I'm sending in more trains!
December 5, 2016 1:19 PM   Subscribe

 
Bonus Track: Truck Got Stuck (SLYT, 3:07)
posted by bonehead at 1:20 PM on December 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have now seen this on all three internet sites I frequent. And I can't stop watching it because this exact thing happened to me a couple years ago and I think I'm still processing @__@ (No one got hurt in my series of collisions, myself and my son got out of our car safely as it became clear that other cars were just going to not stop hitting us.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:22 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


The plow truck, sprinkling like mad, can't save itself.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 1:25 PM on December 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


it should have spun 180....
posted by andrewcooke at 1:27 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


The plow truck, sprinkling like mad, can't save itself.

And at 1:45 commits a-salt on a police vehicle.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:28 PM on December 5, 2016 [39 favorites]


My own personal video editing pet peeve - if you're going to add a wacky soundtrack, at least make it fill the whole video clip. 50 seconds of yodeling followed by total silence is a little weird.

And that police car flashing its lights and impotently sliding backwards in to a bus feels like a metaphor for something.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:28 PM on December 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


more appropriate soundtrack
posted by btfreek at 1:29 PM on December 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think the plow truck was pooping in fear.

And the music made the first few dozen seconds sort of amusing...but when silence fell, and the buses just kept coming, it got scary.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:29 PM on December 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I play a lot of Smashy Road on my phone, so this seemed really familiar.
posted by rikschell at 1:31 PM on December 5, 2016


Curling is even more fun when you play it outdoors.
posted by maudlin at 1:36 PM on December 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


I get why people who live in areas where it almost never snows don't know how to drive in snow. That makes sense.

What I don't get is why people who live in areas where it never snows try to drive in snow.

Maybe it's the unknown unknown - they don't know that they don't know how to drive in snow.
posted by Cranialtorque at 1:36 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Two buses, a cop car, and a snowplough -- can we fit any more city vehicles in there? When did the ambulance come by?
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:36 PM on December 5, 2016


Snow is not a big problem, that is ice. On a hill. Unless you have chains or studded tires you are not going to do well.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:43 PM on December 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


What I don't get is why people who live in areas where it never snows try to drive in snow.

Are you talking about this video? Because it's from MONTREAL... where it snows. IT SNOWS.

That said, there's a point where "knowing how to drive in the snow" devolves into not driving at all some days and the first few snowfalls of the year are usually the worst because salt & sand isn't fully deployed yet. Thus, the video.
posted by GuyZero at 1:43 PM on December 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


A friend in Montréal posted this a few hours ago and explained that it's a greasy icy snow.

Reminded me of my favorite anecdote from life in snowy winter Helsinki, where articulated buses accelerate for roundabouts, flip the wheel 90° once they're in it, cruise till the back flips around, then punch it straight out the roundabout.

Now, knowing that after about 8pm there is a substantial population of helsingilaiset who are drunk taking the bus home, this translated to anyone who's had a few too many, sitting in the back of the bus, getting unceremoniously tossed to the floor. Never saw anyone get hurt, did see more than one bus driver get a strange glint of schadenfreude in their eyes.
posted by fraula at 1:43 PM on December 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


This isn't about snow, really - this is about ice, and there are some conditions under which ice is so slippery that no amount of human skill can avoid slippage, especially on a hill. Unfortunately, it's hard to know you're approaching those conditions until you're already in the thick of it.

I'd like to think I'm a skilled snow driver (although my old lady approach to snowy roads is generally "stay home") and I don't think I could navigate a hill as slick as this one appears to be.
posted by misskaz at 1:44 PM on December 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


As well, in the first few snowfalls of the year, the ground is often above 0 when the snow first starts falling and takes time to cool down. This melts the snowfall, which then freezes when everything cools down enough and creates a nice layer of ice on top of the road for the snow to fall on. No matter what kind of tires you have you slip on that.

On preview - got beat to it. I'm also a skilled snow driver and have studded tires and I'd end up in the same situation.
posted by sauril at 1:45 PM on December 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


> What I don't get is why people who live in areas where it never snows try to drive in snow.

But this is Montreal.

