Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Traffic delays

Tuesday and our vacation continues. I will be taking an hour out to attend my senior fitness session this morning. I’ve discovered in the past that taking just one day off puts one several days behind.

While riding around Portland, we’ve run into a few mild traffic delays as the city is spending a bunch of money fixing some roads that really need some fixing. With the federal stimulus funds, some state funds and a few dollars from the city, the city people have identified several places that need repair. I must admit we didn’t run into those places at prime drive time; the delays we faced were only minor.

Outside of Portland there also are delays on I-295 in South Portland. A new ramp is being built at the Westbrook Street off ramp. Some widening in the road is going to try to alleviate some of the congestion that builds up, especially in the evening drive time, as vehicles leave the highway for Westbrook Street.

Of course the sun is also a major cause of the delay as drivers are heading directly into the sun almost at eye level.

I haven’t seen the plans but it looks like a third lane is being added. It does not look, however, like that lane is going to be long enough to do much good. Looks to an untrained eye like mine can be deceiving so we’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.

It would be impossible to point out all the places that need major fixing because that would include most of the roadways in the state. One major road, however, is in South Portland on that same aforementioned Westbrook Street between Broadway and where it becomes the Gorham Road. The quality of the road is especially bad outbound toward the Mall and striping is practically non-existent in both directions.

Heading toward the newly constructed on-ramp to I-295 across from the Chevrolet dealership is particularly confusing. There are virtually no stripes at all. At one point, one must stay to the right to enter the ramp, be in the center to go to the right turning Broadway exit, or be on the left to continue straight on Westbrook Street or turn left onto Broadway. Staying in a lane, especially the left and center ones, is a challenge to keep from drifting into other traffic. That new I=295 entrance ramp, however, is terrific.

Speaking of striping, many, many roads in the Greater Portland area are in significant need of white and yellow lines. I know communities are doing the best they can on limited budgets, but it appears that some are doing a better job than others. I’d put Scarborough’s heavily travelled roads in that category.

One day, perhaps two, this week we’ll probably head out for other parts of the state just to take in some sights and get a way even for just a day or two, so I might add to these comments later on. The weather and possible day trips will determine that. Gator Wife just might want to remain home to do some much needed maintenance here.

The City of Portland used designated stimulus money for road repair. I can’t help but wonder where the state stimulus money went. Or all that money from voter approved bonds for the last several years. Or the gas tax collections. Hmmmm! I wonder.


No comments: