Reports from the road: What the commute has been like so far

  • Updated: February 29, 2012 - 8:25 AM

The timing of the snow, falling heavily just as the morning hour was about to start, could make this morning's commute the worst of the season.

Here are first-hand accounts of the commute by car and bus to downtown Minneapolis.

From Minnetonka at 5 a.m.

On 494 and 394, the middle and left lanes hadn't been plowed, so most traffic stuck to a single, right-hand lane. Lane markings were invisible.

While the roads weren't icy, they were rutted in some spots. The top speed was about 35 mph.

At 5 a.m., there's virtually no traffic to complicate things, and yet a commute that's normally about 20 minutes took about 15 minutes longer.

From Burnsville at 5:30 a.m.

It was slow going on the roads to the park-and-ride lot, because no lane markings were visible on the streets. The 5:50 a.m. bus arrived in downtown Minneapolis at 6:30 a.m., about 10 minutes later than usual -- the equivalent of taking one later bus.

From Edina at 6:30 a.m.

The route along Hwy. 62 and 35W was at times like a washboard, with clumps of ice and snow stuck to the pavement.

Snow covered all of the road and no lane markings could be seen. Speeds topped out at 35 mph.

While traffic was slow, motorists were being appropriately cautious and well-behaved. Only one car had gone off the road.

From Robbinsdale around 7 a.m.

The #14 bus to downtown Minneapolis had a few more people than normal. The driver had a tough time occasionally when the bus would get stuck in the piles of snow by the curb, but the commute, though slow, but not too bad.

Other drivers were driving slow as well. There weren't any accidents, just a few people stuck on the ice.

From Como Park in St. Paul about 7:50 a.m.

A bus that was 20 minutes late arriving at the stop at Como and Hamline Avenues didn't even pull over. The driver looked over at the wet clump of would-be passengers and jerked his thumb backward. Then he took off.

A few minutes later, another bus came and stopped. It was a lot less crowded than normal, probably because the first bus that passed by picked up most of the colllege crowd.

Through the foggy window of the bus, it appeared that traffic generally was moving well through the sloppy conditions.

-- Staff Writers Dennis J. McGrath, Patricia Grice, Paul Walsh, Eddie Thomas and Chris Havens contributed to this report.

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