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Blog Promo: Extreme Winter Commuting


We were thisclose to the snowpocolypse loyal readers, and I for one was scared.  How would I get to work?  What happens to my bus route during the snow?  Can MAX still run in the ice?

We almost had this streetscape.

What will we do!!


We want to know your preferred winter weather commute mode.

While we lucked out this time, winter isn’t over yet.  There is still a chance for Snowmaggedon 2011 and we want to know how you’ll get around when it arrives.

Strap on the snowshoes or skis? Grab a thermos of coffee and wait for the bus?  Call in S.I.C.K (snow induced couch kamping)? What will you do?

To enter the contest, tell us your preferred winter weather commuting mode by leaving a comment or emailing us.  We're giving away FREE downloads of the Bike Map app for iPhone.  Three lucky winners will get a $15 iTunes gift card!

And don't forget for next time:

>>>PBOT's main page for snow and ice information.

>>>TriMet's Winter Weather info page.

>>>National Weather Service foreacast for 97204


Add a Comment


Ruth Frank

January 12, 2011 at 10:24 AM

My option for winter weather commuting is always Tri Met. Of course, Tri Met is always my option for any commuting.



January 12, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I put on my clip on show shoes and trudge along the streetcar route from NW to SW Portland. It's my way of showing all the streetcar passengers that you CAN survive walking in the snow!! :)



January 12, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Well since we've been let down yet again, I'm continuing to carpool through the winter months.

But if Mother Nature would finally grace us with some snow (does anyone else feel like we're the only city in the nation who has yet to invited to the snow party?!) I plan on staying home S.I.C.K. to enjoy it while it lasts!

Bring on the snow!



January 12, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Whenever the going gets rough, I opt for braving the elements by working from home. Have laptop will NOT travel.



January 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM

If it is slippery, then TriMet bus and walking when the buses slide off the road. But I want to see if I can use my showshoes on my bike. If it is just raining, then foul weather biking gear for me! I gotta say, as far as weather goes, I only despise the wind cuz I am climbing towards Tabor.



January 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM

snowshoes, baby!!

the first snowpocolypse when i lived here was in 2004. coming from the northeast, i laughed at the panic, and then i tried to drive. wow - that was a lesson. so i strapped on snowshoes and hiked to the store and bought the fixings for beef stew. one of the best weekends ever.

i won't risk life and limb to get to work, but i will certainly take any excuse to snowshoe around my neighborhood and make those emergency runs to the supermarket or liquor store ;)


Kathrine Litchfield

January 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM

My favorite winter weather commuting is Tri-Met. They are prepared for this type of weather (just like the boy scout motto!). I do own a 4x4 but do not like to drive it downtown (it is big and I don't like to pay to park). Maybe this bike!


Ken S

January 12, 2011 at 10:28 AM

When the weather gets nasty, if I can't make it out of my neighborhood, I rely on buses, otherwise MAX it is!



January 12, 2011 at 10:29 AM

As I am considered essential staff, there is no out of inclement weather. Luckily, as an Eastern Washington native, I know how to make the magic happen when driving in the snow. Take it slow, pack chains and snowshoes, and never let your husband drive!



January 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM

If there's enough snow, I don't have to commute since we just shut down. If I have to go to work, it's the bus for me.



January 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM

My preferred snow and ice route to work is to drive to the Tualatin WES station with my husband in our Outback. I take WES to the Beaverton Transit Center and MAX downtown.

Please make the bike map available for Android devices as well as iPhones.



January 12, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I found last year during the unforecast snow event that it was possible (and actually not miserable!) to ride my bike in the snow. While everyone I know was stuck for hours on MAX and the bus, I was home about 15 minutes later than usual. Sweet!

So, if we get snowmaggedon this year it will be biking for me.


Britt Parrott

January 12, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Anytime it snows, I want to enjoy every minute of it, so I prefer walking to and from work. It takes about an hour each way. I do walk near a bus route in case I get tired.



January 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM

I like the idea that one guy had in Atlanta, GA. He put on his ice skates and skated his way down the streets!


