I'd like to nominate H. Bruce Miller and his rant against studded tires for this week's WTF. He claims, "They're somewhat better at stopping a vehicle on glare ice". C'mon, we're talking about metal spikes here. As a snowboarder and waterfall ice climber, I've yet to see a rubber edged snowboard or rubber ice axe. Edges and ice picks are made out of metal because it gains purchase on "glare ice" like nothing else. Period.
Admittedly, studs marginally decrease stopping power on dry roads. So do cinders. Should ODOT stop putting those down as well? Like cinders, studs increase stopping power when roads are at their worst.
I understand that the Wandering Eye spent time in Michigan and Minnesota. I worked at a ski resort in Northern Utah for eight years without using studs. There, the cold, low-moisture snow cleared easily off the road. Any leftover ice was then melted with salt. I don't think anybody wants to start using that.
When considering the weather here, the counter clockwise motion of a low pressure system brings in warm, southern air and high density snow or rain in the front end of storms. Then the clouds clear out, cold air from the north settles in, and voila!, our roads turn to ice skating rinks. The roads in Central Oregon turn to "glare ice" much more frequently than Minnesota, Michigan, Utah, or anywhere else I've ever been.
After nearly rolling my car due to black ice on an otherwise dry road, then buttering through a stop sign at 5 m.p.h. during my first month of living here, I've put on studded tires and never experienced such terror in the nine years since then.
So, to say that, "...the safety value of studs is largely an illusion," I say WTF?!!!
Dave McRae, Bend