Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Solutions can be sooo simple...

So the QE2 (Queen Elizabeth Highway) between Calgary and Red Deer is notoriously bad for winter driving. It's the place where those inasne 20+ car pile ups can happen in the blink of an eye on slushy/black icy/snowy roads. Coming home from Radium it's an unavoidable leg of the trip. This time, it was snowing but the pavement everywhere else along my drive was either just wet or dry, because it's spring and the pavement temps are warm enough to melt what's landing, to a certain extent.

On my way home, I wasn't just dealing with snow, I was also dealing with extreme winds, blowing snow across the highway, reducing visibility as well as creating drifting snow across the highway. The result of the blowing snow was black ice and snow/ice covered sections for about a 45 minute stretch of the QE2 (a good chunk of that stretch of road connecting the two cities.

It seems like wind is often a problem, and snow is obviously a problem 7 or 8 months out of the year up here. So I thought of a solution. If wind and blowing snow adds to the creation of hazardous road conditions, can't the province spend some money planting strategic shelterbelts along the QE2 to block out the wind issues where they are most known to be problematic? Plant some trees in rows along the highway on both sides, and shrubbery or mugo pines that will act as effective screens thereby protecting the highway more. I bet things would improve drastically along there if they did that. Plus, we'd have more of an ability to keep our air clean. How great is that? Bonus.

Doesn't really seem like rocket science. Why hasn't it been done yet?



jorg wobblington lopez said...

I'm glad they renamed it the QE2, from just the #2, because #2 is the last thing you want to think about when you have a long drive ahead of you.

That is a good idea about the trees. Maybe trees refuse to grow there. It has also been suggested building a high speed train from calgary to edmonton, but I don't that will happen for a long long time, if ever.

SIMON said...

It makes a huge amount of sense to use trees as the tree population of Canada is 157 times that of the human population!!

Jules said...

Jorg - LOL, you're right. Thank God for rest stops. A high speed train would be useful. Maybe you're right about trees. Maybe we need a great big long wall windbreak.

Si - cool statistic..