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Presenting the 2014 edition of cars sliding down a Duluth avenue

This video is from the Nov. 10 snow/ice storm. It’s not as good as the original (which is nearing a million views) but still … everyone loves a good car-sliding montage.

24 Comments

Herzog

about 5 years ago

Awesome beyond words.  This ranks right up there.  Notice at 1:03, the technique of the driver who puts the vehicle into a tilt a whirl.  This appears to be the most effective manner of slowing a car headed downhill on a steep icy in Duluth. I was waiting for the big collision, until I noticed it was just a nice quiet morning, and if anything Karma was high.  It reads like the end of a CBS Sunday Morning. 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30183434

ruby2sd4y

about 5 years ago

I have to admit I am partial to the Original as well, as it is near my house, and I have made that slide before. Thankfully nowhere near as bad to those captured.

Another difference: No background music.
This new one just needs the right music. ;-)

TimK

about 5 years ago

I nominate "Don't Carry It All" by Low.

Fitz

about 5 years ago

Do you think there's any chance the silver car at 1:09 actually made it to the top?  I can't believe how far it got.

Bret

about 5 years ago

Pump the brakes, people.

Rae

about 5 years ago

Out of curiosity - does it do any good to call the City of Duluth Street Department to request a special sanding of a roadway when the conditions are this hazardous? 

I understand that plows are very busy during these times, but one would think that maybe a downtown one could deviate from its sanding/salting for a couple of minutes to tend to this sort of situation?

Herzog

about 5 years ago

Now you're trying to make sense Rae, and that's clearly not how the city rolls.  You might as well ask why the Gopher Badger game last weekend wasn't televised locally. 

 'Logic's got nothing to do with it...'

Endion

about 5 years ago

I drove to work that morning and there was no sanding or salting being done even though the storm was coming. The freeway was well taken care of, but the hills and other roadways had nothing. Sure enough, a few hours in we have a major crash on 21st Avenue East. That is a major roadway and the city should be ashamed when there are major accidents on it. How can we get up the hill? Can the city focus on just one way up the hill for those who have to go to work when there is a little snow? Last year during that ice storm the police had to call in plows on Missabe. I read there are priority roads plowed because of complaints, but 21st Avenue East is major and should be safe. 

When I came home from work 21st was jammed from accidents, people were standing in the road on 19th Avenue as several cars were blocking the road and smashed up. The people were blocking the road so others didn't go down and hit their cars (probably not the smartest move to stand on an icy avenue). Tried to go down another avenue even less plowed and had to drive into the curb to stop. This was despite going slower than walking speed. 

We knew it was coming and it wasn't a major storm, but the city waited too long and was too late in clearing the arteries to get up the hill. 

I hope the next time we can have at least one or two ways to get up and down the hill plowed.

Ramos

about 5 years ago

The complaints about plowing indicate that people somehow believe that we could avoid these slippery-hill situations. We can't. Sometimes there will be slippery hills. When it happens in the middle of the night, nobody notices. When it happens during business hours, like this one did, everybody freaks out and blames the city's plowing policies.

My best advice: Creep slowly along, avoid main routes if possible, watch what traffic is doing around you, drive into the curb if you have to. The only sure solution is time.

Rae

about 5 years ago

Herzog, I apologize for the disgrace I have brought onto the internet by attempting to be logical. It won't happen again.

I just wonder if the City would respond if someone called in and said that 21st Avenue East is glare ice and multiple vehicles are creating hazardous situations if they would be able to respond.  I know that it doesn't make for very good video footage, but you can look at it from benefit of lower car insurance rates (being that rates are influenced by claims in the surrounding zip codes, fewer accidents means fewer claims, means lower insurance cost).

I totally understand that not every street would be able to receive the same treatment, but I do believe that some of the major throughway steeper roads should be given priority (Mesaba/Lake/21st Ave. E.).

Endion

about 5 years ago

Ramos, I usually agree with you, but in this case I have to disagree. When I headed out that morning my one thought was about why there was no pre-salting when all reports said a giant storm was on its way (and had already hit south). I drove up 21st and eventually Arrowhead and neither were being plowed or pre-salted. I know the city is trying to save money, but it ended up a disaster. Last year there were two times where all the roads up the hill were impassible. It was embarrassing that the police were trapped on Missabe when it turned to ice. When I was heading up 53 I barely made it up as it was all ice. Other times during very small storms I see some streets plowed very well while 21st is like a sliding hill for cars. All I am saying is just give us one hill that we can drive up in this town to get to work. Drive a plow up and down and make sure we have one artery - especially when we have two major colleges that rarely cancel classes. Even if 53 was decent it would be nice, but if someone stops in front of you at the light near Piedmont it is all over.

I think one stable road isn't a lot to ask for. There is nothing worse than driving up a hill and having your car stop moving and then begin to slowly slide backward. 

I don't remember how to post videos, but these are my favorites:

 
(Sara's Table)


(21st Avenue East)

Ramos

about 5 years ago

"I think one stable road isn't a lot to ask for."

