Residents: When will you de-ice our streets?

Residents: When will you de-ice our streets?
SEATTLE -- The crash of two charter buses on Friday afternoon added a sense of urgency to residents throughout the city who have been wondering when road crews will clear their streets.

The two buses slid down an icy hill and crashed through a metal railing and screeched to a stop seconds before toppling onto the freeway below. One of the buses hung precariously over a 30-foot wall beside Interstate 5 for hours.

"There was a lot of screaming and stuff, and glass shattering," said Kiela Current.

Both passengers and nearby residents couldn't help but wonder, what if.

"Somebody could have got hurt," said Felipe Vargas. "It's a miracle they didn't go down in the freeway. That could have been worse.

Some passengers and residents wondered why such a steep icy road was even open to traffic in the first place.

The city has been prioritizing main streets with is plowing and sanding crews.

The Seattle Department of Transportation says it has 1,500 lane miles of primary and secondary travel routes that are tended to, but admits residential streets are a low priority.

"We try to allocate resources where they are most needed, where there are the highest traffic volume," said Rick Sheridan with SDOT.

The city has crews operating 20 plow and sanding trucks which will work through the night. Mayor Greg Nickels said crew members are moving things along.

"I think we've got enough equipment," he said. "We've got all of our crews working as hard as they can. It's not like we have crews who are idle because there isn't any equipment."

On Friday the city's primary routes were passable, but the bulk of residential streets remained shackled with a thick coat of ice. And for some residents, that wasn't good enough.

"I think they should be able to do little better. This is not the first time we had this bad weather here," said Ava Richardson.

"It's obvious the freeways are fine, but look at the side streets. We can't get to the freeway something more needs to be done," said Andrea Adams.

After reassessing last winter, the city added more miles for snow and ice removal. Some residents think they should add more in a city as hilly as Seattle.

"If they threw down some salt to eat up the snow, it'd be greatly appreciated. We live on a hill. This is Capitol Hill. You're gonna be sliding to work or skating to work, or taking a toboggan to work; you just can't get to work," said Robert Parral.

To report a problem area within the Seattle city limits, call (206) 386-1218, 24-hours a day.