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Traffic in Ottawa

Posted by Ferdinand 
December 12, 2008 09:12AM
Traffic in Ottawa this week has been STUPID.

First, one of the five bridges spanning the Ottawa River, joining Ottawa on the Ontario side with Gatineau/Hull on the Quebec side, was closed for fear of its imminent collapse after cracks were discovered in its structure. That of course created traffic mayhem as commuter traffic had to be rerouted.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the next day we had our first blizzard of the season dumping some 30cm of snow on the city overnight. Oh ya, and the Ottawa Transit system chose that day to go on strike. So no buses running, and all the idiots who are normally too scared to drive in the snow now were forced to drive their cars to get to work.

My drive to work normally takes me no more than 15 minutes, 20 on a bad day, but that day took an hour and a half!

Most of that time was spent at a standstill, just sitting there idling to keep warm, then inching forward a car length or two, then idling for another few minutes, etc.

And, to make matters worse, I (luckily) noticed my temperature gauge climbing above the 3/4 mark and heading for the red zone. Oh-oh. That can't be good.

So, right there in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I'm forced to switch off the engine, put on the four-way flashers, pop the hood, and climb out of the car. A loud groan emanates from all the cars now stuck behind my stranded car as they realize they're going to have to force their way into the other lane to get around me. If looks could kill...

Anyway, I check under the hood and see right away what the problem is. The deep slushy snow that we've been bulldozing through all the way since leaving the driveway, has piled up and frozen on that damn skidplate grate thing that I have attached under my engine. Enough slush and ice has accumulated that it has packed up against the backside of the radiator and eventually stopped the fan from turning.

If we keep moving, enough air blows through the rad to keep the engine cool, but when stuck like this idling in traffic, the engine relies on the fan to pull air through the rad. So I had to reach in there and chop, hack, and scoop enough of the icy slushy salty crappy frozen mess out of there until I could free up the rad fan.

Mission accomplished, restarted the engine, and the temp gauge dropped back to normal immediately. Phew. That's a relief.

After that I spent the next 45 minutes idling my way to the office, trying to avoid the deepest areas of snow.
December 12, 2008 09:25AM
Fun stuff. Today took me 1.5 hrs as well (normally 40-45 min) because we're in the midst of a fun little ice storm that's bringing branches and trees down all over the place. Our power has been out at home since last night, so no heat, light, or water. The house temp is down to about 55F, and we're worrying about the food in the fridge. May have to move it out of the fridge and into the garage, where the temp is fairly cold. If the power isn't back on by tonight, we might have to find a hotel. It would be okay with just us, but it's hard to get by for any length of time with no heat or water and a 22 month old baby.

Cab
1990 325i(s)
2004 325XiT
December 12, 2008 09:50AM
I feel for you, Cab. I heard about the ice you guys were getting down there, and that's no fun. We've had a few ice storms up here that have knocked out power for a few days, but were able to burn wood to keep warm, and put food out in the snow to keep cold. It does get old, though. In the great ice storm of '98 we were without power for four days, but some places were out for weeks. Good luck!

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
December 12, 2008 11:27AM
Quote
Ferdinand
Traffic in Ottawa this week has been STUPID.

First, one of the five bridges spanning the Ottawa River, joining Ottawa on the Ontario side with Gatineau/Hull on the Quebec side, was closed for fear of its imminent collapse after cracks were discovered in its structure. That of course created traffic mayhem as commuter traffic had to be rerouted.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the next day we had our first blizzard of the season dumping some 30cm of snow on the city overnight. Oh ya, and the Ottawa Transit system chose that day to go on strike. So no buses running, and all the idiots who are normally too scared to drive in the snow now were forced to drive their cars to get to work.

My drive to work normally takes me no more than 15 minutes, 20 on a bad day, but that day took an hour and a half!

Most of that time was spent at a standstill, just sitting there idling to keep warm, then inching forward a car length or two, then idling for another few minutes, etc.

And, to make matters worse, I (luckily) noticed my temperature gauge climbing above the 3/4 mark and heading for the red zone. Oh-oh. That can't be good.

So, right there in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I'm forced to switch off the engine, put on the four-way flashers, pop the hood, and climb out of the car. A loud groan emanates from all the cars now stuck behind my stranded car as they realize they're going to have to force their way into the other lane to get around me. If looks could kill...

