Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We now interrupt our regular scheduled programming...

To take a side trip on some newly "improved" intersections in our fair city. I have come to the conclusion that the streets engineering department has totally run amuck. I first noticed this at Pulaski Pike and Poplar. They have relocated the stopping point for north bound traffic to be further back on Pulaski Pike. This has some advantages for large vehicles such as buses that have to turn from Poplar to Pulaski Pike but it really creates problems for those trying to turn from Pulaski to Poplar.

This particular intersection may be my pet peeve so excuse me please. Here is the problem as I see it. Poplar is home to the Academy of Academics and Arts. This magnet school for k-8 draws children from all over our city. Some children ride the buses in to the school but many children are delivered by their parents. To get to Poplar from points south and even east, a left turn is required to get on to Poplar. A driver can go to the school by turning on a street west of Pulaski Pike but then must turn left on to Poplar while negotiating traffic approaching from at least 2 directions and usually 3. It can be quite difficult since Poplar is higher in elevation and cars parked on the street can block the view. The only solution I have found for a protected left is to go past the school and turn up the neighborhood street and then turn right on Poplar and wait for the crossing guard to provide the protected left into the school. That works great in the morning but not so well in afternoon when left turns are not allowed at the crossing guard. I can think of no other school that does not provide better protection for its students. If you know of one, please feel free to share.

The second 'improvement' is a Govenor's and California. Fortunately, I do not live in the Blossomwood area and do not have to deal with the city's wonderful design work there. I fail to see how the new design is better than what was there before. I trust that we will see more improvements when the project is finally finished.

That brings me to the third and latest 'improvement'. OMG!!! They have finally reopened the intersecton of Meridian at Monroe. What seemed like an intersection that functioned well has now been mangled beyond recognition. I stumbled into it before striping was done and was totally confused. What used to be a direct route from my church to Monroe and then 565 has become a mess. While I recognize that the path Meridian took was quite crooked, I fail to see how changing the intersection to this monstrosity is a suitable correction. It seems obvious to me that someone has let the traffic engineers run amuck with creating the most convoluted solutions they could come up with. This city has a huge population of engineers! Surely we could find some who know how to create intersections that work. The only thing worse would have been another round-a-bout.

Now back to our regular scheduled programming....

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