This BostonNOW blog entry mentioning America’s windiest third-world city inspired me to blog again about our slushy winter wonderland. Even though it’s still technically fall, I had to break out the Severe Weather Hat today to survive the windchill downtown and in the ‘burbs. But the true pleasure of the commute was the black ice, which I battled without my snow boots because they’re still soaked from the 6 inch deep “wintry mix” flooding every intersection in Boston on Sunday.
Winter in Boston is an Ayn Rand novel, complete with political speeches.
Update: I take it back. The worst part of the commute was not the black ice (most of which is on the roads I have to walk on in the ‘burbs where they don’t believe in clearing sidewalks). The worst part of the commute was when I got to the bus stop tonight and it wasn’t there. Yes, readers, we are here in the fine city of ‘Burb, where we’ve secretly replaced Jemima’s usual bus stop with a two-foot high mound of ice. Let’s see if anyone gets squished by an eighteen-wheeler!
You see, in the fine city of ‘Burb, they not only don’t shovel the sidewalks; they also plow all the snow onto them. If there’s a breakdown lane they usually fill that up halfway, too. There is no breakdown lane in front of the inbound bus stop, though there is one outbound so I wasn’t faced with the new MBTA sport of dodge-the-eighteen-wheeler this morning, only tonight. Last night I got a ride to civilization (that is, to a subway station) and never saw the ice mountain coming.
As I approached the bus stop this evening, I saw another commuter perched precariously on the street side of the sheer wall of ice. I thought the person was just especially eager to get the bus and was watching the three-lane road like a hawk for salvation from the ‘burbs. Little did I imagine that she had climbed up there to dodge an eighteen-wheeler, and that that hunk of ice was the bus stop.
When I reached the stop I was faced with the same conundrum: do I stand here in the outside lane of this three-lane major artery of ‘Burb, 50 feet from the onramp to a major highway until something squishes me, or do I take up mountain climbing? Well, I haven’t survived two years of dodging traffic on onramps in ‘Burb by standing still so they can squish me, so I climbed up onto the mound of ice (not as easy as it sounds) and sat there until the bus came. It was, of course, late.
In fact, we never caught the scheduled express bus from ‘Burb. Instead an angel of a bus driver who was out of service stopped for us anyway and brought us back to civilization. Thus I lived to commute another day.
This is not my first winter in ‘Burb, so I asked myself, Self, why has there always been a bus stop here before, and why today, of all fine fall days, has the bus stop been replaced by ice? I came up with an answer: The bus to the ‘burbs doesn’t run on weekends, so no one was there after Sunday’s storm to stomp down the snow and recreate the little path to the street that brave commuters forged on Thursday afternoon. Yet I doubt the City of ‘Burb will bring in a jackhammer to clear the bus stop, and as for the MBTA, they don’t think it’s their problem, so watch this space. Winter, when it finally arrives, is going to be interesting.65f