Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snowplow Spotted On 3rd Avenue!

The rare Seattle Snowplow was sighted today on 3rd Avenue, between Wall and Vine, by a few sharp-eyed and very surprised Seattlites.

"We all thought they were extinct," said David Swinson Maynard, "Certainly there has been little evidence of their existence this winter. So to see one, bold as brass, actually plowing snow was, well, it was like the old days again."

Newcomers to the Seattle area may not realize that snow comes so rarely to Seattle that it is treated like an endangered species. "Snow's natural enemies," explained Seattle mayor Nickles, "such as salt and snowplows, can drive it from its natural habitat in our streets. This can have serious consequences, such as a reduction in minor accidents and the reduced burning of gasoline as vehicle take efficient routes to their destinations. Our streets serve four-wheel-drive vehicles and front-wheel drive vehicles with chains; everyone else can just stay home."

Compounding the problem is the fact that runoff from Seattle goes into Puget Sound, which the city considers a fresh-water arm of the Pacific Ocean. "If salt from Seattle goes into Puget Sound, it may change from fresh to salt water," explained Nickles. "We prefer to use sand, because it is not only protective of the snow, but also clogs sewers and damages wildlife."

As a consequence, snowplows and salt are used rarely in Seattle. The sighting of a snowplow on a downtown street in Seattle was therefore a cause for celebration.

"Seattle's police and emergency vehicles are all rear-wheel drive," explained one EMT. It was pretty tough responding to emergencies by taking public transit."

But some have doubts even now. "Many streets are closed due to snow, and you say there's a snowplow out there?" scoffed an onlooker. "Yeah, sure ... and it's driven by a Sasquatch, right?"

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