The problem here seems to be less about snow than ice. Ice doesn't care how good a driver you are. It cares a little bit about what kind of tires you have on your vehicle, maybe.
posted by rtha at 1:45 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


And that police car flashing its lights and impotently sliding backwards in to a bus feels like a metaphor for something.

Indeed. To my mind it is the ongoing lights that make it so brilliant: the nonverbal reassurance that everything is under control while making a slow, majestic, uncontrolled 180 degree fishtail downhill.

The video also highlights the importance of scale to comedy. A decade ago I watched out of my office window in Ottawa as a bicyclist approached a busy intersection in a snowstorm with front and back brakes locked and both feet on the ground but no perceptible reduction of speed taking place. It was kind of droll, if only because I knew in extremis the rider could just jump off. However, watching a forty-two foot, 25,000-pound bus with an unknown number of passengers aboard and all four wheels locked sliding down to the pileup at the corner was nerve-wracking.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:47 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I like how they send in a cop car and a snow plow, but apparently at no point do they think, "Maybe we should just block off the street and wait it out."
posted by oheso at 1:47 PM on December 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


OH WOW. Montreal. Snowy snowy Montreal.

The Mefi title says Montreal, the Youtube location says Montreal, and my mind read both as Vancouver. I guess I just assumed that people having such trouble with snow had to be in the Pacific Northwest.

My mistake!
posted by Cranialtorque at 1:48 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, when this happened to me, I went from fully braked trying to decide what the conditions on the hill before me were* to sliding down the hill first forward, then doing a 180 and going the rest of the way down backwards. At no point did my foot leave the brake pedal. Gravity + sufficient reduction in friction. No amount of driving prowess is going to save you from that.


*Answer: It had rained the night before. Then overnight temperatures went below freezing in selected areas of the city and different road surfaces (i.e., not at my house, but it was a different story a few blocks away), the rain on the roadways froze in those areas, and then it snowed about a half inch on top of that. I listened to the traffic report on the radio and all was reported as fine. There were two neighborhoods in the city, however, where roads were skating rinks covered in a nice, concealing layer of newly fallen snow.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:49 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


> However, watching a forty-two foot, 25,000-pound bus with an unknown number of passengers aboard and all four wheels locked sliding down to the pileup at the corner was nerve-wracking.

Seattle, 2008 - two tour buses slid down an icy hill, crashed into a guard railing, and ended up hanging over I-5. No one was hurt.
posted by rtha at 1:50 PM on December 5, 2016


My own personal video editing pet peeve - if you're going to add a wacky soundtrack, at least make it fill the whole video clip. 50 seconds of yodeling followed by total silence is a little weird.

Another take: ♫♫♫ It's the most wonderful time of the year ♫♫♫
posted by standardasparagus at 1:51 PM on December 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


my mind read both as Vancouver. I guess I just assumed that people having such trouble with snow had to be in the Pacific Northwest.

I lived in Burnaby one winter when it was pretty snowy even by Montreal standards ('92 maybe?) and the busses didn't even bother driving up the hill to SFU some days. They pronounced the mountain too slippery and there were no busses that day. At least Montreal keeps trying.
posted by GuyZero at 1:53 PM on December 5, 2016


It's a light, large flake snow, which, as said above, turns into a kind of grease under the tires. There's no ice on the ground here in Ottawa, and I would assume, little in Montreal either. That said, this kind of snowfall is very, very slippery, almost as bad as glace ice. For most of the vehicles in the video, they're wheels aren't turning at all. They have zero control on that hill.

Also, the manditory date for snows (having snowtires on your car) in Quebec is the 15th of December.
posted by bonehead at 1:58 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is also still pre-mandatory winter tires in Quebec and you can tell that many of the cars don't have their winter tires on yet.

/glad I don't drive.
posted by urbanlenny at 1:59 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Mefi title says Montreal, the Youtube location says Montreal, and my mind read both as Vancouver.

Corner of Beaver Hall and Viger. I can attest that on a bicycle in the rain that this intersection can be, er, invigorating. I have never navigated it in early winter ice.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:59 PM on December 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Remember when Atlanta was shut down by 2 inches of snow a few years ago? All over the Northeast people were being smarmy about it, without even stopping to think. (Just like I was earlier in this thread.) But if the first snow in Montreal causes this much chaos, well...

