Author Topic: The Weather - 2022  (Read 2185 times)

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Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #50: January 05, 2022, 11:57:57 AM »
Amtrak was delayed because a tree fell across the tracks about a mile south of the Auto Train depot in Lorton, so it wouldn't have helped him too much here.
how long did it take to clear it?  Look, if it was 5 hours instead of 1-2, that's still better than the CF that 95 was.

Online imref

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #51: January 05, 2022, 12:00:21 PM »
how long did it take to clear it?  Look, if it was 5 hours instead of 1-2, that's still better than the CF that 95 was.

30 hour delay for Amtrak - https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/05/us/amtrak-30-hour-delay-virginia-winter-storm/index.html

This was a freak storm, at least in the Fredericksburg area, that far exceeded what was predicted. I won't beat people up who got stuck in it. I saw a few reports of those who were stuck were returning from visiting family and had to get back to go to work.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #52: January 05, 2022, 12:00:31 PM »
I literally rode amtrak into DC from Boston during a lull in storms back in early 2011.  Did it because my USAir flights had been cancelled 3 times.  Was lucky because Amtrak wasn't steadily operating and I had one of the few that went through.  I think another time I went up to Boston on an overnight and it snowed enough that the automatic doors were jammed a bit open.  IOW, I've been on those trains for 10-13 hours when the weather really stunk. 

I'll just continue to say that, if a train can't get through, then it's pretty doubtful that it's going to be safe to drive.  Most of the time, trains are plenty comfortable.  You can move around, there's food (until things run out), less stress.  I've white knuckled cars in snowy conditions, and it is not fun. 

DC to Boston is the key point there. The rail network in the northeast is lightyears better than south of DC.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #53: January 05, 2022, 12:01:34 PM »
:shock:
We were driving back from Florida on Monday and came very close to spending all night on I-95. Google Maps bailed us out just past King's Dominion literally in sight of the brake lights on 95.

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #54: January 05, 2022, 12:05:00 PM »
I assume it sucked to be stuck on 95 in an EV
big op ed on that in the Post from Charles Lane, I think.  I have some skepticism about some of the electrification proposals.  I'm still inclined to go with a hybrid or a plug in due to my long trips to NE. As for banning gas hookups in cities, it's a fad solution now designed to create a market for clean generation, but until the generation is in fact clean, it is incredibly wasteful of the energy.  The best combined cycle turbines capture something like 60-70% of the heat input of the gas to spin turbines and heat recovery steam generators, then there's electricity loss in transmission, then there's more loss converted the electricity to heat.  All this compares to just burning the heat where you want it - at the end user.  If you have ample solar and wind, so what, but until then, it is wasteful. That's before considering the blackout issue in severe weather.  Really hard for me to see this working well in the north.

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #55: January 05, 2022, 12:25:04 PM »
We were driving back from Florida on Monday and came very close to spending all night on I-95. Google Maps bailed us out just past King's Dominion literally in sight of the brake lights on 95. Ended up taking US 301 up through southern Maryland. Had to sit for a while to wait for some tree removal but thankfully we made it. The roads in Maryland were in much better shape than in Virginia.

Good to hear. I always tend to check if 301 would work better, and often does. Had to get down to Richmond on the Saturday a few years ago that had unprecedented traffic, and taking 301 made it viable

Online imref

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #56: January 05, 2022, 01:17:08 PM »
big op ed on that in the Post from Charles Lane, I think.  I have some skepticism about some of the electrification proposals.  I'm still inclined to go with a hybrid or a plug in due to my long trips to NE. As for banning gas hookups in cities, it's a fad solution now designed to create a market for clean generation, but until the generation is in fact clean, it is incredibly wasteful of the energy.  The best combined cycle turbines capture something like 60-70% of the heat input of the gas to spin turbines and heat recovery steam generators, then there's electricity loss in transmission, then there's more loss converted the electricity to heat.  All this compares to just burning the heat where you want it - at the end user.  If you have ample solar and wind, so what, but until then, it is wasteful. That's before considering the blackout issue in severe weather.  Really hard for me to see this working well in the north.

