Friday, December 19, 2008

Great day to stay home...

3 p.m. update
Winter storm warnings in affect for most of the state. Very high winds expected in Puget Sound area.

If there ever was a great day to stay home, this is it. Icy conditions have been reported all around the state. Many roads were closed yesterday due snow caused spinouts and accidents. So far this morning we aren't seeing road closures due to accidents because many of you are choosing to stay home.

Besides having all available crews out making the roads passable, we are starting to turn our attention to staffing plans for this weekend. Forecasting models are a bit varied as to what could happen. We are hearing differing versions from various sources. It might be windy, there might be a lot of snow, stay tuned to the forecast, if we learned anything this week it's that weather is very unpredictable.

We found the source of the Web site problem. Turns out we only had half the available bandwidth we should have had. Technicians were working on it yesterday afternoon and it shouldn't be a problem today. Just for comparison we normally have about 800,000 page views a day, Wednesday we had 5.8 million and yesterday we had 6.1 million page views, and not all the requests to our Web site made it to our servers.

We have heard many requests from you to find out road conditions in very specific places in the state. I am going to be completely honest with you and tell you that I am nervous to tell you those conditions. The weather has been changing so rapidly and icy conditions have been reported almost everywhere, that if I tell you something it may be different than what you experience once you drive out there. I would just recommend you stay home today. If you have to go out, take it very slow and give plenty of room to drivers around you.

We will continue to keep you posted via this blog and Twitter all day if we hear more.


Rod Wright said...

Seems the WSDOT has the same trouble as the news; not concerned with anywhere outside the Seattle area.

Snohomish county, specifically east of Monroe, received much more snow than the 'big city', yet no reports on those roads or conditions.

Interesting...blatantly biased, but interesting...

Julie said...

I live in Spokane and it is interesting that they only report on Seattle. What about all the other cities around there? Does it only snow in Seattle? Doubtful.... Just be happy you're not in Spokane. We have had 3 feet of snow fall in the last 2 days! I'm snowbound today with my son who has no school. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

As a person who lives in the Seattle area, my opinion may seem biased, but I'm sure the WSDOT could extend reporting across all the roads in the entire state. All it takes is enough budget enough years ago so that it'd be in place today.

The irony is that people in the Seattle area used to make exactly the same complaints about the system here. When it first started it wasn't complete, didn't cover their area, was clearly biased in favor of specific parts of downtown Seattle, etc. It takes time to develop a network.

As for me, I'm both amazed and delighted at the WSDOT's web presence; between the main web site, the blog, and the tweets I have a much better idea of what's going on.

Saying this is hardly proof, but I don't for the WSDOT or the State or any government body.

Uhura said...

Rod and Julie: more people live and commute around the Seattle area (which includes several cities from Everett to Tacoma) than Spokane or Monroe.

Further, Spokane gets feet of snow over most days every. single. winter. season. Seattle? Not so much.

So it's not that anyone is slighting you and your communities *personally*; the blog is catering to the area with the most need for information based on requests for reports.

Lastly, the official WSDOT website? You can specifically select your area for constant updates on conditions. All across the state. Most every city and hamlet, dirt road and freeway.

I spent the bulk of yesterday on it eyeballing conditions in and around Bellingham, Ferndale, and Lynden (not big cities) and was impressed with the coverage.

Thanks WSDOT!

Ravindran said...

Hey Jeremy.. Thanks for all the good work as you are helping most of my friends there in Redmond :) I'm trying to point people to your twitter!!

Jeremy Bertrand said...

Thanks for the feeback Julie and Rod. I don't know if you have seen the eastern Washingotn traffic alerts. The traffic management center over in Eastern Washington does a great job of updating road conditions during weather like this:

Janna said...

Jeremy and all at WSDOT web services - I have to say that your website is one of the most complete, easily navigated DOT websites around. (I've checked out Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado). And it's easy on the eyes, too. I'm proud of you guys! I can imagine the bedlam that ensued yesterday when the servers kept having problems (or the bandwidth, or whatever). You came through with the text only page very nicely - and I imagine worked through the night (maybe?) to get things on tap again for all of Washington.

You're heroes! Stuff happens - people will always gripe - but just know you're doing a great job. Keep it up!

One question - you sometimes mention Seattle and Vancouver in the same sentence - are you talking Vancouver BC or Vancouver WA? It matters because I live down in the 'Couv'. :)

Stacy and Brian said...

Jeremy, Unfortunately we need to drive from Portland to Seattle this afternoon. We've got chains and are prepared to drive 25MPH if necessary. Do you have any idea on the condition of I-5 from Portland to Seattle? Is it open and clear?

Anonymous said...

Sand McClellan Hill for godsakes! It's the only access point for people wanting to leave Madrona/Leschi. Our whole neighborhood is stuck. Sand McClellan between MLK and Lakeside Ave!!!!

Elev8YOU said...

just fine out here in Cali.

ooops, sorry

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