The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 3
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererFebruary 26, 2024

U.P. roads safe to drive

While we are only separated by a few miles of bridge and many more of water, holiday break proved the Upper and Lower Peninsulas are worlds apart when snow falls on the roads that take us where we are going.

Comic Credit: Dorsey Sprouls

For The North Wind’s editorial staff, it is clear the Upper Peninsula’s road teams, and Marquette’s specifically, are able to mitigate the effects of inclement weather. From frequency of plowing to adequate sand cover, the Upper Peninsula’s road teams make driving these treacherous roads as safe as possible.

Respectively, each member of The North Wind staff drove all over this holiday break. From Gladwin to Hamtramck and Gaylord to Jackson, nearly everywhere in the Lower Peninsula was dangerous.

According to Lower Peninsula news sources such as WNEM5 and the Detroit Free Press, cities such as Detroit and Lansing suffered severe weather of a lesser magnitude than Marquette and were still struggling to clear their roads within their downtown districts. Similarly to NMU, these cities also possess universities of repute, such as Wayne State University in Detroit and Michigan State University in East Lansing. While people impacted by less severe weather conditions are struggling and, therefore, impeding travel over the holidays for college students in the south, most students found traveling easier while heading northbound along I-75 and across the Seney Stretch due to the hard work to keep the roads travel-friendly.

Story continues below advertisement

For us “trolls” or “loopers” or whatever, the difference between the Upper Peninsula’s care for roads (and thus its drivers) is profoundly better than that of the Lower Peninsula. The Upper Peninsula’s fine road workers not only clear the snow, they make it a craft. While each peninsula experiences its own climate idiosyncrasies, it’s clear where it is safer to be during inclement weather: the Yoop.

Returning to Marquette, it was clear that not only do we plow in this town, we manicure the snow banks. They look like straight dirty-white hedges along all the main roads. Thank you to all of the persistent plow-people who work on call 24/7 to make what could be innavigable areas safe.

This privilege should not be undermined. Such services are pertinent to social function. Counterintuitive as it may be, extreme weather periods often necessitate transport for emergencies. Imagine if these brave workers were not doing their jobs. They are often unseen, leaving their trail of sand and those aforementioned snow hedges on the roads’ peripheries for our morning transports. These are invaluable services, though they are easy to take for granted.

We may complain about the salt and ice as pedestrians, and there are always dangers to driving in bad conditions, but Marquette is a much safer place to drive in winter than downstate, at least this year. Thanks to everyone in Marquette who makes that happen. Knowing how to embrace the harsh winter is a lesson we can take wherever we may go after leaving this fair city.

More to Discover