I live in a neighborhood dissected by a steep hill, an interstate and railroad tracks. Roads stop, start and sometimes turn into stairs, or a foot path. There is no designation assigned to the streets, like north or west, to clarify the sections.  Sometimes the closest  route by car is several blocks or a half mile away.   Locals will tell you the nearest cross-street and hope you can find them. In a local neighborhood, this  might be considered charming.

However, construction projects in our town have produced a whole new level of “You can’t get there from here.”

I can see the local university, downtown, from my kitchen…up here on the steep hill. Getting to school is easy – the route may change a little, day-to-day, due to highway construction, but I can get there,  as long as I pay attention to which lanes are open today.

Coming home is another story.  I can see the hill where I live…..but the trick is figuring out how to get there.  Damage to a nearby bridge (this accident could not be anticipated) has disrupted traffic.  Emergency repairs to the interstate (now, think about  just how big a chuckhole must be to require immediate, lane-closing repairs) eliminated my usual route.  The downtown roads that are open during their construction have constant lane changes – and driving through them at night is no pleasure.

I do make it home, eventually, but my 5 minute drive often takes 15 or 20.

Now, I don’t dispute that some of the traffic changes and new construction are necessary.  But I do think it might be better to finish one project before starting the next one (if it’s not an emergency).  And maybe the newly popular* ‘right-sizing’  or lane reducing of major roads, like our local business district boulevard, could wait until all surrounding road projects are completed.

*popular with the “experts”, not drivers


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