It makes me think twice.

I'm also glad I don't have to rely on driving for my daily commute.
posted by Cranialtorque at 2:03 PM on December 5, 2016


Remember when Atlanta was shut down by 2 inches of snow a few years ago?

I remember when Mel Lastman called in the Army to dig out Toronto... and from then on I can't really make fun of anyone having issues with snow any more.
posted by GuyZero at 2:11 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've always assumed that talk about how people "know how to drive in snow" in snowier climates really came down to 90% better infrastructure, 9% people trying to feel better about driving in places where it's riskier, 0.9% having the sense not to try in some conditions, and maybe 0.1% actual driving skills that might cause some difference in rare cases.

I have no evidence to back this up.
posted by floppyroofing at 2:12 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I got ABS brakes - Always Be Slidin'!
posted by clawsoon at 2:16 PM on December 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've always assumed that talk about how people "know how to drive in snow"

Having enough sense to get your winter tires mounted before the snow falls.
posted by GuyZero at 2:16 PM on December 5, 2016


Montreal was flying an airplane over Toronto today pulling a banner that said, "SORRY TORONTO!" Apparently it was advertising for their upcoming year-long birthday celebration.

Sorry, Montreal.
posted by clawsoon at 2:18 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


What's driving (haha see what I did there) me nuts in these is all the locked up wheels. Like, standing on the brakes does NOTHING for you... but rolling wheels just might, might give you just enough directional control to miss that $OBSTACLE. That's the whole premise behind ABS.

So, yanno, lift offthe brakes, yeah? Once it becomes clear that you're not actually stopping?

/anecdata: I was so poor as a young man 20 years ago that I spent almost 2 years driving around on essentially bald tires in the Mid-Atlantic (near Washington, DC) -- I'm intimately familiar with low-traction maneuvering.
posted by ZakDaddy at 2:18 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, yanno, lift offthe brakes, yeah? Once it becomes clear that you're not actually stopping?

it's a little hard to tell but it's a downhill slope. If I was sliding downhill I'm not sure I would have the courage to take my foot off the brake and accelerate.
posted by GuyZero at 2:26 PM on December 5, 2016


I really hope that cop writes himself a ticket for driving too fast for conditions.
posted by Mitheral at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Even in places where it snows a lot, every year people forget how to drive in snow for the first few snow days. Or they haven't got their winter tires on yet and THINK they remember how to drive in snow. Or they're people who don't believe in winter tires and go with all-seasons.

Every year, I swear. Takes until mid-January before people wise up.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 2:34 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I would like to see the buses sliding down accompanied by the Blue Danube Waltz.
posted by maryr at 2:49 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


i have fallen on my ass on that corner four times a winter for the three years i lived there. its also badly mantained
posted by PinkMoose at 2:54 PM on December 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Even in places where it snows a lot, every year people forget how to drive in snow for the first few snow days. Or they haven't got their winter tires on yet and THINK they remember how to drive in snow. Or they're people who don't believe in winter tires and go with all-seasons.

What I assume is the southern end of the same storm (same greasy kind of snow) made Boston traffic a mess this morning. And as bad a rap as Boston drivers get, it's not because we don't know how to drive, in or out of snow.

It's because we're assholes.
posted by maryr at 2:56 PM on December 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


My own personal video editing pet peeve - if you're going to add a wacky soundtrack, at least make it fill the whole video clip. 50 seconds of yodeling followed by total silence is a little weird.

really though do canadians not have access to yakety sax
posted by poffin boffin at 3:09 PM on December 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


We do not; it is why all the great video sharing sites are American.
posted by jeather at 3:14 PM on December 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


In places with serious winters, isn't traction going to be materially worse the first few days of snow, before everything gets really frozen? Snow-slush-ice-ice-melted on one side is worst, yes?
posted by clew at 3:21 PM on December 5, 2016


I was also totally baffled by the fact that this was in Montreal. Like, this is the kind of video I'd expect from Seattle of Vancouver, but MONTREAL? They literally laugh in the fact of six-foot-high snowbanks. What happened?

