A group of UW weather scientists claimed responsibility on Monday for ruining Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ inaugural “car free day” on Capitol Hill yesterday.
Calling themselves the Reactionary Anti-Initiative Network, the scientists explained that Sunday’s downpour was the result of weeks of careful planning and precision actions.
“When Mayor Nickels announced ‘car free days,’ we knew we had to do something,” said project lead Bernard Studemacher. “Weather is what we know, so naturally it was our preferred weapon.”
The scientists would not explain the details of how they were able to cause it to rain during the specific hours of the Capitol Hill car free event from noon to six. “It’s highly scientific and stuff,” said Studemacher, “you wouldn’t understand even if I tried.”
The group also declined to make a political statement about the watery assault. The scientists we interviewed said that the move was more about promoting fairness and denouncing stupidity than it was about any particular political ideology.
“If the city wants to close a mile-and-a-half stretch of road to cars, it’s only fair that we close it to pedestrians and bicycles too,” said Studemacher.
“Empty and wet” is the apparent answer to a hypothetical scenario suggested on the official website of the Mayor’s car free campaign. The site urges neighbors to use the car free days as an opportunity to “have fun and see what the city could be like if we drive less.”
Despite the rain, some Capitol Hill residents were excited about the car free day. “People drive their cars through here as if the roads were built for them or something,” said resident Chad Caver. “It’s disgusting.”
Others were more sympathetic toward the actions of the rogue weather scientists. “I’m all in favor of driving less, but I don’t understand why the city broke into my garage and towed my Prius,” wondered Dennis Bauer. “That seemed a little extreme.”
The unrelenting rain initiated by the scientists led the city to end the event two hours earlier than planned. “Nobody took advantage of the empty streets to do any of the sixteen entertaining and creative activities we listed on the Car Free Day Activities webpage,” said city representative Dawn Schellenberg.
“It really breaks my heart that people let a few inches of rain stop them from holding helmet fittings and chess tournaments in the middle of the street,” said Shellenberg.