Way too much salt is being used to treat the roads. Not only is it a waste of taxpayer money, but it does make a mess. How many times have we seen the plows on the side of the road just waiting for it to begin snowing? When the snow never arrives, we just wasted more resources. In all of our "snow storms" this year, the sun would have taken care of roads within a few hours. Save the salt for the shady areas that need it. Whatever happened to spreading sand?
Sand is worse for the environment and bay than salt probably, but most jurisdictions mix in a bit of sand with the salt for some visibility and traction and to keep the salt from caking too much in the spreaders.
As far as not putting down salt in this region for minor events, just give the DOTs and jurisdictions responsible for streets a pass on your news coverage Bob, and they'll cut back and let this area's crack drivers have at it on partially treated surfaces. The crucifixion VDOT got for 2/12/08 at the mixing bowl for the slightest of glazings or criticism that everyone got for 1/26/11 after thundersnow of 2"/hr following a day of predicted rain that would have nullified any pre-treatment, puts DOTs in a real political bind when making a call at midnight for an AM rush hour, or the day before when pre-treating with brine. The brine applications adopted regionally by the DOTs in recent years are allowing for significantly less chemicals to be applied than when practices were to pre-treat with rock salt, most of which got run out into the gutters by traffic way before the snow fell.
To be honest, there HAS been an excess amount of salt used on the roads. We don't need THAT much just for an inch or two of snow. It's stupid, and costly- it wastes money, and it effects our ecosystem in a negative way. We still need salt, just not as much...
Way oversalting this year. In past year's storms, they didn't salt enough. Now they're salting way to much.
A great article: http://chesapeakestormwater.net/2009/01/winter-road-salt-and-the-chesapeake-bay/
NO SALT. AS I HAVE SAID HERE MANY TIMES, THERE WILL NE NO SIGNIFICANT SNOW FALL IN THE DMV areas in 2013.
If everyone would use proper winter tires there would not be the need for that much salt for that tiny amount of snow we get here. It always amazes me how everything grinds to a halt as soon as one snow flake hits the ground. It is winter folks, so get your car ready accordingly. It works in other parts of the country as well.