(I mean, the rest of the thread explains what happened in detail, but a part of me is still like "bu-bu-bu-but MONTREAL you guys")
posted by chrominance at 3:40 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


(Great title by the way. That joke always gets me for some reason.)
posted by traveler_ at 3:50 PM on December 5, 2016




Steer into the skid, people, steer into the skid!
Also, standing on the brakes isn't going to help you, but traction control might*, take your foot off the brake and drive.

Why are you all stopped at the bottom of the hill? You just slid all the way down the hill into another car, you think that isn't going to happen to you? Cross the street or turn right, don't stop in the hazard zone and exchange insurance.

*Probably by the looks of these conditions, but stomping on the brake sure isn't working.
posted by madajb at 4:19 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


The cross street is a fairly busy street that leads on and off of a highway and is not a safe street to turn onto on a red light and there's nowhere on that street to stop and leave your damaged car. It wasn't an obviously bad idea to stay on the much less busy downhill street, because even if all the cars start slipping, they start out going pretty slowly because no one speeds downhill during the first snowstorm, while people do still speed on flat roads.
posted by jeather at 4:29 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


City decided to only salt one of the lanes, this was a really bad decision. Montreal works during snow because we usually do the right things (snow tires, salting the road, etc) its not magic driver competence.

There's actually no snow tires available for buses, which is something I learned today.

And yes we're all very unshared, this is PNW comedy, shouldn't happen here.
posted by coust at 4:33 PM on December 5, 2016


Haha... unshared => ashamed :) the video has been shared about 10 millions times, ironic :)
posted by coust at 4:39 PM on December 5, 2016


This is why you get the snow tires on in November!
posted by peppermind at 4:40 PM on December 5, 2016


And yes we're all very [ashamed], this is PNW comedy, shouldn't happen here.

Tell that to Sinclair Lewis and Alexis de Tocqueville. Is this when we shake our fists at 2016?

I mean, these aren't random motorists doing this. This is the system in disarray!
posted by Chuckles at 4:46 PM on December 5, 2016


the solution is clear, all street legal vehicles in canada must be fitted with front-bumper downward-facing flamethrowers
posted by poffin boffin at 5:06 PM on December 5, 2016


the solution is clear, all street legal vehicles in canada must be fitted with front-bumper downward-facing flamethrowers

...and a horn that plays a few bars of Yakety Sax.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:11 PM on December 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Poffin boffin, I know you're joking but.... https://what-if.xkcd.com/130/
posted by coust at 5:11 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Crossing ice in a car- build up speed, do not steer or brake while crossing ice, wait for pavement. Use gas sparingly. You have to sort of coast over it, and that is if you know it is there.
posted by vrakatar at 6:31 PM on December 5, 2016


I was visiting Seattle during the storm mentioned above - stood and watched an articulated bus with chains slide sideways down a steep hill. It was amazing!
posted by leslies at 6:33 PM on December 5, 2016


btfreek: more appropriate soundtrack

Aussi, quand le Ski-Doo ne marche pas, le chanson, c'est la même chose.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:43 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have been in a Seattle bus jackknifing backwards down a hill despite the chains. Seattle hills mostly go down to cliffs, deep water, or both, so this was exciting.

The busdriver, or luck, got us jammed against something solid and said Okay everybody tiptoe out and we did. And then applauded him.
posted by clew at 6:50 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


but a part of me is still like "bu-bu-bu-but MONTREAL you guys"

Practically every single montrealer likes to tell every non-montrealer how tough they are in the snow and cold and how they find -10 degrees celsius to be "warm", and how Toronto called in the army, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But the truth is that each time it snows, these same montrealers turn into the biggest goddamn crybabies and complain about how the weather is so terrible and that this winter is the worst winter on record and how we only have 4 months of warm weather, and the snow removal isn't fast enough, and blah, blah, blah.

