Wednesday, March 04, 2015

2415 Road Grade

Recently I was driving in a fog.  Literally.  A fog bank had settled over the area and I was trying to drive to work. I noticed something interesting.  Fog really helps you appreciate bad road planning.

Perhaps I should say bad road replanning.  Because there are lots of times when a road needs to be changed.  Sometimes to add a new turning lane.  Or sometimes a bike lane or traffic island.  All of which are good in the plain clear brightness of day or streetlight.

But these add-ons often inhibit the natural flow of the roadway.  A good original road has a sort of feel and contour that you can drive semi-consciously.  When they stick in a new traffic island, everything goes buggywomp

You know what I mean.  You'll be driving down a certain road for years.  Then a new school goes in and they plop down a new median, divert traffic by simply repainting the lanes, and you suddenly have to jig where you used to jag or zig where you used to zag or you'll swerve on the new curve and be perturbed by a new curb.

Oh sure.  They put up loads of signs warning you of the new roadside aberration.  But the signs are up high and you're trying to follow the actual edge of the road, because signs don't do diddly squat in a thick fog.  Even worse when certain drivers feel it's necessary to consult their smartphones while they're driving around in a fog of their own. 

I wish the road engineers had the money to smooth out the approach to a road change.  Feather it into the natural roadway.  I like my road blended in like fine plastic surgery. 

Not patched and bolted like a work of Frankenstein. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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