Nearly every road outside of our little part of paradise is in the midst of repair or construction. This is very exciting for those who can’t get enough of driving through strange neighborhoods, being jarred by uneven (to be charitable) road surfaces, and the prospect that the work will not be completed until long after their bones have turned to dust.
Personally, I’m losing my enthusiasm, not necessarily because there’s no merit in the projects, but because they seem to be never-ending.
As an example, a stretch of road is being widened for pedestrians and bicycles. And I’m all for being able to amble along our winding roads without fear of being taken out by speed demons, the phone addled, or those lost…and it’s raining and dark…and well, there may be no solution to that. But improvement, apparently, is the monster that must be constantly fed, relentlessly pushing whether we feel any need for improvement at all. I mean it seems ok to me just the way it is…
…Forgive me, I digest.
Now it is a matter taken on faith that any construction involving transportation, be it roads or transit or airport runways, will be long and arduous and quite demanding of our faith in such things, like the expansion of SR-522, a state road winding through town that will have separate bus lanes so busses can move along without the constant need for merging into traffic, and as an all too easy means to bypass the mile long stretch to your exit (not that I would ever do anything like that).
Of course, it’s possible that when done, we will all look upon it with a great sense of pride while forgetting all the times we cursed the miserable project, to ourselves or out loud, when we realized we’d forgotten the construction in our mad dash to get home in time for (please insert terribly important event here). As with all of this, I try to task myself with practicing patience whether I want to or not. And most of the time I don’t want to. But there’s more than enough anger going around these days that there’s no need for me to add to the pile.
Still, there are days when I just want to be able to take my regular path back home. I don’t want to continually weave through the neighborhood, being glared at by the people whose quiet neighborhood is no longer quiet, going around all the cars suddenly parked in the not quite wide enough streets, hoping that at the upcoming turn I won’t be smashed into by another driver sick and tired of weaving through the neighborhood just as I am.
It’s at these times that I wonder if there are actually that many bike riders who will make use of the new bike lanes, as well as walkers, such that all these months of disruption are worth it. Is it more for the depiction of our burg as progressive and welcoming whether we need it or not? Or should we just be happy with the ways things are and not so happy at being inconvenienced.
Something to think about while I’m waiting for my turn to inch up the road.
©2021 David William Pearce