It's not like I like to complain... but there's so much to complain about.
This morning I ran into construction traffic on my short one mile commute to work. Remember the stimulus bill in the fall of 2008 that was so urgent that even Senator John McCain left the campaign trail to run back to Washington to vote for it? It was so urgent that the money is JUST NOW being spent ... the summer before the mid-term elections and right before the primaries. "Hey, you idiots back home... look at the bacon I'm bringing back for you!"
Locally what I'm seeing is a lot of unnecessary construction work, which means that for a short time union-carded construction workers are employed, workers they hope will run to the voting booth and/or donate money to their campaigns. On Berry and Wayne, two one way streets in downtown, they have about a half mile of lanes orange barrelled off so they can... What? Fix potholes? Repave? Dig up and repair the aging sewer system that some government organization is mandating we fix at a cost of millions of dollars?
Nope. They're replacing each of the curb corners that meet the street with the new handicap-enhanced curbs. Now it's not like the curb corners are sheer drop-offs that would be difficult for someone in a wheelchair to navigate. Nosir, they are already sloped nicely, making it a joy and a breeze for those on bikes, pushing baby strollers or in wheelchairs to cross the street. I estimate there are about 100 corners in the area in question and I can't imagine that some construction crew is doing each corner for less than a thousand bucks. So at a minimum it is costing your children and grandchildren $100,000 to handicap corners that are already handicapped. Add in the cost of interest and you can probably double that. Add in the fact that I'm probably way low on my estimate and it's probably half a million for these unnecessary improvements.
Also being done in my immediate area is the repaving of State Street. They recently repaved a section just east of North Anthony... and then repeatedly dug it back up to do repair work and patched it so that a brief stretch is like driving over a corrugated tin roof (and I would know). But instead they are doing a stretch just west of North Anthony... the part that's in pretty good shape. This strikes home personally because THEY PUT A GIANT "CONSTRUCTION AHEAD" SIGN IN MY YARD! Okay, technically it's not in my yard but rather in the park strip... you know, the bit of land between the sidewalk and the street that I don't own but I'm responsible to maintain? Plus they spray painted all over the street and curb in front of my house to mark that there were no gas, cable, or electric lines directly in front of my house. So now when we open the front door we are greeted with a giant orange sign. We've been told that it will be there through mid-summer. I plan on mowing AROUND it through mid-summer and if they want it trimmed around the city can do that when they mow the center strip. I'm sure my neighbors will love it but my I don't plan to string five or six shorter cords together so my electric-powered weed trimmer can reach. And of course they can't place this giant sign in the median strip that runs down the middle of our boulevard because the laws state that is has to be on the right-hand side. Grumble grumble grumble.