Well, it can be. Sometimes cars will slide no matter what, and when that happens during commute times everything goes downhill in a hurry (pun intended). I used to spend 60 hours a week on Duluth roads, at all hours, and sometimes you just have to pull over and wait it out. People tend to get overly excited when their daily routine is interrupted, but it's better to just roll with the punches and accept it. When the temp is 27-35 degrees and there's any kind of precipitation coming down, be careful and go slow. Watch out for other drivers. Resign yourself to the fact that you'll be getting to work a little late. These are the things that ultimately make the road safer. Trying to place blame just stresses you out.

Herzog

about 5 years ago

Ramos, is trying to place blame versus wanting to discuss and promote solutions for preventable problems, or mistakes the city might be making two different things?  I mean, I know you are an expert at how the city of Duluth screws up so I almost hate to question your wisdom here, but as like in the case of Carlson, your solution for him, or lack thereof appeared to be hammering down on his constitutional infringements, yet did very little to prevent folks from using his products to gouge out their eyeballs with a screwdriver waiting for pot to become legal, or something like that.  His was an extreme example, where there was a breach of protocol, and extreme measures were applied to an extreme problem. Your solution to the icy roads is to have drivers recline in their car and wait for things to get better. Am I grasping at loosey goose strings here?  Endion is talking about focusing on keeping one road de-iced, which I think is possible given the technology available.

Ramos

about 5 years ago

I think it would be a waste of resources. Even if keeping a round-the-clock plow on one road worked (which I doubt it would, but will accept for the sake of discussion), can you imagine what traffic would be like if only one road in town was drivable? 21st Avenue East is crowded when the weather is fine; funnel all the rest of the traffic in town to 21st during an ice storm, and you might as well have parked it anyway, because you're going to be sitting in the mother of all traffic jams.

These slippery situations are usually temporary. Often it's only a few-minute occurrence of temperature and precipitation at the wrong time that sends everybody sliding down the hill.  Because I do not believe it is possible to "solve" this problem, I focus my thoughts on how to make the situation safer. Reclining in my car, listening to tunes and waiting it out is one way.

Herzog

about 5 years ago

Ramos for mayor.

Endion

about 5 years ago

What about just 53 up the hill? Main artery and still can be hazardous or impassible if you have to stop at the light at Piedmont. 21st Avenue East is a major artery, but of course Duluth in their backward thinking made it into two lanes instead of 4. Now everyone is trapped and traffic snarls up. Maybe change the type of grade or road near McDonald's and just before 4th Street where it seems to be a problem. Maybe put a little effort into building a passable road up the hill for those that HAVE TO be at work regardless of conditions. 

I sat through all of the meetings when the city decided to "calm" traffic down on London Road by repainting the lines. The city sent out surveys to the entire town and there were just enough "calm thinkers" in this city that decided it would be better to go from 4 lanes to 2. Now it is just one line of traffic and dangerous if you have to go straight across. Thanks City of Duluth! Thank you for not listening to those of us that went to every single meeting where the vast majority of residents that drive the road daily and live on it voiced their opposition. The example given was how great of a job the city did in "calming" traffic on Arrowhead Road. Does "calming" traffic mean creating speed-traps or creating frustrating traffic jams? 

So 21st is now one lane up and one lane down thanks to our city planners. It backs up down the freeway now and has clogged a major artery. If one car gets stuck everyone is getting stuck. To ask the city to plow the thing and make it passable isn't asking a lot. That whole street should be able to handle way more traffic. These college kids from the Twin Cities don't stand a chance getting up the hill or down it.

Since you lit the fire under me by defending our city, let me ask, why are there SO many stoplights on 21st? Why when you go on 19th Avenue East do the people going up and down the hill have to stop? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to have the avenue cars stop to allow us to get up and down the hill without creeping out beyond cars parked up to the corner or overgrown hedges? Which city genius came up with the idea that the Avenues shouldn't stop, but the all of the streets should (just bringing it up because of the 4 car pile up at 19th and 3rd street during the last storm. Also for me having to drive into the curb going 2 mph down 18th because of the accident on 19th with everyone standing out on the road. 

Maybe it will take some out-of-town kid from the Twin Cities getting killed for the city to take notice?

Which genius of city planning decided to make everyone coming off of HWY 35 (Southbound) and exiting at 21st Avenue West have to yield and look behind their car to merge onto HWY 53? If you come from Wisconsin you can see the exit very clearly and it would be much easier to yield to cars coming up a poorly built and planned ramp. As an old man when my neck starts to creak it will be mostly because of that stupidly built ramp and yield sign. 

Arrowhead Road is another outdated POS piece of planning up here. 30 mph for the only road out of town from the East side. As that builds up it will only get worse, but as someone who grew up where every road was pretty much 55 mph with houses along it I cannot understand why that road was "calmed"... I'll let you know when I ever encounter a single car driving 30 mph on that road.  Sure it probably is necessary when all the college kids park in their front yards, but after you pass Kenwood it is dumb to go that slow. 

