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Every winter, weather forecasters like to talk about the possibility of snow to keep people watching the 5 o’clock news. We only get snow that stays on the ground once every few years. This is problematic for Portland, especially if we get over more than 3 or 4 inches for a number of reasons:

1 . The world pretty much stops turning. Snow scares the shit out of people, so all the schools in the area, elementary through university, will close. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional snow day, but sometimes this can be a huge pain in the ass. A lot of the smaller businesses close as well, so people are forced to shop at the Big Box Stores, which sucks because Portland has done an awesome job of keeping them out of the metro area so if you desperately need something, you probably have to drive at least a few miles to get it if your local mom and pop shops aren’t open.

2 . People DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DRIVE IN THIS STUFF. This fact amazes me. It rains constantly here and icy roads are a pretty common condition during the winter so you would think that Portlanders would be accustomed to slippery roads and stuff falling from the sky that may be visually disruptive, but NOOOOO…..if EVERYONE drove too fast or too slow in the snow, it would be fine, but alas, this is not the case. The driving is erratic as F*CK- slamming on the gas pedal and fish tailing all over the place, taking a turn at such a low speed that all traffic making a left has been backed up for two miles because only ONE CAR is going per light, doing 20 on the freeway while merging….you get the idea. Hailing from the midwest, I am in awe of this behavior.

3 . It’s impossible to get out of your damn house. I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The city of Chicago owns hundreds and hundreds of snow plows that are deployed out to all kinds of places before too much has fallen. The city of Portland a few years back had like 5, but after a horrific December, decided to up this number and now I think there’s like 50 some. People get snowed in on their street because there’s too much snow to move themselves, and not enough big yellow trucks with a shovel on the front to move it for them.


North Park Blocks

Lincoln Hall Portland State Univ