John Wheeler: Highways are closed for weather more often than in the past
Closing highways allows for the post-storm clearing of snow from the roads with fewer stranded vehicles in the way.
FARGO — Many of us old timers have noticed that highways across the region are closed for weather more frequently than they used to be. Some people casually attribute this to a softening of society in general along with a populace that is just not as smart as it once was. These attributions are way off.
The fact is, there is a great deal more traffic on the highways than 20 or 30 years ago, including truck traffic, and this means more people get stuck and clog the highways, which makes the cleanup and reopening of roads a great deal more difficult. The roads are closed by the state departments of transportation in coordination with the state highway patrol, not only to save lives, but to allow for the post-storm clearing of snow from the roads with fewer stranded vehicles in the way. This is good policy.