Sunday, May 16, 2010
Sometimes it seems that, more often than not, when we Tulsans look out our car windows, we see these road signs. Whether they say "Caution," "Road Closed," "Keep Right," or "Turn around and go the other way if you want to live," they all mean these things: Road construction. Traffic delays. Fear and loathing.
Some of the worst construction traffic in Tulsa right now is along the I-44 widening project, from Riverside Drive to Sheridan Road. The living hell that is the intersection at 51st Street and Harvard Avenue comes to mind. So does I-44 and Yale Avenue. I avoid these areas like the plague, finding routes around them that add miles to my route. But, whatever. One of my least favorite things to do is burn gasoline while idling in traffic. It's enough to cause a person to sell her motor vehicle and travel exclusively by bike instead. Or, by scooter. Especially if I could have one like that adorable seafoam green model that's always sitting outside of Coffeehouse on Cherry Street.
While I love to complain about road construction as much as anyone else, I'd also like to think that Tulsa's roads and highways will function better once all of this work wraps up. So, it's all worth it, right? And I'd also like to think that I'm willing to give several months of 5-o'clock-traffic-from-you-know-where to get new streets that are pothole-free for years to come.
Because potholes are the bane of our existence here in Oklahoma. If you were to ask a random sample of Tulsans their least favorite part about living in this city, I bet you that nine out of ten of them would mention something about our roads and/or potholes, especially the ones large enough to swallow a farm truck.
So. Do you have a magic answer for all this? If you were in charge of managing and improving the quality of Tulsa's roads, how would you go about it?