I saw the Lane op-ed, and read the comments. Lane is wrong. https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-environment-ev/fact-check-electric-cars-not-more-likely-to-get-stuck-in-traffic-jams-idUSL1N2RW0QD

After doing some digging, I'd much rather be stuck in that jam in a Tesla than in a ICE-based vehicle. :)

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #57: January 05, 2022, 01:40:41 PM »
Should have stayed in his Lane. 

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #58: January 05, 2022, 01:54:55 PM »
I saw the Lane op-ed, and read the comments. Lane is wrong. https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-environment-ev/fact-check-electric-cars-not-more-likely-to-get-stuck-in-traffic-jams-idUSL1N2RW0QD

After doing some digging, I'd much rather be stuck in that jam in a Tesla than in a ICE-based vehicle. :)
I still have some skepticism about cities prohibiting natural gas for heating, but that article makes some sense regarding the low power drag of heating systems vs. running an ICE.
Quote
A typical stationary electric vehicle (EV) with full battery could likely run its climate settings and electronics for “at least a day, probably many days”, Howey added.

Anything for >24 hours will have a problem, I suppose.  The other point Lane made, about getting enough gasoline to a car to restart it vs. needing to tow an EV at this point is probably valid.  I will imagine that at some point it'll make sense to have charging vehicles in service fleets to provide batteries juice when drained.

Offline Slateman

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #59: January 05, 2022, 02:07:29 PM »
I still have some skepticism about cities prohibiting natural gas for heating, but that article makes some sense regarding the low power drag of heating systems vs. running an ICE.
Anything for >24 hours will have a problem, I suppose.  The other point Lane made, about getting enough gasoline to a car to restart it vs. needing to tow an EV at this point is probably valid.  I will imagine that at some point it'll make sense to have charging vehicles in service fleets to provide batteries juice when drained.
Not really. Computers will run for a long time. In fact, its marginally better to keep a computer running with a station keeping workload than to shut it down and start it up.

They have charging vehicles


They're usually ICE trucks with ICE generators in the pickup bed. The big issue with EV roadside charging is that it simply takes longer. If your ICE car runs out of gas, it takes 10 minutes to refill the tank. It takes a lot longer to charge an EV from a roadside assistance platform.

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #60: January 05, 2022, 02:12:16 PM »
how long did it take to clear it?  Look, if it was 5 hours instead of 1-2, that's still better than the CF that 95 was.

I don't know. There were multiple trees down on the tracks in Virginia. There was a train out of Lynchburg that was delayed for a long time as well as the delayed Auto Train.

I can't really blame the railroad if a tree falls across the tracks, or if a car gets stuck on the tracks, or if a passenger on board the train becomes ill and paramedics have to be summoned to the middle of nowhere. I've been on delayed Auto Train trips for all three of those reasons on separate occasions.

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #61: January 05, 2022, 02:20:31 PM »


My bigger question is why did all these people just sit there? After a couple hours, simply browsing your phone would have told you the severity of the issue. Get your car to the shoulder, write a note with your phone number, and then walk somewhere to get food/water/a ride

The areas of stoppage were reportedly from Dumfries to Carmel Church (an exit or so up from Doswell / Kings Dominion). I drove that stretch in the fall, and there was a ton of construction, much of that related to the express lane extension projects. Part of the issues may arise from these private partnerships that choose to not open 25 miles or more of roadway until every inch is complete and amortization as a whole can begin. We’ve seen much of the same thing on I-66, with roads (with divots because of the lane shifts) have shoulders removed and seem to not have been resurfaced for years because this is “temporary” construction.

In many of these stretches, there is literally nowhere to pull off (even if you could somehow persuade cars in other lanes to let you get over). Because of the construction, there is practically nowhere to walk — especially if kids or anybody with any level of impairment is involved, not to mention the piled-up snow on the side and the general icing over that would have occurred by then. Many of the people who are just passing through aren’t going to hazard abandoning their car in an unfamiliar place.

