As much as I love this city of mine, the grand ol’ WSNC, I worry that I’m starting to become a curmudgeon like my bestest buddy, Eugene. Why you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
I understand that we’ve known the Business 40 shutdown has been coming for the last decade (or so it seems). And, frankly, I’m not complaining that that road is out of commission for the next 20 months or so. I’m okay with that. What I am not okay with is the Camel Citizens that have seemingly lost their collective driving minds since it happened.
It doesn’t help that the city has done little-to-nothing to help the traffic with the endless mess of construction, either on the streets or on things around streets that will close without warning to make the whole “plan your alternate routes now” we were spewed from City Planning/DOT. It doesn’t matter how we plan our route, we won’t know until we’re driving on them, which roads may be closed for any myriad of reasons.
I have tried and tried to take up for the City for all of this for years, but it’s getting harder and harder. Now, as annoyed as I am, I can still traverse the roads when something is askew. Most other drivers – not all, but most – have, again, lost their danged minds.
Then when they work on roads, they will leave gaping holes in the pavement for long periods of time. We know when the weather is wintery and crappy it does extra damage to the roads. But, yet, they’ll put in some plumbing or something to a business and then leave it with just the crusher run rock in the hole and that stuff isn’t meant to withstand long periods of exposure. It creates mini craters in the road.
Or, they will dig something up and patch the road where they were working with asphalt, but don’t fix a hole that has been in the road for a year or more when it’s less than 10 feet from the spot they were working on. I understand the politics and ways and means and cost and all that, but it wouldn’t take three shovels full of the black stuff to fill that hole, too.
The worst is when they will mill a street, repave the street where it is pristine and beautiful and then dig up the new asphalt to fix some mysterious problem under the road and then patch the hole with inferior blacktop and it sinks and the new pristine pavement is just as crappy as older in-need streets around town. I don’t understand why they couldn’t fix the problem before they paved the street. Surely, all new problems can’t arise only where there’s new pavement?
And, another thing, and this is something that I know Eugene has been complaining about as long as I’ve known him. The danged traffic lights. Not the outlying/suburban lights so much but the ones downtown.
I know with the technology available today, there must be a way to put the lights in this town on a better timer system that we are with now. During the day, I get having the lights last longer. But, after 6pm when everyone has “packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes, (like) contestants in a suicidal race” (thanks Sting) and gone home, why must we sit at a light for 2 minutes when there is absolutely nothing coming from the other direction? Or, be green until someone gets close to it? It’s like there is some sensor just waiting to stop you. I mean, it’s green. Green. Green. Green. Green. I get close. It turns red. So, I stop. And nothing is coming from the other direction. What the heck is that all about? Why did I have to stop? It makes no sense.
So, yeah, I guess I am becoming Eugene. But, really, the city is doing itself a disservice and it wouldn’t take much to fix the problem. Also, can we have a better warning system, be it online, social media or whatever to let you know what random street is going to be closed at any given time? I’m not talking about Waze or whatever, I am talking about someone to actually alert citizens to their screwups. Get it right, WSNC. Get it right.
Okay, soap box back under the bed.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Everybody likes driving through scenic, winding roads. It’s hard to find people who like sitting in traffic in cities.” – Karl Iagnemma