Thursday, April 16, 2009

Now Hiring: Traffic Cone Deployment Engineers

On our drive back from upstate yesterday, my husband and I encountered what we thought was concrete (no pun intended) proof that the stimulus dollars had reached New York State. We drove on the NYS Thruway for approximately 45 miles and saw five separate stretches of road designated as "work zones." My husband was thrilled that the construction was being done at a time of the day and on a day of the week to cause the least possible disruption to traffic. I was pleased that the problem of our crumbling infrastructure is finally being addressed.

The start of each work zone was designated by a large orange sign and a large yellow truck with flashing lights. The placement of orange traffic cones caused us to gradually merge into one lane from two. Each zone lasted for approximately 1/4 mile and its end was signaled by another large yellow truck with flashing lights, another large orange sign and the end of traffic cones. Work zone...WORK zone...WORK...but nobody was doing anything in the zone or around the zone. At first, we thought this meant that someone was coming soon to the work zone to work. Maybe that was the case, but at each of the other work zones we passed, the same thing occurred (or didn't)...NO WORK was being done!

I think the work being done in these work zones was the complicated deployment of traffic cones and I'm wishing now that that had been my son's interest or major in school. I was hoping that the stimulus money might put people to work and at the same time leave us with lasting improvements. One out of two ain't bad!

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