When Portland got a couple inches of snow last winter, the city straight-up panicked.
Drivers crashed or abandoned their cars, commutes lasted 10 hours, and Uber and Lyft calls became so numerous that the rideshare companies surged lift prices by 550 percent.
This week a front dumped another three inches on Portland. Yet we're fine.
According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, that's largely thanks to road salt.
"We knew what was coming this year," says PBOT spokesman John Brady. "We had crews working 24-hours a day, in 12-hour shifts, to keep roads clear."
Brady says trucks began salting roads over the weekend, which helped keep major streets in Portland's hills—like West Burnside Street and Skyline Boulevard—functional.
"Some cars still ignored the 'chains required' sign," Brady says. "But after we ticketed and towed them, the salt seemed to help."
Before the snow arrived late yesterday afternoon, the transportation bureau also held a press conference with Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman—urging Portlanders to stay off roads and updating people on the city's plans to keep streets clear.
One plan included outfitting Water Bureau trucks with plows, to increase Portland's fleet of 55 snowplows and avoid having to borrow plows from Seattle—like we did last year.
At least anecdotally, Brady says, it would seem Portlanders heeded the advice of the National Weather Service and city officials to stay off roadways during peak commute hours.
Also, he adds, the snowstorm hit later than expected yesterday afternoon, which gave people more time to get home before the roads were at their worst.
"I think the December 2016 gridlock was on people's minds," Brady says, "and that people are starting to change their behavior."
Maybe half a foot of snow is the new winter normal for Portland—or at least we're learning how to survive it.