If states would use their leverage in these public-private partnerships to prioritize road safety in the middle of all this, think of the tweaks that could be done. There could’ve been adequate safety cutovers (with plows treating them and placed there ahead of time) so that vehicles could’ve done the turnarounds that used to be possible – – and which used to be done by the state police at multiple spots along the roadway. There could have been dozens of escape valves as it were that could’ve routed traffic to exits (or to portions of the expressway that were cleared, and separated so that they did not interfere with emergency vehicles) that were targeted for clearing. I don’t know if this was done, but there could’ve been messaging to check Virginia 511 (either by calling or the website) or tune to the roadway travel frequency or the WTOP FM or AM to get updates on such things.

Instead, in what I suspect to be the case, they may not have proactively deployed enough clearing vehicles by existing turnarounds and exits, nor could they for many stretches of roadway. Additionally, I would contend that they appear to have chosen under the terms of the partnership to let Transurban take away miles and miles of shoulders for extended period of time (easier for them to wall stuff off and work on their timeline) versus building the lanes incrementally and progressively open them to return sections of highway to adequate safety standards as soon as possible. As a result, those who would’ve chosen to pull off (which again would have come with its own challenges) may have had even less of an option to do so then they would have normally.

Going back to the issue of whether proper leadership could improve the situation, something they could do starting this week on 95 and 66 is implement evacuation measures including sufficient roadway cutovers. Of course, one would have to check the terms of the “private partnership“ and see if that could be easily done or whether it would have to take escalated action from the commonwealth. As for me, when I traveled on 66 to 81 last month, the condition of the roadway from the Beltway to Gainesville ensured that my return trip was going to be anywhere but 66.



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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #62: January 05, 2022, 02:39:10 PM »
DC to Boston is the key point there. The rail network in the northeast is lightyears better than south of DC.

Good point about the corridors, including that south and westward, there is a lot less supporting infrastructure comparatively that could get you to the train station easily, launch would make people prefer to take cars. Of course, in winter weather, one has to allow for the unexpected. On the train, at least one would have bathrooms, etc.

Offline Slateman

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #63: January 05, 2022, 08:01:05 PM »
The areas of stoppage were reportedly from Dumfries to Carmel Church (an exit or so up from Doswell / Kings Dominion). I drove that stretch in the fall, and there was a ton of construction, much of that related to the express lane extension projects. Part of the issues may arise from these private partnerships that choose to not open 25 miles or more of roadway until every inch is complete and amortization as a whole can begin. We’ve seen much of the same thing on I-66, with roads (with divots because of the lane shifts) have shoulders removed and seem to not have been resurfaced for years because this is “temporary” construction.

In many of these stretches, there is literally nowhere to pull off (even if you could somehow persuade cars in other lanes to let you get over). Because of the construction, there is practically nowhere to walk — especially if kids or anybody with any level of impairment is involved, not to mention the piled-up snow on the side and the general icing over that would have occurred by then. Many of the people who are just passing through aren’t going to hazard abandoning their car in an unfamiliar place.

You pull the car over as far as possible, get out, and start walking to the next exit. No traffic was moving. You can simply walk on the side.

Online imref

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #64: January 06, 2022, 12:09:34 AM »
FWIW, it’s not just Virginia. A similar situation occurred in Wisconsin a few weeks ago:

https://www.wifr.com/2021/12/23/icy-conditions-cause-massive-pileups-closures-wis-interstate/

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #65: January 06, 2022, 04:42:45 PM »
FWIW, it’s not just Virginia. A similar situation occurred in Wisconsin a few weeks ago:

https://www.wifr.com/2021/12/23/icy-conditions-cause-massive-pileups-closures-wis-interstate/
well, yah. I mean, who expects snow in Wisconsin?

Offline tomterp

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #66: January 06, 2022, 09:32:25 PM »
Maybe frostbite? If they ran out of gas they'd be sitting in the cold all night. I also cannot even fathom what they were doing for potty breaks.

Great time to pull that old McDonalds cup out from under the passenger seat.  Not that I've ever had to do that. 

