“I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.” -The Pointer Sisters, “I’m So Excited”
Impatience is an attribute shared by most drivers, and construction is a contributor to the irritation, especially during the dreaded rush hour portion of the commute. People are on edge traveling towards or away their place of work; a place that isn’t the most stable or ideal career choice for a majority. The last thing an individual wants is added stress, but seeing orange barrels and hard hats doesn’t help. Therefore, anxiously awaiting the completion of a state-funded project (as in a ‘taxpayer-funded’ project) is similar to running towards the Christmas tree on December 25th and ripping open what has been hiding from sight and use for so long.
The Paseo Del Norte/I-25 interchange in Albuquerque, NM was finally wrapped up. Of course, an impatient driver such as myself would use the word “finally” to agree with the rest of the exasperated public. However, the project originally had a 24-month time frame, but the contractor used two shifts to complete construction in 14 months (Paseo, 2014). He (or she, we don’t discriminate here, but let’s get real) probably doesn’t enjoy the road and understands the agony of commuting. Setting goals based on time is a poor characteristic of any driver, yet the contractor found a loophole: If you give yourself way more time than needed then you look great finishing early and avoid disappointment while keeping complaints to a minimum. That just takes all the drama out of everything and doesn’t seem fun. Who needs efficiency anyway?
Residents of Albuquerque are flocking to the west side of town and Rio Rancho because homes are more affordable. Due to the increase of population, the project was a necessity, and it only used $93 million of taxpayer’s money (Paseo, 2014). Hooray, whoopee-de-do. On a side note, taxes were not raised for this project (Paseo, 2014) despite what east-siders would have you believe. The point of the flyover and re-route to avoid traffic lights was to make the commute smoother during morning and evening rush hours, and possibly prevent heart attacks, brain aneurisms, strokes, and a few suicides stemmed from stress.
On the other hand, Albuquerque drivers don’t like bends in the road which flyovers generally contain. It’s as if they believe the road fails to exist after the slight veer to the left or right and therefore must slow down to make sure everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be. Spoiler alert for the paranoid: the bridge above the Rio Grande is still holding strong. Also, if more traffic is entering Paseo with a flowing consistency, doesn’t it mean that more traffic will come to a stop when they hit the poorly-synchronized lights on Coors, Golf Course, and any other street that stretches across the Westside? I have an idea: let’s just add more people out there and no businesses. That makes sense. Oh wait, that’s what their already doing.
How about more businesses so people didn’t have to travel to the east side of town as their only option to afford their Westside home? Nah, that’s a stupid idea.
The best news is that only one person died, and was most likely unrelated to the project, but it just happened to be right in that area. Albuquerque is growing, you can tell by all the brown houses camouflaged in the desert on the west side of town like we’re trying to hide from aliens. How long before another change is needed? How long before drivers treat the interchange like all other worrisome spots scattered across the city? Let’s give it until the end of the month and after people break their resolutions claiming they won’t be stressed out in 2015.
Paseo. (2014)Retrieved from http://www.paseoi25.com/faqs.aspx on December 19th, 2014