Monday, February 2, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

It started snowing yesterday afternoon and it still continues to come down a little bit. Although this may not be newsworthy for many in London the snow is causing loads of problems. This is the most snow that London has seen in 18 years! Having lived with lake effect snow and nor'easters for the majority of my life this is nothing. The problem is twofold:
  1. Cars, buses, etc aren't equipped with proper snow tires.
  2. Snowplows don't seem to exist.

As a result the roads are treacherous, the snow has gotten packed down and is a sheet of ice. I've noticed just walking around today how icy it is.

Last night I had the most terrifying taxi ride of my life. I had gone out to a Superbowl party in central London and had booked a taxi for my return. I got a call from the taxi company at around 1:30 AM asking if I really needed to be picked up or could I stay where I was. Since I was at a bar I thought it best to go home. The taxi driver wasn't used to driving in snow and the tires weren't great. Every time we started from a stop the tires spun. We hit a couple of patches where we could travel at a decent speed but then came a curve and the driver didn't think to slow down so we did a 360 in the middle of the street. When there were cars leading the way the driver thought it was fine to drive faster and didn't quite leave enough room to stop on the snow. There were a couple of times we had to swerve so as not to rear end the car in front of us. Luckily I made it home safely. I did have the sense to tell the driver to drop me at the end of the road as I knew the side streets were much worse than the main roads and I wasn't sure he would make it up the road without hitting something.

I was pretty sure that public transportation wouldn't be operating in the morning so I decided to sleep in a bit. When I turned on the radio the news reports were all about the weather and surprise surprise they announced that no buses were running, the tube was having closures on the majority of lines and the trains were severely delayed. Not to mention that most of their web sites were down due to the severe load of people trying to find out if transportation was running. By far the most amusing thing I heard were the warnings to pedestrians not to walk on the streets in the tire tracks as that could potentially slow down cars even more or result in more accidents.

When I got on-line this morning I started chatting with a co-worker from Canada and we were commenting how a little bit of snow (at least from our perspective) has crippled the city. They're saying as of now that trains are going to be running on a suspended service tomorrow as well so it looks like I'll be working from home again tomorrow.


Amy said...

Oh my god! That does sound like a horrifically bad taxi ride. You poor thing. I'm glad you made it home safely.

Anonymous said...

That was scary even reading about it. Thank God you are safe. Love Mom