In search of what's next

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Your tax dollars were at work

Everyone just loves being in a traffic jam, right? No? Well, me niether. Every day to and from work has some sort of traffic jam. Why is that?

Too many drivers? Everybody takes your path to work today? Accident? Bad infrastructure design? I vote for bad design. Yes the others have their days, but bad design can cause a clog every day without fail.

If you live in the Cincinnati area, as I do, you've no doubt heard of the Fort Washington Way upgrade that sunk millions of dollars into a lane change. The sad part is the lane change was because if you were following interstate 71 thru town, you had to cross over at least 2 lanes of traffic to stay on your route. So, they reouted the onramps and joining lanes so you could stay in your lanes. Now, if you approach on US 50 and wanna go on I-71, guess what! You have to cross 2 lanes of traffic. If you're a truck driver, and wanna go over 40, better get your safety equipment because there's a good chance you'll be payin' to have somebody pick up your stuff off of the on ramp after you spill it everywhere. It's a no win situation.

Last year, they redid the northbound interchange on I-75 where 275 exits to it. They also added a lane to 75, but they also added 2 exits just north of the interchange. What a fiasco. Every evening, there was a backup on 275 (from both directions) to exit onto north 75. Reason was, the off ramps of 275 were merged into one lane before emptying onto 75. (These lanes both have a constant flow of traffic without much interruption all day.) During rush hour, traffic comes to a standstill because of too many cars merging into one exit lane, and that lane merging into the slow lane of 75.

So, they build a new exit just north of there. Move the merge point of 275 out about 200 yards farther out and merge it into the slow lane again. What brainiacs. Do road engineers ever actually drive on the roads they intend to fix?

Even if I don't have the description right of the new interchange, it still doesn't let traffic flow. I still sit in the high speed lane every evening waiting to get past the clog. I'm just glad I don't have to go on 75 any more.

When this sort of thing happens, I think the engineer(s) should be sentenced to stand on the side of the road (until they fix it) with one of those big sandwich signs on that says "If you can read this, it's because of me" on it.


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