Don't put chains on your tires. Don't do it.
Just make sure you have good, treaded tires that have not been run down smooth, and if you can, invest in a set of winter tires. They have special treads that are designed to run in the snow and they work just as well, if not better, than chains. A fresh set of all-weather tires are good to.
You should also really get a good metal snow shovel and actually do your part. In most residential areas, you are responsible for "your" section of sidewalk, and if someone slips and falls, you may be liable for damages. Also, you are not a worthless mooch sponging off the work of others.
Lastly, you don't need to feed the birds when it snows. They know how to deal with snow much better than your ass does. They are fine.
@1: But feeding the birds is very much appreciated. It's like LAX in my front yard at my feeder.
Ex Washingtonian here, now living in the mountains of Colorado. We have 4 snow shovels, 2 for the house and 1 for each car. Our kids even have mini snow shovels. I recommend getting a snow shovel if you own a home. Y'all don't get snow very often, but when it does snow, there is no substitute for a real snow shovel. It can just sit around until you need it.
I give everyone in Seattle a pass for having issues with the snow. Most snow states don't have the topography that Seattle does and I love the compilation videos on youtube of Seattle drivers in the snow. I also have fond memories of sliding down 45th street from UW to University Village on the dorm lunch trays.
@2: If it is something you enjoy, go right ahead, but a lot of people seem to assume that the birds need to be fed, and they simply don't. So one should not feel the need to go out of their way to do so.
Though seeing a dashing cardinal or majestic blue jay cut through the white and grey to alight on one's porch or balcony is a beautiful sight.
@3: I used to live in an apartment building where out of about a hundred or so units there where about five people with snow shovels. Every time it snowed I just put mine by the outside door with a note asking for it to please be returned there once one was done with it. Was essentially permanently out being "rented," and only got stolen once!
It's fun to shovel snow....
This morning I noticed that where the snow had been shoveled the sidewalk was icy and slippery, and where it hadn't been shoveled it was a little slushy but fine. I don't think shoveling makes sense with the heavy, wet snow we get in the northwest. But transplants love to make a stink about it, so whatever.
As a Portlander, I'm super jealous of you all up there. We kept hearing of the possibility of it's happening down here, but got dick as usual.
Everyone watch out for iced up streets and sidewalks, too, once the snow has re-frozen overnight, shoveling guardian angels notwithstanding. The lows will be dropping to the teens.
@1 Theodore: I'm with Phoebe @2---our local crows and squirrels greatly appreciate the dry roasted unsalted peanuts I leave under a cedar tree at our building, especially in this weather.
@2: Phoebe in Wallingford: And they're fun to watch!
@5: Here comes a nice, big snowball, sugarlips. WHAP! lol
@6: I agree with that to a degree, but overall shoveling expedites the melting.
"Thanks for doing that. You really didn't have to." ...uh, yeah you did have to do that. You're legally responsible for clearing the sidewalk of snow and ice in front of your single family house. Responsibility for apartments fall on the super or management company.
I know it often melts by noon and so most people around here don't bother to shovel the snow, but it ain't gonna melt for a few days this time so clear your sidewalk! If it's been all walked down and is now icy, you're gonna have to either chip it away with a metal shovel or I hate to say it...throw down a little salt.
If someone slips and falls on the icy sidewalk in front of your house (even if you're just the renter) then you've got a good chance of being sued over it.
@6: If there is to be more snow later, or a refreeze, you should lay down some road salt, that will make sure you don't get that new ice forming. You can also put down kitty litter or fine gravel, these do not melt the snow and ice, but they provide friction and more solid footing.
Just don't put salt down on snow or ice that is already there, as it does not help.
Every. Single. Time. One after another. Please interview drivers at next pileup, I am curious as to what reasons people give for taking their cars down Seattle's hills in those conditions.
Even just 2 studless Bridgestone Blizzaks (or similar) mounted on their own wheels for ease of putting on/off your car yourself will make your life on the road soooo much nicer. Hell, in Seattle, they should last 20+ years, so they'll be essentially a 1-time expense!
I run all 4 all winter on my Outback in the Idaho panhandle, where we get 80-100" of snow, and I've never needed chains in the 8 winters I've been here...and was never not able to get where I wanted to go.
Nathalie, can't you just introduce yourself to your kindly neighbor?
@12 Dougsf: I know, right? This is why I won't drive in snowy & icy conditions here in the PNW. The region becomes an overnight skating rink with too many clueless idiots behind the wheel.
But someone take care of the cats.
LPT: put down salt, go back in for 45 minutes, then shovel. Giving the salt a little bit of time really helped loosen the icy crud. So did stomping on it. Salt it again after shoveling. I was just out at midnight, and the walk in front of our building is clear and mostly dry. I'm older than dirt and have a heart condition. So get offa reddit, ya whiners
"Seattle doesn't really have its own winter weather response equipment "
Some things never change. Old people may remember (not a band name) Charlie Chong and the Snowplow Blades:
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