The Toronto incident happened almost 20 years ago ffs.
I hope every single Torontonian plays this video every time a goddam montrealer thinks about bringing up the Army incident.
posted by bitteroldman at 6:53 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]




Holy shit I haven't laughed that hard in ages. So. Perfect.
posted by GuyZero at 7:54 PM on December 5, 2016


Oh, man. I totally forgot about that time Toronto called in the army because they got 2 inches of snow. That was so great. Merci bitteroldman, merci.

Despite whatever weird ice voodoo is happening in this amazing motorsport kinetic performance art encapsulation of the year that was 2016, Montrealers really don't need remedial lessons on steering on ice.
posted by ~ at 8:01 PM on December 5, 2016


(Except maybe this time? It's hard to tell.)
posted by ~ at 8:02 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm sick of people saying "they don't know how to drive i snow" about the PNW. I know how to drive in snow but sometimes the conditions in Portland where the ground is not very cold cause the slipperiest snow I have ever experienced. On par with good old black ice from maine-newhamphire-vermont. If the ground is frozen its a lot less slippery. On the other hand when the ground here is frozen it rains, try driving on an inch of hard glazed 31 degree ice. I've taken a bat to my front steps more than once.
posted by Pembquist at 9:24 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I worked in the area near where the video was shot for more than two years and, in addition to the crappy road conditions (ice, melted snow, rain, etc), Beaver Hall hill is a steep hill and it serves to let people get from downtown to Old Montreal and the Old Port (or from there to downtown) pretty quickly. It's an alternative to something like University/Robert-Bourassa, which is ten times more crowded and affected by roadworks, so Beaver Hall is a solid choice, though it's rather more steep than the other choices.

... I mean, it was obviously not a better choice on Monday, but generally speaking, lots of people will take Beaver Hall over other choices. :)
posted by juliebug at 9:50 PM on December 5, 2016


I'm sick of people saying "they don't know how to drive i snow" about the PNW. I know how to drive in snow but sometimes the conditions in Portland where the ground is not very cold cause the slipperiest snow I have ever experienced. On par with good old black ice from maine-newhamphire-vermont.

Yeah, the one time I crashed was one of those once-a-year it's-barely-cold, giant-flake, gentle-but-heavy snows in Nova Scotia (which, due to geography, has more in common climatically with the PNW than nearby New England). Ground not frozen at all, winter tires on, driving as slow as possible, it was like driving a curling rock.

When the snow accumulates faster than it can melt, there's a nice layer of snow to nicely stuff the treads of your tires rendering them useless, and under that snow is a layer of slush that you're basically hydroplaning on.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:26 AM on December 6, 2016


I would like to see the buses sliding down accompanied by the Blue Danube Waltz.

There is or was a commercial either for an autobody shop or CAA that's titled 'Winter in Winnipeg/Manitoba' that's just a montage of sliding cars set to that. Can't find it, sadly.

It's snowed maybe 10-15 cm/5 inches today, never drove in that before (Bussed or walked to work, never was much of an urban driver). Slippery as heck, even at 30km/hr & winter tires; thank god I work late so there was no one else on the roads to worry about.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:34 AM on December 6, 2016


"Yeah, the one time I crashed was one of those once-a-year it's-barely-cold, giant-flake, gentle-but-heavy snows"

That'd describe the conditions of my last nasty fall as a pedestrian, too: not too cold, fresh fluffy new snowfall, walking along the sidewalk normally and, wham, I'm on my butt.
posted by floppyroofing at 8:32 AM on December 6, 2016


I would like to see the buses sliding down accompanied by the Blue Danube Waltz

Or a well-edited 1812 Overture.
posted by rocket88 at 8:53 AM on December 6, 2016


#MontrealRoadCurling
posted by milnews.ca at 12:29 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


In places with serious winters, isn't traction going to be materially worse the first few days of snow, before everything gets really frozen?

FWIW, it occurs to me - this may have been much worse than usual traction for Montreal since, being the first storm of the season, the roads have not been treated at all yet. There's no leftover sand or salt from the previous storm. Plus this storm wasn't big enough that the city would be out brining yet either.

#thots
posted by maryr at 2:03 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Or a well-edited 1812 Overture.

Nah, that's for the 4th of July.
posted by maryr at 2:14 PM on December 6, 2016


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