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #67: January 07, 2022, 01:09:43 PM »
From Arlington this morning (stolen from a friend on social media)


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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #68: January 07, 2022, 02:46:02 PM »
Great time to pull that old McDonalds cup out from under the passenger seat.  Not that I've ever had to do that. 

You're making me think of the following thread on another forum:

"What is the highest classification of road beside which you have urinated?"

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #69: January 07, 2022, 03:12:01 PM »
I saw one post on a Tesla Owners group from a guy stuck on I-95 in a model Y for 17 hours. He ran the seat heaters in “camp mode” and went from 91% to 70% charge before moving

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #70: January 07, 2022, 07:29:39 PM »
Gonna guess that the after-action report will say more message boards telling folks to get off the road due to an accident ahead or bad conditions, and maybe quicker deployment of state police to shut down entrances once the trouble starts.  Maybe a beefed up snow emergency authority limiting access to highways might also be in order but tough to execute.

Also, to Tim Kaine - there's a thing called Amtrak that runs from Richmond to right near your office in DC.  I forget which side of the Hill the Senate is on, but south there's L'Enfant and you metro 2 stops, and north of the Capitol there's Union Station.  You say you've been doing the 2 hour drive every week up on Mondays back usually Thursday since you were elected.  How freakin' hard is it to learn Amtrak's schedule and use it once in a while, especially in bad weather?

Speaking of…
Quote

About 220 passengers and six crew members became stranded Monday morning for more than 24 hours aboard the Crescent train traveling through central Virginia from New Orleans en route to New York. According to the letter, the train encountered downed power lines and trees outside Lynchburg and was forced to return to the Lynchburg station, where passengers said they weren’t told they would be staying overnight. Meanwhile, the train’s cafe ran out of food.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2022/01/07/amtrak-stranded-passengers-snowstorm/

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #71: January 08, 2022, 12:43:36 PM »
Lynchburg.  Not the Richmond - DC route.  But I get your point.  Sure, stuff falls on the track in bad storms, but generally they will not send a train through there's already a block up the track.  If you are stuck, you can use bath rooms until they are filled (unlike cars).  There's some food, and you can carry your own snacks in a bag on a train as easy as in your car.  And, for the most part, there should be a tree trimming program.  Bottom line, I think there's less likelihood of getting stuck on a train in bad conditions than in a car, especially in a part of the country that lacks enough equipment to clear the roads.

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #72: January 08, 2022, 02:14:59 PM »
Lynchburg.  Not the Richmond - DC route.  But I get your point.  Sure, stuff falls on the track in bad storms, but generally they will not send a train through there's already a block up the track.  If you are stuck, you can use bath rooms until they are filled (unlike cars).  There's some food, and you can carry your own snacks in a bag on a train as easy as in your car.  And, for the most part, there should be a tree trimming program.  Bottom line, I think there's less likelihood of getting stuck on a train in bad conditions than in a car, especially in a part of the country that lacks enough equipment to clear the roads.

Also, the likelihood that emergency personnel are going to be quickly dispatched to help the situation is close to 100% (as well as the means to communicate the issue), while the percent might be smaller for those isolated on a roadway.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #73: January 08, 2022, 03:48:43 PM »
Also, the likelihood that emergency personnel are going to be quickly dispatched to help the situation is close to 100% (as well as the means to communicate the issue), while the percent might be smaller for those isolated on a roadway.

The odds that emergency personnel will be dispatched to I95 is about 100%

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Re: The Weather - 2022
« Reply #74: January 08, 2022, 06:28:03 PM »
The odds that emergency personnel will be dispatched to I95 is about 100%

The odds that emergency personnel will be quickly (as specified) dispatched to the specific vehicle in question, the train, in a timely manner is close to (as specified) 100%, and that the priorities of authorities will be to respond to that specific vehicle in question and focus their energy and attention on it.

In other words, the focus on a disabled train issue is much more likely to singularly-focused and quickly initiated. When it comes to cars in different types of roadway issues (I did not specify I-95 only, because unlike a train track, car journeys are not restricted to that specific roadway alone), the quickness of dispatch could be quite varied, and thus might be smaller for those isolated on a roadway.