Road Construction Stinks!

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was minding my own business in my bachelor chair, watching some of my ever-growing stockpile of unwatched DVD’s, when my phone rang. It was my good buddy Cade, asking if I was going to come judge the Battle of the Bands competition at the Fairgrounds.
Now I remember Cade asking if I would be a part of this event, but nothing else had been said. I figured one of my enemies had me taken off the gig. After apologizing, I asked when I needed to be there. Five o’clock. A look at my clock showed it was 4:38. How the hell was I going to get there in time?
I pulled up my pants, slipped on some sandals, and hopped in Ginger the Jeep. It was doubtful that I’d make it from my home just off South Bahnson by five, but I was going to give it my best shot. The wheels in my pea-brain were spinning as I turned onto 26th Street. I knew that 10th Street and 12th Street were a mess, and even in light traffic they were going to slow me down. I decided to head a couple of blocks farther north to 8th Street and took that to Western Avenue, where I veered south to 10th. I took that street all the way past Kiwanis, where it veered over to 12th Street.
I was relieved that there was little traffic on the entire route, and when I pulled into the Fairgrounds parking lot I was pleased to find out that the show hadn’t yet started. The time? 4:58.
Three days later, I had another similar experience, but not with such good results. As everybody knows, I hit Black Sheep Coffee a handful of times per day. On this particular afternoon, I needed to once again head towards the Fairgrounds after filling my mug with java. This trip wasn’t going to be so easy, though.
Thanks to the 12th Street construction, I couldn’t turn left out of the parking lot. I also couldn’t end up on 12th Street by going around the block, either, as the city had outlawed left turns from Grange Avenue. In the past few days, I had gotten used to just driving down to 18th, and taking that street to the west. Well, construction had begun that day on 18th. What’s a boy to do?
I tried 15th Street. No luck. I veered over to 14th, and after maneuvering around an open sewer drain was finally able to get moving. The time it took me to finally make my destination? Let’s just say it took less time to go three times as far just a few days before.
This is a typical day in my life, as not only is Black Sheep surrounded by construction but almost every street between that business and my office on 41st Street. In fact, here’s a partial list of streets tore up between Minnesota Avenue and Western Avenue – 10th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 21th, 33rd (in two separate spots), and 38th. Add to that the two colleges and one hospital that takes up multiple blocks, and there are only three streets that are completely clear from Minnesota and Western – 22nd, 26th, and 37th (which was under construction until a couple of weeks ago).
I understand that the city is working on a big drainage project that will hopefully ease the flooding problems of recent years. But I wonder how wise it is to have all these streets tore up at the same time. Sure, most of my anger is the simple fact that this mess affects me. But how smart is it to force almost an entire section of the city to travel on a handful of streets that weren’t built to accommodate such a workload?
I’m no city engineer, so I’m not going to pretend to have the answers. Yet I can’t help but think that maybe the drainage project could have been delayed until the massive 10th and 12th Street projects are completed. Or could the drainage work been done in shifts? Do all these streets really need to be tore up at the same time?
What’s worse is the lack of notice on the majority of these streets. I never read about anything beyond the bigger projects, and there’s a serious lack of signage to prepare anybody for most of the side street work. I would get used to one route, only to discover another street tore up the next day. So I’d turn onto another street, and a block later that one would also be blocked off.
Bottom line – a boy that gets no sleep needs his coffee…and a boy with no coffee is in no mood for silly games with blocked streets and detours. Maybe it helps my weekly rant to keep me pissed off, but some days I’d love to just be a happy lil’ bastard. I’d love a perfect day where a hot piece of ass winks at me, the roads are cleared of morons, nothing but magic comes out of my Ipods, and tasty coffee can be purchased with little hassle. Ah, this fat piece of crap can always dream.


Anonymous said…
Well, at least you don't LIVE on 33rd and Summit, where my father is dealing with the construction right up to his front step. He has to park across the street -- at Augie -- and for couple days he had to park over a block away. And it's EVERYWHERE -- he has to drive four blocks out of his way just to get out of the construction!
Anonymous said…
Perhaps some time can be wasted on introducing legislation to limit this shit.

I mean, everything, all at once?? It's like punishment. There seems to be a serious shortage of common sense going around.
Anonymous said…
Just another blunder by people that get paid to much and do too little. Don't these people ever travel these roads at 8:00 am or 5:00 pm? Its amazing that large cities like Minneapolis or Omaha can get it right. Sioux Falls, sucking hind tit once again.

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