Rachel Z.

January 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM

It is easy for me to work from home, so I usually stay in. However, when I need to go out in bad weather, I usually take the bus.


Timo Forsberg

January 12, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Gotta say, I'm glad I had my studded tire on my bike for the icy ride home last night. But, I'm even more glad that TriMet was going my when the east wind became too much.



January 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I love the snow so I walk/play/skip the 1/2 mile to the bus stop and take TriMet to work.
Where's the snow? Bring on the white stuff!!!


Wendy S

January 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I look forward to the day when I could actually snowmobile to work... not that I am wishing it upon us nor do I actually have the machine, but wouldn't that be a sight to see. I admit that I am a winter wuss these days, I prefer to be bundled up nice and toasty in front of a fire but if I have to make it to work I will bundle up with the woolen scarf, heavy coat, long johns, and great boots. I will hike as far as needed to catch Max, keeping my fingers crossed that the trains will run.


Kevin B.

January 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Anytime the weather is forecasted for freezing rain or snow I like to telecommute as much as possible.



January 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I ride my iron steed and replace the countryside with an urban landscape, but on those epic "snowpocolypse"'s that are so rare in the PNW I always feel like a modern version of Robert Frost in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"!


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost (1923)

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.



January 12, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I'm fortunate enough to live within walking distance of a MAX station. MAX has been so reliable that I've never missed a day of work due to weather.

The only bummer is that my boss knows how I commute, so I'm not able to use the "I can't get out of my driveway" excuse for a day off!



January 12, 2011 at 10:55 AM

I take the streetcar everyday no matter what the weather is like. It picks me up right outside my apartment and drops me off two blocks from work!



January 12, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I am a committed Bus Guy. My choices to leave work early to avoid a terrible mid-day'afternoon snowstorm are gone now, after TRIMET cut my bus route to a "rush hours only" route, but it has been a problem only a few times since then.



January 12, 2011 at 11:06 AM

If conditions are too bad for cycling, then Tri-met's my first back up. When snowpocalypse had the buses stuck, I've been know to resort to walking part way. If it gets much worse than can wait!


David Blanchard

January 12, 2011 at 11:11 AM

The bike is always my first choice. If the weather is slippery, Tri-met is going to have trouble as well so in that case, I telecommute.



January 12, 2011 at 11:14 AM

I would plan on Tri-Met but if they had problems I would plan on a sick day. I'm fine with Trimet taking more time because I always have a book to read and love the time to read them...



January 12, 2011 at 11:15 AM

I always take MAX, but in freezing weather I use the parking garage (Gateway)instead of slogging my way to the MAX train. A huge thank you to Metro (and all the government entities) that created our marvelous transit system!


Jessica Roberts

January 12, 2011 at 11:20 AM

I would have said that MAX was my preferred snow mode (because of the dedicated tracks so cars can't block it like happens with buses), but last time I got screwed over by all the drivers who decided to drive (and get stuck) on the MAX tracks downtown and it ended up taking 2.5 hours to get home. And I really don't feel comfortable biking in snow or ice. I've decided that the only sure way I can get home when it's truly nasty is to walk home. I brought gaiters, waterproof hiking boots, and yak trax to work today just in case I need them to get home. Takes a while to walk 4 miles home in the snow, but at least I know I'll get there, and I keep myself warm instead of waiting in the cold for a train that may never make it...



January 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM

I bike though it all. I might switch to quiet side streets more frequently when it gets really bad, or hop on Trimet if it is truly to dangerous to bike. I rode home last night with no slippage at all.
I love snow days though! It's a free vacation day! (my workplace will close if it gets too snowy around.)



January 12, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I've yet to have a day with bad enough weather to stop me from getting places on my bike. If it gets really bad I can always get off and walk. Much easier to do that from a bike than any other option.



January 12, 2011 at 11:41 AM

If it's wintry outside, I like to grab a mug of hot chocolate and have a marathon of my favorite tv series!



