John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Cold again

Well, it's cold again. It was -4°F when I left the house yesterday morning, but with the 12 MPH wind it felt more like -22°. It's a little warmer today: it was 2° when I left, with a wind chill of -11°. But I dressed in layers and I delayed leaving the house as long as possible, so my wait for the bus was reasonably comfortable, or at least not unreasonably uncomfortable. once I was no longer walking into the wind.

Strangely enough, the coldest and least comfortable conditions I had to endure these last two days came while I was on the bus. When we reached Capitol Square yesterday, a woman in a wheelchair boarded the bus. Here's how that works:

For those who can't or don't want to watch that, it's like this: the driver extends a ramp, allowing the passenger to board, then secures the chair with straps and hooks in a space at the front of the bus. Simple enough, but while the ramp is extended, the front door remains open. And on that particular bus (#004, if you must know), the rear doors automatically open when the front door does and remain open until the front door closes. (On most other buses, the rear doors close independently of the front door.) So while the passenger was boarding and the driver was securing her wheelchair, the aforementioned -4°F air was streaming in through the wide-open back door, much to the discomfort and dismay of everybody on the bus. Perhaps drivers should be instructed to retract the ramp and close the front door before securing the chairs when the weather is this cold.

Speaking of things Madison Metro should do to make people more comfortable in very cold weather, I noticed last night that nearly three months after starting my calendar shop job at the mall, Metro still hasn't gotten around to repairing the bus shelter at the mall. There's supposed to be a glass panel covering most of the front of the shelter, but that panel's been missing at least since late October and maybe longer, so there's nothing stopping the cold wind from blowing right through the shelter. I'm not saying that having the panel in place would make the shelter warm, but when the temperature's in single digits, even "slightly less cold" is an improvement.
Tags: weather, wisconsin: madison

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