“There ain’t no easy way/no there ain’t no easy way out”
-Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Ain’t no easy Way”
The four mile (or so) stretch from Jefferson to Coors in an agonizing drive for the average commuter, morning and evening. The highway portion of the street is a dangerous cluster of gridlock to and from your “career” each weekday. You see the same cars and the same stupid bumper stickers claiming political stances, humorous attempts to seem intimidating, or the amount of family members and pets one family must gloat about having. You see the same dented cars and the same ugly faces that drive them, putting on makeup, talking on their cell phone, drinking coffee and eating most likely a burrito (we’re in New Mexico, duh). You experience the same bumps, potholes, same accident prone areas, and drive into the bright sun that always sneaks through the cracks left open by your visor. East in the morning and West in the evening; it’s kind of like the old man who claims he used to walk uphill both ways to school in 10 feet of snow back in 1837 or whatever.
The current project to relieve the agony of the people of New Mexico’s twin cities (Albuquerque and Rio Rancho; we’ll get there, Minnesota, you’ll see) has begun. It’s the construction that will save the souls of commuters and add years to the lives that have been losing time due to stress and rage. The computer simulation posted on the project’s website looks fantastic if the population of Albuquerque drops significantly. Please see below:
I counted roughly 115 vehicles, not including the ones parked at the Marriott because they are obviously visitors and an attempt by the city to church up the numbers. There are 154,000 vehicles passing through the interchange daily, and the 93 million dollar project that Westsiders desperately needed won’t be completed until the Fall of 2015 (NMDOT, 2013). Oh, what a two years it will be.
However, there is no proof a large giant turn will be an adequate solution. When drivers approach a bend they insist on slowing down to five miles per hour because they are under the impression that the bridge collapsed over the mighty Rio Grande heading westbound. It’s probably the safest river to fall into if that were to happen considering the mud would serve as a cushy sponge and absorb the impact. So beautiful. Eastbound in the morning motorists pause because they assume the 2nd Street exit ceases to exist from a magical overnight change performed by Chupacabra or whatever. Every slight veer from straight-forward causes a slam on the brakes.
Either way, construction happens; Jefferson has been poorly constructed since the renovation six years ago so let’s hope the same doesn’t happen with Paseo. In those same six years, 2nd Street, one of the worst streets in town and the only other entrance to the six-lane highway, has yet to receive a total makeover and was rarely touched (how inappropriate); but why not do a little something at this exact time.
“Hey, I have a brilliant idea: since we are doing the interchange, we might as well slow down the other entrance and do some minor construction there, too. You know, just to piss everyone off a little more so some blogger can make fun of us later on. They already hate the fact it takes almost two minutes for the Jefferson light to change, 2nd Street needs to be equally frustrating.”
-Actual testimony from fake City Planner
That’s right; I timed the light at Jefferson (kind of), not the city planner, because I get bored in the small cab of Brutus (my truck). To stop possible uprising as the sarcastic words above may suggest, the city may take a Hunger Games approach to the situation and put fear into the hearts of the public instead of hope. The 12 participating districts (not actual districts) shall include: Journal Center, 2nd Street, Alameda, North Valley, Montano, Ventana Ranch, Taylor Ranch, Cabezon (I don’t volunteer as Tribute), Los Ranchos, Corrales, Loma Colorado, and the rest of Rio Rancho that doesn’t do the smart thing and take exit 242 home instead. What’s the big deal? People feel like they want to die sitting in traffic anyway and it will be an outlet for their aggression; plus, it will break up a little of the congestion (23 cars to be exact). I’ll tell you what, to soften the deal, the winner gets a free bus pass.
I guess the bus pass is a more reasonable solution to begin with, but now you know what I think about in traffic. The city is growing further and further away so more people are attempting to escape to get home where they eventually want to escape to go to work. It’s a vicious circle, kind of like a giant interchange. They can give us fear, but we still have hope (insert weird three-finger symbol Jennifer Lawrence gets people killed doing here). They won’t break our spirits, so a majority of the population will just drink them to deal with the drive. Oh, that vicious cycle.
There ain’t no (grammatically incorrect for song relevance) easy way out of the city.
NMDOT (2013). District 3 road construction projects. Retrieved from http://www.dot.state.nm.us/en/ProjectsD3.html on December 4, 2013
Paseo (2013). Purpose and funding. Retrieved from http://www.paseoi25.com/about_the_project.aspx on December 4, 2013