The Road Less Able to be Travelled

Monday, May 30, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

Dear Amherst Roads and Recreation Department,

First off, i don't know if this is your department's actual name.  It sounded good, with the word "roads" in it, and i went with it.  If you are actually the Amherst Town Hall or even the somewhat popularized Park and Recreation Department, i apologize.  Public Works?  These town politic things have always confused me, no offense meant.

Second.  I know what you're thinking.  "this is the guy who is complaining?!? the guy who has gotten like 428 parking tickets."  Yup, its me.  and in my defense, i paid all those friggin parking tickets, even the bullshit ones that resulted from your constantly malfunctioning meters.  I paid those tickets despite the vigilance and number of parking meter attendants you rotate which i feel may boarder on exploiting your own community.  I paid.  And, considering that you've gladly accepted those $4,280 in fees, i think my voice should be of particular importance, though i am firmly aware that it is not.

Here's the thing.  As you know, with the winter being as brutal as it was, followed by wet wet wet wet wetness, the roads have gotten bad.  They got real bad.  Especially those roads that are not exactly considered main roads, but are still integral semi-shortcuts either to the university or to, say, my house.  Potholes that look like they are designed to swallow other potholes.  Potholes that have popped so many of my tires that i keep a spare spare (not a typo) in my trunk for when, not if, the next one pops.  Potholes so large that if Falcor were to come flying out, it wouldn't be that surprising. 

And you know its true.  That's why you guys in Roads and Services slllooooowwwwwwwllllyyy began to patch and then repair some of the worst roads.  Thankfully, you smartly desided to repave the roadways and intersection near my house.  roads that had gotten so bad that the drunk drivers were the only ones who would go straight across the swiss cheese grater of a road, while us sober folks were left veering wildly from the left lane to the right, trying to save our cars an extra season without a cracked muffler.  I'm not exaggerating.  I spent a good amount of time in the left lane on the way home.  I think an oncoming car probably would have hurt my car less than staying in my lane. 

And so you paved.  And sure, you took your time, tearing the blacktop off the gravel below it for a few days (the gravel was MUCH easier to drive on).  And then, like hot fudge coating atop a sundae, you poured that smooth hot black tar evenly across the injured surface -- from the STOP sign to the undamaged portion of the street.  You even were conscientious enough to build a curb to protect the houses from erratic drivers.   And for all this, i say, "thank you. thank you so very much."

But now, unfortunately, we must get to the complaint portion of our program.  And here it is.  You poured that black money-shot of a infrastructure reconstruction about a month and a half ago.  And yet, the seams where the previously intact roads meets the, significantly lower in profile, newly paved roads -- remain (insert where the rubber meets the road joke here).  These seams aren't really a problem if you are driving the direction where you drop from the higher road to the lower, but going the other way, those plateaus essentially become long straight-line potholes, similar to those "Don't Reverse" spikey one-way teeth grates that you see at the entrance to parking lots.  And if you don't slow down from the listed 35 mph to 15 or so, you essentially ruin your car in the very same way that you would have had the potholes just been left in the first place. 

So my question is, "what's the fucking deal people!!!!"  There are 3 such seams on my drive home.  I generally remember 2 of them.  If the point is to get people to slow down, just put in a friggin speed bump.  a bump, not the lazy-persons version of a jagged right angle.  Mmf thinks that you may have run out of money.  If this is the case, i have to think that the blacktop that was used to create the curbs may have better served the community if they were instead allocated to connecting the roads. 

I tend to believe that the tardiness in completing this job revolves around the idea that, if left as is, the repeated weight of cars repeatedly slamming into and over the seam will eventually even it out.  If this is the case, than i must send you all the most genuinely and vigorous, "fuck you so much." And, I only say it that way because it is truly how i feel. 

And so, as we transition into June, i will attempt to be the change i see in the world.  How's this.  From now on, take the money that you get from all of my friggin parking tickets and finish fixing the god damn roads people.  Roads are not like bike tires, where a patch makes it good as new.  a not completely repaired road is still a damaged and dangerous road.

Here's another possible solution. I will start resolving my parking tickets in the same way that you resolve the town potholes.  You send me the ticket.  I pay about 75% ($7.50) of that ticket.  I then break into city hall and rob it of $7.50.  I then wait until you get super duper angry . . . . and then wait some more.

I swear though, the check's in the mail.

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