Francis Robinson, a local author of the Keehotee Press II Blog on this Web site recently posted some comments about Shelbyville's new Progress Parkway. Many visitors regularly read Robinson's submissions, but for those who don't, I thought I'd share this one as an introduction to his writings. I've reproduced the article below. If you want to read additional posts by Francis, you'll find them in the Readers' Blogs section, or go directly to his blog.
Here's the article:
Shelbyville's new Progress Parkway
The new Progress Parkway is now open and looks very nice. Traffic is picking up on it as more and more folk find that it is open from State Road 9 now and a few brave truckers are also showing up on it. It all seems pretty well engineered other than the silly curbs down the center of the Clark Road to McKay Road stretch of it. What fool thought that it was smart to put curbs down both sides of a roughly 14' traffic lane? Through some magic was a accident or breakdown never to happen? Can you imagine getting a fire truck and a one-ton ambulance past each other? Try hopping a loaded (very heavy) tanker full of water up over one of those curbs and throwing all of that weight on one outside dual... Can you say "snapped axle"? This road is open "to all traffic", what happens when a semi breaks down on the curbed section? Other than that though it seems well enough planned. I especially like the sidewalk / bicycle path along the full length of it.
It does seem that the city has left out one important detail. It isn't really their fault, how were they to know that so many locals are just too stupid to use the road properly. I refer to the fact that with the really nice bike paths that the city provided it seems that many are just too stupid to ride their bikes down the paths... They choose (in their extreme stupidity) to instead line up three abreast across the vehicle lanes and pedal slowly along completely blocking traffic. I have seen this a number of times already and so must believe that it will be necessary for the city to label the bike paths as bike paths like I have seen in other locations like Franklin and Fishers. Evidently we do not have an exclusive on stupid people.
I guess it will also be necessary to label the sidewalks as well since I have already seen joggers stupidly running in the traffic lanes instead of using the walks.
You would think that such a problem would be self correcting after a while. I would expect to start seeing big bloody splotches with scraps of Spandex laying about much like the many flattened raccoons, opossums and squirrels we are used to seeing. That especially so, after the big truck traffic picks up a lot.
As I said, that is not really the city's fault. Labeling the bike path might be a very good idea though.
While the east/west section of the Amos Road was closed for the construction much of the traffic from Amos was diverted to our road. During that time our level of trash along the roads and in our yards jumped by about a factor of 10. It is really nice to know that a lot of trashy people that live south of the Amos Road jog now have a much nicer road side to use for throwing out their trash... Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all of the folks south of the jog are trashy, just that a lot of trashy offenders live there. Most folks there would not dream of trashing the road but enough do it to make everybody look bad. The Amos Road has long been one of the most trash plagued roads in the county and in the days of inmate road cleaning it was always the first choice since there was always plenty of nice fresh trash needing cleaned up.
Frankly I just don't get it... I'm ready for a deposit of fast food paper crap where you can return it for money. I have an expression I commonly use that says that "people that drive down the road throwing out trash are trash". These are people that drive that road everyday. Are they unable to see the effect? Maybe it is time for a little community action with reporting of violators and demanding more action against those caught than a warning. How can we possibly save the planet when we can't even keep them from trashing road they live on?
Speaking of deposits and such how can we possibly be in such a bad recession? When times were tough in times past there was a constant stream of people out on the roads picking up aluminum cans (which should have never been thrown out to start with). Not so this time, the ditches are filling up with them. Has it become too much work to lift one?