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Old 11-21-2020, 01:43 PM   #1
chairrock
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Road salt debate

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Old 11-22-2020, 09:13 AM   #2
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They put down a ridiculous amount of salt on the roads , and I think it's resulted in people driving at ridiculous speeds during the winter because they have no respect for winter conditions , even after driving past wrecks .
Truckload after truckload of straight salt being dumped everywhere , yeah we need a commission of high salaries for several years to study if that's bad for the watershed and environment .
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:52 PM   #3
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They put down a ridiculous amount of salt on the roads , and I think it's resulted in people driving at ridiculous speeds during the winter because they have no respect for winter conditions , even after driving past wrecks .
Truckload after truckload of straight salt being dumped everywhere , yeah we need a commission of high salaries for several years to study if that's bad for the watershed and environment .
I agree.
Salt isn't good for the environment or vehicles.
One can drive fairly fast on packed snow, I'm old enough to remember, but tourists demand clean roads and higher speeds.
Too, cinders and sand were what was used on hills and intersections.
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:54 PM   #4
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Nothing new here. Same discussion from a couple years ago:

https://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=25809

The article covers the same ground. It's reasonably accurate, except:

>It does disservice by trying to revise history to blame the Olympics for the use of road salt; that's simply false, and suggests some kind of political narrative.

>It states "no solutions have been found" which is not really true; the DOT is piloting various solutions already, as stated in their comment.

The logical next step would be to implement some of the existing technological solutions. As I said on the other thread, I think the taxpayers would be willing to pay for those.

(As a taxpayer, I agree that I don't want to pay for yet another do-nothing government commission, to enrich politicians' friends. But that's the way it's done in NY State. We will probably have to wait a few more years to see the implementation of solutions that are ready right now...)
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:56 AM   #5
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Someone recently told me a story about something that happened after they salted the roads during a storm the other day. They woke up to find lick marks all over their vehicle in the morning. Turns out the deer had been around and going after the salt left over on the car.

Mobile salt lick.
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:59 AM   #6
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I agree.
Salt isn't good for the environment or vehicles.
One can drive fairly fast on packed snow, I'm old enough to remember, but tourists demand clean roads and higher speeds.
Too, cinders and sand were what was used on hills and intersections.
It does a lot of damage to the roads and bridges also , it's one of those things that causes more problems than it solves.How often is salt even on the road long enough to do it's intended job before it's being scraped off and another coating put down. Scraped off into the ditches , into the creeks , and against the " Protect the Watershed " signs .

There's more than one way to spin your wheels .
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:09 AM   #7
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Someone recently told me a story about something that happened after they salted the roads during a storm the other day. They woke up to find lick marks all over their vehicle in the morning. Turns out the deer had been around and going after the salt left over on the car.

Mobile salt lick.
In some places in Canada there are; Do Not Let The Moose Lick Your Car' signs, seriously.
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:09 AM   #8
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It does a lot of damage to the roads and bridges also , it's one of those things that causes more problems than it solves.How often is salt even on the road long enough to do it's intended job before it's being scraped off and another coating put down. Scraped off into the ditches , into the creeks , and against the " Protect the Watershed " signs .

There's more than one way to spin your wheels .
All good points backwoodsman
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:52 PM   #9
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I can't imagine some kind of treatment going away on the major routes like the Northway (or in other parts of NY, I90, I81, etc..)

But... if one could remove its use from all other roads, I think you'd want to carry chains, and probably use them a good part of the time. Studs help, but in real icy conditions they rip right out.

And it's not the snow or packed snow that one needs to be concerned about. It's the thaw and refreeze or rain over snow and refreeze that will create sheer ice.

The other real danger that won't necessarily be mitigated by chains is black ice. Studs are your only real help for this because this kind of danger only exists sporadically, and you likely won't have your chains on when it's at its worst. And of course where you have bridges you have the issue of a seemingly clear and dry road that turns into an absolute skating rink as soon as you leave the thermal mass of the ground.

Studs and chains have major impacts on the road surface, and requires them to be resurfaced more often. In NY, this is why we have a seasonal limit for studded tires.

