Miscellaneous Rumbles

Money for nothing.

27

Just a wild guess, but if that intersection's improvements were partly funded by Federal money, there might be minimum design standards that need to be followed. Or the matching funds will be lost.

That's a good point. Or it might be a situation where it was decided that when doing any improvements, this is the standard set of features. Or maybe the sidewalk apron paver is sleeping with the County Executive.

Here comes a street improvement rant, apologies in advance. It's something that irks me to a degree that defies any sense of proportion, and this thread is as close as I'm ever going to get to an appropriate place to dump it.

In my neighborhood, there's a street, Kendall Ave., that provides a somewhat convenient route to adjacent areas, the UW Madison campus a mile to the east and a shopping area a mile to the west. It's not a thoroughfare, but the sort of back-roads equivalent that runs the same entire distance as the actual thoroughfare. About 10 years ago, the city started making modifications seemingly aimed at reducing speed and traffic on that street. It started "Slow - Children at Play" signs. And then speed bumps. And not just one or two. More like a speedbump every hundred feet for a five block stretch. Then traffic calming circles (if you don't know what that is, it's a roughly 10 foot planter in the middle of an intersection). I made the comment to my wife that somebody on that street must be shtupping our district alder. She thought I was crazy. Then when the city was tearing up the neighborhood to redo the sewers, they also narrowed all of the entrances to that street so that only one car at a time can enter. Then they made it a designated bike route which brings its own set of rules. And then the coup de grace was delivered a couple of years ago when they made a single block one-way, which pretty much eliminated that street's usefulness as a convenient route. And you are god damned right if you think afire is the kind of stubborn a-hole that would ignore that and continue to drive the wrong way on that block (and in my defense, it's not really one-way anyway, only to through traffic, resident of that block are permitted to drive both ways, and I live close enough that I'm counting myself as exempt [and I've gotten and ignored warning letters from the police, because they've made it clear that they won't act on complaints unless they catch me in the act, which they won't]). Finally, I looked up our alder's address, and I was more or less right. It wasn't a resident sleeping with our alder, it was our alder that lives on that street, and more specifically, on that one-way block. It appears that her sole purpose for sitting on the city council has been to eliminate traffic on her block. I just might run for city council on the platform of freeing Kendall Avenue. My first motion will be to remove the speedbumps and make the speed limit on that block 65 MPH.

28

It's a global phenomenon, Curt. I live up in the Southern Spain and it seems all these little pueblos, especially near the coast, are building sidewalks that lead to nowhere. We speculate the Andalusian government issues x number of funds to these towns so they scratch their head and build sidewalks. But it gets worse. The next town over received funds to build a multilevel garage with a medical facility on top. So they demolished this beautiful over to make room for it, got the garage partially built only to have the provential government cut funding. Now this scenic mountain town has a hole in it. 5 years later and no prospect for completing the project.

29

Ariel is very tall.

Things could be worse you could get a U.S. roundabout there next. Here in Anacortes WA the new Sharpe's Corner roundabout is a real grinder...three times more accidents than the previous four way stop and no Evel Knievel offramp into Fidalgo Bay.

30

I live in an older suburb very close to the city. Our local council loves to spend money on rearranging our streets. Out the front of our house, which is at the end of a T-junction, they built a sort of street hump. So the section of road where the streets intersect has been raised so that whichever way you approach the intersection you drive up a slight hump whether going straight or turning.

Does it slow the traffic? No, but it does make every truck or trailer which drives past our house go "THUNK!" as they hit the hump. So no "traffic calming" but plenty of noise pollution.

31

So today, while I was out weed-whacking the municipal culvert (grass-covered ditch) that is at the foot of my yard, it occured to me that I have been trying to get our local council to install curbs and proper drainage in front of the five houses on our street which do NOT already have it.

Our street is a dead-end. When it was put in, the five houses on it were considered "rural" in nature and the District did not require such amenities. However, in the last 30 years an additional 13 lots have been developed so that now the original 5 look out of place alongside the more suburban-looking neighboring homes, which have proper curbs, drains and culverts underneath.

As an aside, it also has created an interesting roadscape. The curbs were put in at a set distance from the centre of the pavement, whichsame is about five feet farther "into" the yard than where the ditches lie. So the road gets wider where the curbs are and narrower where grass marks the edge.

Council, however, seems to see nothing amiss and trying to get the entire street set up to the same standard has been a struggle.


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