January 12, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Walking! I'm lucky enough to live close to work and walk every day no matter what the weather conditions. All I have to do is put on my appropriate Columbia Sportswear gear (shameless plug, I work there) and head out.



January 12, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Yes, commute through wires... I mean Telecommute, and may be go for a run at noon. I was hoping today was such..but not much luck !! yet to see some real powder this winter ;-(


Ali Joon

January 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Bike and MAX. But there is always the option to work from home if it gets too bad(episodes of Lost may or may not be involved).



January 12, 2011 at 12:44 PM

We live near the Gorge on the Washington side so we get all the Gorge weather mixed in with the valley weather. When we get 3-4 feet of snow/and or ice, we have to drive our F250 4WD with snow tires and chains to get to work (hubby and I commute together on those rare days). With only a few inches of snow/ice, I drive my compact car with snow tires to the Park 'N Ride and let public transportation get me to work from there.



January 12, 2011 at 12:48 PM

If it's a moderate dusting of snow (like last year), I just bundle up extra, take my bike, and ride VERY carefully.

If it's more like Jan 2004 or Dec 2008, then in the interest of my own safety, I opt for TriMet on the days the office isn't closed.



January 12, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Depending the severity of the snow/ice, i either telecommute which is always awesome!! Or I drive to the nearest max stop (I live in Sandy, closest stop is in gresham) and ride it in :)


Courtney Duke

January 12, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Check TriMet on my iPhone then probably stay at home since the 44 does not run much in the ice. And probably home with kid, since school also does not run much when there is ice.


Kristin Kelly

January 12, 2011 at 1:42 PM

I drive in to work no matter what! I've got great traction control and handles on my ride. Love my Mazda! A bit of snow or ice doesn't scare me! Bring it on!


Leanna Smith

January 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Well, I'd prefer to sit in front of the livingroom window, watching the snow fall and forget about work, but if I have to come in, it's TriMet for me!


Howard Groopman

January 12, 2011 at 1:59 PM

When I work downtown in bad weather, I drive a mile to Barbur TC, park, and take the bus both ways.



January 12, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I prefer the bus in winter weather - a little wimpy in my biking macho when the weather is wet or cold!



January 12, 2011 at 2:55 PM

I'm still biking. My commute totally wakes me up and gets the blood going. Until I freeze. Then I have to wait for the rain to thaw me out.



January 12, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I use my bicycle all the time regardless of the weather. I will go bi-model sometimes(bike and MAX)if it gets too icy out on the eastside.



January 12, 2011 at 3:22 PM

If it's icy/freezing rain, I stay home. If it's just snowy, I drive my Subaroo. Otherwise, I have to take three busses,(transfer twice) and it takes me an hour and a half to get to work. Or, it takes me two busses and MAX and about the same amount of time...I need to work closer to home!



January 12, 2011 at 5:07 PM

I have to add my Nth vote for TELECOMMUTING! if it's not TOO bad, hike to my local Starbucks and telecommute from there. (See, no tasty treats or frothy beverages at home...)



January 12, 2011 at 11:39 PM

I would prefer to telecommute, to be able to stay warm and not risk my way into work. Then I can also be at home when my kid has a snow day. If I have to venture out then I rely on Tri-met, even if it is delayed, it is safer then worrying about my car sliding around on the ice or getting stuck in the snow.



January 13, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Since I live out in Woodburn, I'd need to drive to either CCC to catch the Tri-Met bus to downtown OR Clackamas Town Center to get on the MAX to downtown. If the road is so bad to drive even with snow chain, I'd need to call in S.I.C.K!



January 13, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Hey, if I can get by with staying home, I will! I have never gotten enough snow days. But since I usually have to work, I will take the bus and/or walk.



January 14, 2011 at 8:36 AM

bring on the powder.....close the streets and let's 'kick and glide' our way to work. X-country skiing is the way to go...healthy, inexpensive and good for the environment.



January 14, 2011 at 2:19 PM

My plan is to put on extra warm clothing and boots with good traction and hike a couple of blocks to catch the 20. It is often a long wait in the cold and standing room only when the bus finally arrives but it gets me there.

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