages your car. Well, that’s why car washes were invented.

I did not see any public works vehicles out over the weekend pouring dirt or anything else on the local roads. What is up with that? If this is an unusual situation where Dickinson doesn’t normally see icy rain for three days, doesn’t that call for extra vigilance by the City to make sure the roads are safe?

It’s hard enough to drive around town dodging semis. Is this something I am going to have to get used to? I was sliding dangerously through intersections on Friday and it was still slippery at those same intersections on Sunday. I have good tires, too, by the way. I grew up in North Dakota, but just moved back here from Minnesota. If this happened there, there would be public outrage and some explaining to do.

Let me know how you all fared out there this weekend and what you think about the roads. If you think I’m full of it, please explain to me why.

3 thoughts on “Talk to me about the roads

  1. Native long term North Dakotans aren’t like people in most other areas of the country. Those of us here in ND MT WY simply live by different standards and chuckle when compared to MN. We don’t particularly want to be like MN, that’s why we live here! Yes, people there wouldn’t put up with how we have lived here, but we are proud of our hardyness.

    I have no complaints about the roads, they are icy, but this is how ND starts winter. It’s normal to have temps just above freezing before the snow comes, thus, freezing rain and ice before it gets colder and the snow arrives. We are simply too rural with towns too far apart and limited resources to sand (not dirt) every single inch of every single road. and if you haven’t noticed yet, we don’t have the number of car washes available here as people in MN do. We buy our possesions, like vehicles, take care of them, no salt please! and expect them to last a long time.

    Personally I don’t think your “full of it”, I just think you have some adjusting to do. This is life in ND. We welcome our new residents to the area and hope you will all slow down! It’s noticed by myself and others that most of the increased accidents in the western part of ND now seem to list drivers licensed from other states. The faster people leave their expecations behind and adjust to our roads, the safer we all will be and hopefully we can stop losing a few people a week to accidents causing deaths. Driving here in the winter is not going to be like your previous experiences in different states. Expect it to take longer to clear those windows so you can see the other cars and people, get your vehicle warmed up and ready to drive, and expect it to take longer to reach your destination until spring. Please no cruise control from now until long after the snow is gone and the frost has left the roads also.

    And enjoy that snow! Now it’s snowblower, ice skating, curling, sledding, snow fort and snow ball fights for the kids, and snowman and snow angel making season. Take a snowmobile ride or go ice fishing. The snow and ice won’t last. By April most of the snow, except the big piles kids love to climb to the top of, should be gone.

  2. And remember to plug in your car – block heaters are a godsend at 20+ below zero – and do pack your winter survival kit!

  3. Just had to say that yes, the city was out putting dirt on the roads. There was a no travel advisory for in town. But they were out there. I saw them friday, i saw them saturday. I saw them out scraping up the dirty slushy mess on monday. Other than that, yes this city does have some issues related to clean up. Just wait until theres a few inches of snow. But ive driven these winters in this state (and others!) In cars and never had a problem for the most part. Put it in 4×4. Drive slower. Get some good tires and maybe some weight in ur vehicle. Be safe.

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