And somehow people seem to think 4wd or awd is the solution to their problems... but I see more of these vehicles in the ditch. Your stopping, and steering grip are a function of tires. So just because you can get going fast, doesn't mean you can control it.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:42 AM   #10
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I can still remember the sound of my dad's studded snow tires on the bare road when he was coming home for work. We lived on Long Island.
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Old 03-03-2021, 09:34 AM   #11
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https://youtu.be/jjKTwcbdO5U
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Old 01-02-2022, 06:12 PM   #12
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I knew it was bad just by looking out the window, but it turns out NY leads in salt use. Lots of factors involved: more roads, lots of lake-effect snow throughout the state, localities that rely on mines for jobs and taxes, and not least of all, a large population that needs to drive too fast, too often.
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Old 01-02-2022, 07:11 PM   #13
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I knew it was bad just by looking out the window, but it turns out NY leads in salt use. Lots of factors involved: more roads, lots of lake-effect snow throughout the state, localities that rely on mines for jobs and taxes, and not least of all, a large population that needs to drive too fast, too often.
Total tons of salt used per state probably isn't the best measure for this sort of analysis, though... Of course NY is going to use more tons of salt than smaller northeast states with similar climates, like VT, NH, etc.

At first, I thought that a better measure might be tons of salt used per road mile. I attempted to find a map showing this information, without any luck... but I did stumble across a map that shows salt usage as a measure of salt sold by weight per unit of surface area for each state. At first, I thought that that this was sort of a weird metric to attempt to judge the impacts of salt usage by... but after some thought, I realized it makes sense. Since we're looking at the impacts of salt on the environment, normalizing the weight of salt used by total state surface area will better tell you which states are likely to be more heavily impacted. Normalizing by road length could lead you to believe that occasional salt usage in densely populated areas was of little concern- when in reality the increased road network density leads to much greater impacts despite those low levels of per mile use.

In any case, this map paints a much different picture than the one shown above. By this measure, MA and RI are the biggest culprits (and NY fares better all of New England except for VT and ME):


Although I also think that breaking this information down by county would allow for an even better comparison of where the problem areas truly lie. Things would still get funky for the western states with positively massive counties, but I think salt usage is overall less of an issue in most of those areas.

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Old 01-02-2022, 07:27 PM   #14
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Also, I'd be curious to know where is that one county/town in Mississippi that purchased salt...
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Old 01-03-2022, 12:39 PM   #15
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Here in the Finger Lakes they mine salt under Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.(Cargil) There is fear of a mine roof collapse causing the mines to be open to polluting the lakes. Closed mines were also part of the natural gas storage schemes near Reading NY.
On Staten Island, NY, the Atlantic Salt Company used to, and might still, import rock salt by the ship load from Ireland and the Caribbean to sell to urban municipalities.
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Old 01-03-2022, 06:21 PM   #16
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I'm pretty sure that this brown salt the state has been using lately comes up to the port of Albany on a barge from who knows where
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Old 01-03-2022, 06:55 PM   #17
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I'm pretty sure that this brown salt the state has been using lately comes up to the port of Albany on a barge from who knows where
I know for a fact that the Irish Salt imported was brown, this was years ago.... we had margaritas on top of the salt pile to watch the 4th of July fireworks...on Staten Island...the iron content was high...according to the owners...
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Old 01-03-2022, 09:10 PM   #18
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On my walk to work this morning I passed through one of the local institutions of higher learning. Every walkway, driveway, street and parking lot had been extensively salted, and I mean side to side, corner to corner. Since the students are on break and staff have been told to work from home this week, I saw no other person on campus during my walk.

When I got to my place of employment, not a single walkway, driveway or parking lot had been salted, yet there were people and cars all moving freely without issue.

I was later visited by a former student (I work in the high school) who is now working on a PhD to develop a better way to desalinate water. I suggested when she's done she come back and apply it to the local streams.
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Old 01-04-2022, 08:51 AM   #19
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There is some good news in all this...after a year's delay, the Governor has finally staffed the Road Salt Reduction Task Force. I know several of the people selected, and am confident they have the right ideas. Also, the Ausable River Association has started a survey in the Placid area to not only determine how much salt is being put on the highways but also in individual homes and businesses.

As someone said - the bad news is that it won't come this year, for sure. Hopefully we'll see some impact from all this by next winter.
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Old 01-04-2022, 11:40 AM   #20
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I would say it's "fair" news, not good news yet. The only thing that has happened so far is that someone in Albany is "making a show of paying attention."

As I said upthread "As a taxpayer, I agree that I don't want to pay for yet another do-nothing government commission, to enrich politicians' friends. But that's the way it's done in NY State. We will probably have to wait a few more years to see the implementation of solutions that are ready right now..."

There will be no results from this next year, or for several years; nothing until the various Albany cronies have milked every penny they can out of the "Task Force" process.

I think advocacy would be most effective locally, working to implement the existing, ready-to-use technologies now on town and county roads.
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