Of course it is frozen in the form of ice. Driving on ice is a fool’s errand. On ice it is hard to stop (or start) moving. On ice, vehicle control is difficult at best. You don’t need to be a transportation engineer to know that crashes increase with snow and especially ice, with its reduced friction. The problem is not that Atlanta got snow, but that the snow turned into ice.
Should Atlanta have been better prepared? In retrospect, the answer is obvious. In prospect it should have been as well.
“While the public may love the notion of commuter rail lines, they are perhaps the least popular form of transit for politicians. The subsidies for commuter rail are tremendous, says Michael Smart, a researcher with the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. A study of the Minneapolis Northstar line concluded that taxpayers were paying a subsidy (which included capital costs) of $89 per passenger. Other studies showed subsidies of much lower rates, but still significantly higher than those for bus or subway riders.”
The study referred to is this 2011 blog post. Northstar Ridership is of course up since the fares were cut by 25%. (In 2013 it was 787,239, up 17% … so ~700,000 riders pay less so that ~87,000 pay at all) I don’t think revenue is up, though the cost per passenger is of course lower.