Monday, September 17, 2018

And Today, A Change In Routine

     Changing my routine is not something I welcome.  Habits are useful -- getting up at the same time every day, bathing at the same time, taking the same route to work--

     That last one isn't easy.  For years, I drove down Central Avenue for over half my commute, a nice, wide, one-way and little-used thoroughfare; sure, it ran though a seedy neighborhood -- but so does traffic-choked College Avenue, a few blocks away.  And it was not without bright spots; a neighborhood church runs a co-op vegetable garden (with plenty of flowers) and has rehabilitated a little corner diner, posting delicious-sounding specials on an A-frame chalkboard out front every day; across the street, an ever-changing "Art Is--" billboard always had something interesting up.

     Then the city decided the Central Avenue bridge over Fall Creek needed repair.  They were right; most of the bridges over Fall Creek north of downtown date to the late 19thg or early 20th Century and most havn't had much more than a lick and a prayer (and occasional repaving) as traffic has increased.  But once they started, they found the banks of the "creek" (in many places, it would count as a river), built up and reinforced back when internal combustion engines were cutting-edge tech, were undercut, weak and would require extensive work before they could even think about rebuilding the bridge. 

     That was two years ago.  I've been commuting on College ever since.  It will likely be another year before the Central Avenue bridge is back, well past schedule.

     Having found one bad bridge across Fall Creek, the city took a closer look at the others and yes, of course, they weren't in great shape, either.  They've patched up the Delaware Street bridge and they planned out fixing the rest.  They filled out the calendar in ink.  The College Avenue bridge gets work starting today.

     Meanwhile, the humongous DigIndy sewer diversion/storage project, which involves digging a nearly thirty-mile-long tunnel under the central city and down to the sewage plant south of town, has closed parts of Meridian Street, the major north-south traffic route in and out of downtown, just north of the street's bridge over Fall Creek..

     By my count, there's one bridge left east of Meridan and a couple of brides on one-way streets (one in each direction) west of it.  The east bridge is on Delaware Street, which is one-way south on the north side of Fall Creek and one-way north on the south side of Fall Creek -- and, if I remember correctly, two-way over the bridge with some interesting sorting-out on each side.  Many drivers will be encountering that for the first time today.

     Me, I'm looking for another route.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Capitol (one way south) is open and should drop you pretty much right where you need to be on the way to work.

Going back north, hmm...yeah, Delaware to Fall Creek to College? I haven't been that way in a long time. Seems like there is a left turn at College that is pretty nasty during rush hour.

Roberta X said...

Oh, nope. That's a left turn you're not allowed to make at rush hour. Illinois to 46th, probably, and College from there. Not great, but better than most of the alternatives.

Blackwing1 said...

Since waterways were the original freeways most of the cities in the US tend to be built right on top of them. Here in Mpls/St. Paul we've got the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers at the junction of which was built Fort Snelling. St. Paul was built because it was the last place you could pull off the river and get an ox-cart or horse-cart up from the river valley before you hit the St. Anthony Falls. Minneapolis was built on the falls themselves because they could divert the river for water power for the sawmills, and later for the grain mills.

As a result the commuting around here during normal times is pretty much driven (so to speak) by how you get across the rivers. There are a limited number of bridges across the Ol' Miss, and fewer across the Minnesota.

Now that they've torn up the single biggest freeway intersection in the state (at the junction of I-35W and I-94) getting around this town is horrifically bad. My neighborhood (in the area of 46th and Nicollet on the south end of town) is the first freeway entrance ramp southbound from downtown, and the traffic is bumper-to-bumper on the surface streets that our last mayor (Betsy "Bikelanes" Hodges) strangled by painting funny lines on them that are never used for their purpose. Except that the purpose was to deliberately strangle traffic in this city so that (according to our former Met Council leader Ted Mondale...yep, relative of former veep) "...mass transit would look like a good idea".

It's going to be a nightmare when winter hits.

Paul said...

They funnel you down the path and then take it away.

We have a street running north of 10,000 cars a day that goes over a street. Now they are going to block it to take out the overpass and make it a 4 way stop. Like that will aid the traffic flow.

I can work from home and there are days I wonder why I don't.

Roberta X said...

Paul, that's one thing I can say for Carmel, the upscale bedroom community on the north edge of Indy: they've been replacing four-way stops with roundabouts everywhere they can fit one in, and it actually works. The learning curve is ugly but traffic flow got better quite rapidly.

rickn8or said...

Indy keeps this up and pretty soon you won't be able to get There from Here.

Paul said...

We are getting round abouts all over here as well. We have some that are on four lanes and a lot on two. Always someone more important using them so you have to yield all the time, that or fill out accident reports.

Like it when there is snow on the ground as then you can see the track straight over the middle.

I think the solution lies more in licensing rather than structures.