FROM THE EDITOR: Construction causing havoc for drivers
The joke that South Dakota has but three seasons — pheasant, winter and construction — isn’t too far off.
This might be one of the roughest construction seasons Aberdeen has had in some time.
The street work happening on Sixth Avenue and last week down South First Street is necessary. But we can all agree that it made for some traveling challenges.
I have seen co-workers, for instance, driving up Main Street, desperately trying to find a left turn that might get them to the newspaper office here on South Second Street. I saw them as I was coming toward Main the other way, from the north, meaning that I had to do the loopty-loop around the Brown County Courthouse to home in on a downtown cup of coffee.
In the animal kingdom, that might be considered circling your prey. But who has time for that buildup before work?
Heck, grabbing a slice at Thatzza Pizza for lunch the other day was a 10-minute trip. And I only work a few blocks away.
It would have been easier to walk.
The First Street work presented a true challenge, with cars and trucks and motorcycles diverting down every other north-south street just to cross east-west.
The worst scene I saw was attempting to turn left on South Second to Sixth Avenue Southwest. The train was crossing a few blocks to my right, so traffic was stopped there. The turn lane I was in was maybe eight or nine cars deep — some of these folks weren’t getting through until the third green light.
And traffic was backed up even further to the left on Sixth because of the train.
Once you passed that test, you had to thread the needle in the ever-changing lane narrowing down on Sixth Avenue. Move to the right, move to the left, now back to the right. Even muscle memory and learned behaviors are no help for these projects.
Add one minor fender-bender at the wrong intersection, and civilized life in Aberdeen can come to a standstill.
I kid now, but only because you have to laugh to keep from going crazy.
But the folks who are really feeling it have been the workers out in the blazing heat. They have done and are doing a great job of keeping traffic moving under the circumstances. The First Street project got to completion quickly, and will pay off in the coming months.
But until then: Anybody got a used Schwinn they’d like to get rid of?
It’s always easiest to complain, but here are a couple of back-pats:
The blue wayfinding signs are cropping up. I noticed a few of the big blue signs Saturday morning on Main Street.
They look really sharp, and definitely have that big-city feel. It’s nice to be reminded of what we have to offer, and it’s a positive step to make the trek easier for visitors.
The 2013 Brown County Fair posters are going up, too. I also saw a fair book the other day, chock full of fun and events.
We are a month from the fair, but I am already reminded of the great job organizers do each year.
Thanks for all of your efforts.
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