U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 03-15-2013, 10:37 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
Reputation: 9065

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by superorb View Post
They'll close the roads in CO before they require non-commercial vehicles to chain up.
Not necessarily true. For roads like I-70, maybe. But for many secondary highways, the "chains only" rule has been used. The last couple of years should not be used to judge road closures or invocation of the chain law, either. For most of Colorado, the severe snow drought for the last two winters has meant very few serious storms of any duration. In my four decades of driving Colorado mountain roads, the 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 winters have been about the most benign that I've ever seen for winter driving conditions in the mountains, and I've been driving the passes very regularly every winter for all of those four decades.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-15-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,951,390 times
Reputation: 9432
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Here are the facts: Colorado's "chain law" can and does apply to non-commercial vehicles--including cars--under certain conditions. The first level is "chains or adequate snow tires." It pretty much means what it says. The highest level is "chains only," under which all 2WD vehicles are required to chain up. 4WD vehicles are exempted from the "chains only" requirement.

Here is the Colorado State Patrol FAQ--read for yourself:

Colorado State Patrol - Frequently Asked Questions
CDOT and the State Patrol need to start talking to one another! From CDOT's FAQ page:

Quote:
Are passenger cars required to have chains in Colorado?

Passenger cars are not required to have chains in their car. On rare occasions road conditions may be so severe that law enforcement requires all vehicles use chains but occurrences are exceedingly rare.

More common is the requirement for all vehicles to have adequate snow tires or tire chains. Adequate snow tires are defined as tires marked M/S (mud/snow) or studded snow tires with tread depth of 1/8th inch or greater. Four wheel drive engaged is considered an alternative to adequate snow tires or chains for passenger vehicles.
(emphasis my own)



As far as I'm concerned, a 4wd with good tires is the minimum for all weather travel in Colorado - especially for those of us who live on the Western Slope or have the misfortune to drive often on I-70 in the winter months.

Back in the day Wolf Creek Pass used to made strong men turn pale - remember when Wolf Creek was only two lanes and mostly without guard rails? Remember the avalanches that didn't always have the courtesy to use snow sheds and go over the tops of tunnels? Well, I do. I worked in Durango and had an elderly parent who was fighting health issues back in Denver. Seems like I was driving over Wolf Creek in a blizzard at least once a week. I had a sturdy little 4wd Suburu equipped with studded snows and fog lights. That little Subbie never needed chains.

The places where I've needed chains is a time or two when I got snuck in the mud -nasty stuff - when I got hit by a sudden shower of rain over here in the 4-corners region when I was on some back road somewhere.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2013, 11:50 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
Reputation: 9065
Yep, Wolf Creek was pretty hair-raising back in those days. Runaways were a problem up there, too, and I saw the aftermath of a few of those while driving that road. The "hair-raising" aspect of snowslides can still be real on a number of Colorado mountain highways in the winter, though, like wintry conditions in general, there hasn't been the activity in these last two dry winters.

Unless our climate change of the last few years is permanent (and I surely hope that it is not), I suspect that Colorado winter driving is going to return to a more rigorous activity as highway maintenance budgets continue to shrink. The days of the "nanny-state" spending untold sums to keep Colorado roads dry enough for the inexperienced and idiotic drivers' convenience is probably about over.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2013, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
431 posts, read 832,919 times
Reputation: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Not necessarily true. For roads like I-70, maybe. But for many secondary highways, the "chains only" rule has been used. The last couple of years should not be used to judge road closures or invocation of the chain law, either. For most of Colorado, the severe snow drought for the last two winters has meant very few serious storms of any duration. In my four decades of driving Colorado mountain roads, the 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 winters have been about the most benign that I've ever seen for winter driving conditions in the mountains, and I've been driving the passes very regularly every winter for all of those four decades.
I've only been here for 2 years so that explains it
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2013, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
18,888 posts, read 8,867,123 times
Reputation: 18290
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Yep, Wolf Creek was pretty hair-raising back in those days. Runaways were a problem up there, too, and I saw the aftermath of a few of those while driving that road. The "hair-raising" aspect of snowslides can still be real on a number of Colorado mountain highways in the winter, though, like wintry conditions in general, there hasn't been the activity in these last two dry winters.

