Published November 18, 2008
Here's a quick look at what some folks encountered this morning on the ride in to work.
If you have a tale to add, please do.
From Cortland, the biggest drama this morning was blowing six inches of snow off the driveway and off the cars. Cortland’s road department had already plowed the streets.
State Route 11 from Route 305 in Cortland to the 711 Connector was snow-covered but passable, with a few spin-out accidents seen along the way. The most dramatic mayhem was right off the ramp from 305 to 11 South where someone had plunked their Grand-Am down into the gulley between the lanes, probably 20 feet down. A tow truck was hooking a long chain to the car and trying to yank it up the hill.
Travel was slow on 11 and 711 until the Gypsy Lane exit onto U.S. Route 422, where there was much less snow, and road surfaces were becoming wet.
From Poland Township, the roads were slow, but otherwise problem-free. I think the school buses along 170 caused most of the slowness — likely extra caution with the first snow. Getting onto 224 and 680 were no problems. 680 actually had two lanes of traffic, which I was hoping for. radio reported 680 heading into Youngstown from the north was a standstill. The only traffic mishap was a lady on 680 facing northbound in the southbound lane. She was on her cell phone as I passed by.
From Struthers going on Midlothian Blvd., the roads were snowy, but not slick. Traffic moving pretty well. Got on Market Street and roads were not in good shape. Lots of drivers going much too fast on the bridge to downtown.
From Columbiana, I left earlier than usual. But apparently everyone else did too. Columbiana had salted the main road so it was simply wet (some schools in the area had cancelled classes) Since I was the leader of a pack of cars, I stayed about 50 miles per hour in the lanes where others had already traveled. Everyone seemed to be pleased with the pace and kept well apart from each other. Came down 680 past the 224 exit before traffic started to pile up. The closer to Youngstown, the worse it got and there was suddenly one of those whiteouts (around 7:35 a.m.) that caused everyone to brake and really slow to a crawl. Got off at South Ave. which is usually snow-covered in bad weather - so it was no surprise. Whiteout lasted until I parked downtown, and then cleared up. Actually — it wasn't as bad as going home yesterday shortly after 4 p.m. when there was a real whiteout on 680 going south until I reached Western Reserve Road.
Some city streets in Sharon, Pa., particularly Sharpsville Avenue, were a sheet of ice around 8 a.m. as early morning traffic pounded three-to-four inches of overnight snow into a hard, frozen surface.
U.S. Route 62 from Sharon to Hubbard was snow-covered in the passing lane and the driving lane had only two clear tracks for your vehicle’s tires. The center and edges of the lane were snow-covered, and 45 mph was about the top speed for motorists.
Interstate 80 from Hubbard to the 711 connector was clear in both lanes — wet but no snow or ice — and traffic flowed at close to the speed limit.
Martin Luther King Boulevard in Youngstown was partially snow-covered and traffic was moving steadily, but cautiously.
I saw no accidents this morning but did see where several vehicles had run off the road into the median but had already been removed.
From Howland Township, roads were slippery, but traffic on state Route 11 southbound flowed pretty well. The only anxious moments were caused by drivers entering at the Tibbetts-Wick Road on-ramp without yielding. U.S. Route 422 was backed up bumper-to-bumper eastbound at the Madison Avenue Expressway traffic light, though there was no visible problem. It seems there were just a lot of very timid drivers on the road. There were no mishaps.
Coming from New Wilmington was not a problem at all. Roads in Wilmington Township were salted and mostly wet. From Pulaski Township to the state line, they were snow-covered but not a problem, due to the light traffic at 6:30 a.m. Route 422 to city limits was mostly wet, then roads in town were slushy but passable. Drive time was close to a normal day. From the sounds of it, driving conditions worsened after I arrived in Youngstown, and people to the west and south got hit harder than we in the land of the Amish.
From the West Side of Youngstown, the roads were very slippery, as though not much had been done to them. I passed up entering I-680 at Oakwood Ave. because traffic was backed up on the ramp. A guy who tried to stop slid into the curb. I was behind a woman who apparently never saw snow before — barely moving. I went down Mahoning Ave., but when I got to the Mahoning Ave. bridge, traffic was backed up on almost the whole bridge, so I got on I-680 entrance there, where all was clear, though very slippery and not treated enough to do much good.
From Boardman, it was a slower trip in today by about 10 minutes. Market Street was a bit slushy in spots. It was more icy as I got closer to Youngstown, where traffic seemed slow and very cautious. I noticed that when you travel Market Street at 25 mph vs. 40 mph, you seem to hit more red lights. The Market Street bridge, which was pretty icy at about 7 p.m. last night, was in better shape this morning and I noticed no traffic mishaps on my way in.