Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two-way Street:

The local university is crowded with buildings. Every bit of roadway that lets you get around with a truck or a car is precious.

A few months ago, a work crew began to pretty up a short, straight lane, about a hundred yards long. They cut up and removed a strip of asphalt and laid down white stone brick to make a sidewalk. While they worked, they reduced this lane to a one-way street, leaving them some room to work. They chopped away enough road to make a handsome sidewalk, and a curb to separate the sidewalk from the roadway. The stone brick did not extend into the space they left for a curb, however. That was apparently a job for other workers.

Every week, I walk down this lane to the radio station, and I worried about this curb. It would narrow the lane enough to turn it permanently into a one-way road, and neither direction would be adequate. This lane faces two important buildings and connects the biggest parking garage to the rest of the university; better to leave it two-way if possible. But one day another load of brick was delivered, and another group of workmen came with it. I expected that the following week, I would find a new curb jutting up into a now-permanently one-lane road.

The next week, there was still an open space to build a curb, but the brick to fill in the curb was gone. The following week, the space in the road for the curb was filled in with asphalt. So now we have a nice brick walk that will be shared by the cars and trucks that use this lane. And it will remain two-way. A good decision, I think.

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