Unless our climate change of the last few years is permanent (and I surely hope that it is not), I suspect that Colorado winter driving is going to return to a more rigorous activity as highway maintenance budgets continue to shrink. The days of the "nanny-state" spending untold sums to keep Colorado roads dry enough for the inexperienced and idiotic drivers' convenience is probably about over.
In recent days I had begun enjoying your posts and thought you had gotten over your hissy (or something that rhymes with that) fits. I was wrong. You haven't changed.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2013, 10:02 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,835,868 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Off the road with CDOT

Quote:
Are passenger cars required to have chains in Colorado?

Passenger cars are not required to have chains in their car. On rare occasions road conditions may be so severe that law enforcement requires all vehicles use chains but occurrences are exceedingly rare.

More common is the requirement for all vehicles to have adequate snow tires or tire chains. Adequate snow tires are defined as tires marked M/S (mud/snow) or studded snow tires with tread depth of 1/8th inch or greater. Four wheel drive engaged is considered an alternative to adequate snow tires or chains for passenger vehicles.
[Bold mine]

Regardless of existing or reported conditions, CDOT highly recommends that all vehicles have tires suitable for traveling Colorado roadways in winter. [1]

This quote was previously referenced, but I'll highlight a different section of it. Noted that chains are not required to be carried in passenger vehicles, if recommended. Yes, would be a good idea. But what I find fascinating is that CDOT apparently has no appreciation for physics or why appropriate tires are ESSENTIAL. Really, four wheel drive engaged substitutes for "adequate snow tires" or traction in general? I'll be generous and possibly assume they may mean all season M+S instead of dedicated winter tires. Although who knows, maybe not. Or likely some guy in a SUV will think he is thus naturally covered in using summer tires.

Maybe that is why they pour literally millions of gallons of magnesium chloride into Colorado's environment every year. Even minor secondary roads can be repeatedly bladed right down to the asphalt (as in scraping off the paint lines) until they are satisfied. Too bad Colorado drivers seem to be such lightweights these days. It used to be called winter, and one expected to adjust to the conditions.

As for Wolf Creek Pass, yup, two narrow lanes once, the outer edge at times near enough a drop off—sans guard rails—to get anyone's attention. I rather miss it, although if driving in winter would prefer the present "improved" road. Would not recommend anyone drive it as CDOT approves: without "adequate snow tires."

1) 'FAQ,' COTRIP/CDOT
Road Conditions, Speeds, Travel Times, Traffic Cameras, Live Streaming Traffic Cameras, Road Closures and Road Work Information provided by Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) a branch of Colorado Department of Transportation
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-23-2013, 04:57 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,835,868 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Chains required

"Travel on the Eastern Plains became possible around 11a.m. again as Interstate 70 going westbound was reopened between C-470 to Genesee; however, all vehicles must use chains, snow tires or four-wheel drive. [bold mine] Weather conditions forced its closure along with all westbound lanes early Saturday." [1]


This would seem to be one of those occasions when one would actually have to use chains (in some locations, if without four wheel drive with winter tires). As spoken of before in this thread, so here it is.

I cannot personally vouch for the veracity, as otherwise taking my advice and remaining home.

One will note that those opting to be out could have (per this article) encountered various road closures and/or accidents.

1) 'Colorado storm: Southbound I-25 at Johnson's Corner now open,' The Denver Post
Colorado storm: Southbound I-25 at Johnson's Corner now open - The Denver Post

ps. Of course now that it is officially spring, then snowing (more so here than any storm this winter). A few days ago, when all very spring-like, there were a couple butterflies flitting past here. With now a fair amount of snow covering all, and still snowing, cannot imagine what they are doing at present, or where. If hoping somehow okay.

Last edited by Idunn; 03-23-2013 at 05:15 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-23-2013, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,754 posts, read 16,450,212 times
Reputation: 9287
With the howling wind and the relatively low temperatures, today ( the second full day of spring ) FELT like one of the coldest days of the entire winter.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
431 posts, read 832,919 times
Reputation: 194
Driving around the metro yesterday wasn't very fun. Too many clowns who a) don't know how to drive in snow, and/or 2) don't have the proper equipment to do so. I lost track of the people who couldn't drive in a straight line because they had a RWD car and mashed the gas when the light turned green, not to mention people taking turns much too quickly and just driving too fast in general.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2013, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,754 posts, read 16,450,212 times
Reputation: 9287
^^^^Sounds like driving in the snow just about anywhere! Nothing unusual or unique about this. I encountered the same thing even in Anchorage Alaska of all places. Must be some archaic trait of human nature not to realize that snow is slippery.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top