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With a couple days to prepare for more snow and ice, Capitol Hill slowly thaws out

Residents around Capitol Hill began another day of icy — but partially thawed — conditions Wednesday as Seattle awaited another inbound winter storm and promises — and threats — of more snow through the weekend.

The Hill’s side streets and many sidewalks remained an icy mess so it was best to take it slow. The city’s designated snow and ice routes — marked green and gold in the map below —  were mostly clear sailing for busses, cars and bikes. Areas of shade on side streets and sidewalks were especially treacherous, however. Be safe, stay warm was the mantra for the day.

After a false, frozen start on Tuesday, the city really was ready to get back to work Wednesday with Seattle Public Schools starting on a two-hour delay and most businesses shifting back to a near normal work day.

From SDOT: “Gold snow routes:
These are streets of regional importance for hospitals, buses, large trucks, and major employers. SDOT’s objective is to provide bare and wet pavement over all travel lanes within 12 hours of a significant lull in the storm.
Emerald snow routes:
These are streets of citywide importance for hospitals, buses, and general traffic. SDOT’s objective is to provide bare and wet pavement for one lane in each direction within 12 hours of a significant lull in the storm.” Full map here (PDF)

SDOT is using the brief respite to tell citizens more about its response to snow and ice — and how you can help:

It really does take a city to help clear the way of snow and ice. Although we wish we can be omnipresent at all times, we rely on businesses and residents across Seattle to keep their sidewalks clear of snow and ice to make sure people can travel on sidewalks safely. If you can, please help a neighbor who might not be able to clear their sidewalks. Clearing snow before it turns to ice is best, and having a bag of street salt on hand is a good winter-preparedness move.

“Access for people walking and biking is a priority for us during our winter weather response efforts,” the department writes. “Our crews will monitor and identify bike lanes and sidewalks on gold and emerald routes to ensure they are clear as providing access for emergency responders and freight and transit are our primary access. Other priorities include sidewalks and paths across bridges and bike lanes leading to and through downtown.”

The above freezing sunshine should continue into Thursday but the weekend promises more snow and ice. The National Weather Service is predicting the next storm to arrive midday Friday with high probability for “significant lowland snow.” After that, a “break” before another storm arrives next week.

Given all that, today and Thursday are a good day to catch up — and prepare.

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