This Is Progress?

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Unless you live in New York City, or perhaps San Francisco, you probably drive a car. Right? How often do you drive for more than five minutes or so without coming up to a barrier, lane narrowing, or some other impediment to your trip caused by repairs or road construction?

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Okay, I know we can’t leave all roads like they were in 1950. They’d be totally worn out, not to mention inadequate for the number of vehicles in today’s traffic. We do have to keep up.

But why do we have to spend half a decade repairing a pothole? All right, I admit I’m stretching that one a little, but you know what I mean.

Colonial Parkway runs front of Colonial Country Club, the site of one of the oldest tournaments on the PGA Tour. Months and months ago—probably just after last year’s tournament was completed—the city of Fort Worth started some sort of project on that road.

The first thing they did was dump a bunch of fill material and park equipment in the right turn lane of Rogers Road where it comes into Colonial Parkway from the north. Then they began tearing up parts of Colonial Parkway, narrowing the lanes to the point you almost had to creep past. On occasion they would fully close one side of the street or the other, posting guys to stop traffic from one direction while that from the other direction went through.

How long has this been going on? Couldn’t tell you. Seems like ages, and I know it’s been at least several months.

What are they doing there? Who knows? Digging holes in the pavement for some inscrutable reason. They’re not widening the road. There were no cracks or potholes in the pavement that needed repair. Did someone’s brother-in-law’s company need a new job? *Shrugs*

Let’s keep our roads up, but let’s only do repairs that are needed and make sense. When we do, let’s get with it and get the job done.

We have to keep building new roads—freeways, interstate highways, state roads—all sorts of roads. We keep adding to our population, at least here in Texas, which means more drivers, which means we must have both new and improved roads. I understand that.

What I don’t understand is why we have to tear up 20 or 30 miles of road at a time, bottlenecking traffic for that entire duration, so that we can build a quarter of a mile a week, or whatever the rate is. Traffic along the entire 20 or 30 mile stretch is slowed down for however long it takes to build that section.

Why can’t we tear up a mile or two, build that, and then tear up the next mile or two? Why must we creep along mile after mile after mile, looking at total inactivity almost the entire distance?

Of course, it’s a given that if a crew is working on a road there will be at least two people standing around watching for each one who is actually working. I guess all of us taxpayers can enjoy paying for that.

In the 1860s, we build a railroad all the way from Omaha to Sacramento in only four years. In that same era, the Suez Canal was built in ten years. These were mammoth undertakings, but they were built expeditiously and quickly.

Today, it may take as long as the Suez Canal took just to get EPA approval of a construction project. Although we have much better equipment now than 150 years ago, we have a couple of different freeway/tollway projects going on here locally that will take longer than the entire transcontinental railroad to build.

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the "About" tab above.

For more information about his books, click on "Books" above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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4 Responses to This Is Progress?

  1. Sharon K. Walker says:

    With progress comes some pain; however, your perception is similar to mine.

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  2. Karlene says:

    Good morning!
    They really do the road work to “create jobs” …. but isn’t that what the political party demands and judges the progress of government?

    Well… lesson two on looking at the power of attitude. I hired a friend to clean my house. She needed the money. I needed the help. Win. Win. But… did I really need that? No. I can clean better and faster myself. Besides… Do you know what she does? She leave my photos crooked! Miles and miles of photos I have to straighten!!!

    Do you know what I do? I take a moment in my busy day and straighten them. As I do, I embrace the memories and love hidden in the picture that I normally speed by.

    Perhaps when we come to miles of road that have been torn up, and we creep slowly along we should thank God that we have a road. A car. The ability to drive that car…physically and mentally. That the people working on this road are someone’s children, and they have jobs!

    That the freeway of life we speed past in our busy day, is really something of beauty when we slow down to take in the sights beyond the road.

    Turn on the music. Enjoy. Start looking at the good. Not the bad. Don’t you think that’s what God would want? I do.

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