There is no direct path from the East side of town to the mall area and Hermantown that is safe for travel in the winter. There is no safe route to get up the hill from the bottom during a storm and that doesn't bother anyone else? Have the colleges pitch in a few bucks to get their students to school. The colleges never cancel classes and will dock students points if they cannot get there. So your choices are to stay home and get a lower grade for a course you were forced to pay thousands of dollars for, or risk you life and your car because the plows have to go to some neighborhood that complained the most to get plowed first. 

Stupid.

Endion

about 5 years ago

I forgot to add, when I attended the meetings for London Road it was a city planner who was bragging about how traffic has been "calmed" on Arrowhead Road after the Kenwood area. He also said he lived on the road.

Kind of a conflict of interest in my view. So now we all have to drive 30 mph for many miles because of the idea of "calming" traffic. No one goes 30 on that road. The little sign isn't even working anymore probably because it broke from flashing that people were going too fast. Even the part where it is 45 mph is pointless as there is nothing there. Just wait till houses are build right up against the road though.

Ramos

about 5 years ago

The answer to all of these questions is the same: Park your car, select your favorite radio station on the radio station dial, and watch traffic slide helplessly downhill as you snap your fingers and bob your head to the funky, funky beat.

Aldin

about 5 years ago

I wonder how many of these people getting into accidents have poor driving histories with multiple infractions. How many of them are driving poorly maintained cars with bald and inadequate tires. Stricter licensing requirements, harsher penalties for unsafe driving, and mandatory vehicle inspections would do a lot to prevent these kind of accidents and make the streets safer for everyone. This is not just a theory, take a look at our friends in the Scandinavian countries.  They have similar weather but much safer roads.

I like the calmed roads. There are many different considerations to quality of life in a city and I think the benefit of bike lanes, slower traffic, and improved safety out weigh the consideration of being able to get to the mall at warp 9. London Road feels much safer now than when it was a four-lane racetrack.

Zedhead

about 5 years ago

Aldin hit the nail.
 How about stop complaining about the city, and take some personable responsibility? If you can't afford a set of Blizzaks (preferably bolted to a Subaru), consider yourself stuck at home until the streets are safely passable.

Endion

about 5 years ago

@Aldin: I cannot imagine the expense to taxpayers to fund what you are thinking of with inspections. your first line is a serious Karma issue - I hope you don't have to go up or down the hills in bad weather. I'm also tired of hearing about how great Scandinavia is, if it was that great why did so many people come here?

Calmed roads suck. Obviously for those of us who live at the bottom of the hill and work at the top it isn't just about getting to the mall. Arrowhead Road is too slow and Central Entrance is poorly planned (with more bike lanes and calming things coming!). Most cities have a much better system to move people than we do in Duluth. Even that task force said that one of the biggest issues is moving people from the East side to the mall area.

@ZEDHEAD: Great attitude. Just stay home... Blizzaks and Subarus are not the answer. I had a Subaru and it sucked. The parts are over-priced and they break down too often. Overrated!

@Ramos... Some of us have jobs that we have to be at and cannot just stay home every time it snows. This city needs to plow one road to let us travel.  Which route do the buses use? 

We have hills and we need a way to travel with the horrible weather we have here. Why is that a lot to ask? How much more money does Spirit Mountain need? How much more money do I have to pay for yuppie hipster bike paths and dirt bike trails for some granola munching Subaru driving (w/Blizzaks) bearded Charlie Parr fan so he/she can bike to Luce' for breakfast and bloodies?

Aldin

about 5 years ago

Yes, inspections would cost some money.  Roads are a public project and will always cost the tax payer something.  There are many states that require an annual inspection.  This usually takes about one hour of an auto shops labor which runs about eighty bucks most places.  It's been a long time since I lived in a state that required inspections, but it's not the massive expensive and hardship you hint at it being.  Many of the things you are demanding also cost a lot of money.

A lot of Scandinavians came here over a century ago when land was cheap and opportunity was rife.  Very few are choosing to become Americans today.

Zedhead

about 5 years ago

Funny, I've never had a problem in Duluth with a Subaru and Blizzaks. Must be operator error?

Endion

about 5 years ago

Operator error? The computer blew and it was $1500 and could only be done by the dealership. I don't ever want another Subaru - I'd rather slide in my 1997 Geo Prizm all the way down the hill. Funny thing is I get to work through every storm in that little Geo with front wheel drive.

I must say, thank you city of Duluth for taking care of 21st Ave East this morning! Granted Woodland turning to College Street was impossible once I tried to get going from a stop, but that whole intersection is dumb to begin with. Why have a light up one block, but none at College Street - one of the busiest intersections in the area?

Sure I had to back down 19th and 20th Avenues this morning after my car got halfway up, but 21st was good going up. Now just hit that turn at College Street and I will be happy!

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