Anyway, I check under the hood and see right away what the problem is. The deep slushy snow that we've been bulldozing through all the way since leaving the driveway, has piled up and frozen on that damn skidplate grate thing that I have attached under my engine. Enough slush and ice has accumulated that it has packed up against the backside of the radiator and eventually stopped the fan from turning.

If we keep moving, enough air blows through the rad to keep the engine cool, but when stuck like this idling in traffic, the engine relies on the fan to pull air through the rad. So I had to reach in there and chop, hack, and scoop enough of the icy slushy salty crappy frozen mess out of there until I could free up the rad fan.

Mission accomplished, restarted the engine, and the temp gauge dropped back to normal immediately. Phew. That's a relief.

After that I spent the next 45 minutes idling my way to the office, trying to avoid the deepest areas of snow.

Good thinking, fast acting. The true test of a driver!

My 2002's used to get jammed up with snow between the motor and firewall making the gas pedal linkage stuck, you were committed to pulling over (right then and there) and hacking your way to freedom, I carried an oar from the dingy (it was a collapsible type), very handy smiling bouncing smiley
December 12, 2008 11:38AM
Quote
Ferdinand
Traffic in Ottawa this week has been STUPID.

First, one of the five bridges spanning the Ottawa River, joining Ottawa on the Ontario side with Gatineau/Hull on the Quebec side, was closed for fear of its imminent collapse after cracks were discovered in its structure. That of course created traffic mayhem as commuter traffic had to be rerouted.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the next day we had our first blizzard of the season dumping some 30cm of snow on the city overnight. Oh ya, and the Ottawa Transit system chose that day to go on strike. So no buses running, and all the idiots who are normally too scared to drive in the snow now were forced to drive their cars to get to work.

My drive to work normally takes me no more than 15 minutes, 20 on a bad day, but that day took an hour and a half!

Most of that time was spent at a standstill, just sitting there idling to keep warm, then inching forward a car length or two, then idling for another few minutes, etc.

And, to make matters worse, I (luckily) noticed my temperature gauge climbing above the 3/4 mark and heading for the red zone. Oh-oh. That can't be good.

So, right there in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I'm forced to switch off the engine, put on the four-way flashers, pop the hood, and climb out of the car. A loud groan emanates from all the cars now stuck behind my stranded car as they realize they're going to have to force their way into the other lane to get around me. If looks could kill...

Anyway, I check under the hood and see right away what the problem is. The deep slushy snow that we've been bulldozing through all the way since leaving the driveway, has piled up and frozen on that damn skidplate grate thing that I have attached under my engine. Enough slush and ice has accumulated that it has packed up against the backside of the radiator and eventually stopped the fan from turning.

If we keep moving, enough air blows through the rad to keep the engine cool, but when stuck like this idling in traffic, the engine relies on the fan to pull air through the rad. So I had to reach in there and chop, hack, and scoop enough of the icy slushy salty crappy frozen mess out of there until I could free up the rad fan.

Mission accomplished, restarted the engine, and the temp gauge dropped back to normal immediately. Phew. That's a relief.

After that I spent the next 45 minutes idling my way to the office, trying to avoid the deepest areas of snow.

A long time ago when I lived in Waterloo and commuted into Toronto, I often had to pull the K car over and remove the snow and slush from the distributor and plug wires :X
Invariably I was wearing a suit and would get doused by a wall of slush as cars and trucks passed by sad smiley

We are bracing for our first snow fall today. It should cause a pretty nice traffic snarl since nobody has snow tires here and 75% of the people here should not have been issued drivers licenses to start with eye rolling smiley

The iX is ready if need be grinning smiley
December 12, 2008 11:40AM
Just looked out the window and the first flakes are mixed with the rain...should be full on snowing by noon!
December 12, 2008 01:37PM
it is supposed to snow here this weekend as well.


rkj
December 12, 2008 01:47PM
Quote
daniel
it is supposed to snow here this weekend as well.

It doesn't snow here anymore :mad:
December 12, 2008 02:56PM
Quote
rkj
Quote
daniel
it is supposed to snow here this weekend as well.

It doesn't snow here anymore :mad:

You can have mine...I'll e-mail it all to you grinning smiley
December 12, 2008 03:15PM
It's bizarre. Today all the snow is melted off the roads, as is all the traffic. I guess people were so fed up with the nonsense yesterday and the day before, they all decided to stay home today.

Ottawa traffic webcams: [webcam.city.ottawa.on.ca]
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