Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In The Lane Snow Is Glistening

The road to recovery reads the headline in the Press this morning. The story tells of the fight for survival the businesses along Government Way have faced since the city of Hayden, in it's infinite wisdom, decided to try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

What brings this to mind is the first snow fall of the season, about four inches, and how the plows were able to negotiate the newly revamped street. Take a good look at the picture. Yep. Those are center islands dividing a two lane street. And yes, this is northern Idaho. Unlike the local television channels, we who live here realize snow is an annual occurrence. Lots of it for long periods of time.

It has been bad enough for the three seasons the construction has been going on. There are actually businesses on that stretch of Government Way we try to patronize. One way traffic through ruts as deep as your bumpers was bad, the drop offs into parking lots worse, but we lived with them if our businesses did.

Now, with construction finished, we're wondering if the business owners are going to bring their lots, if they have one left, up to grade. The center islands come close to blocking many of the entry drives. If you drive a large SUV or truck, turns are almost impossible unless you run over a curb.

Buildings are empty, businesses are closing or have closed due to a lack thereof and too many unpaid bills. It has been a mess. Now, as luck would have it, we have an early winter.

Ah, Hayden, chin up. If any town can survive this you can. After all you survived Richard Butler and his neo-Nazis and a Chamber of Commerce who thought it could run an air show and couldn't. As I understand it your Community Development Director is out playing hearing examiner on other projects around the county. Maybe that will give you some breathing space.

Besides, a friend who lives in Hayden told me they don't plow the streets there anyway!


Phil said...

This was done to a major street in Boise about ten years ago when we lived there. One year after completion of the construction, the city had to go in and rip out all the center islands because they were interfering with traffic.

Bill McCrory said...

As one who regularly uses the Hayden Branch library, I was surprised to see the G-way island just a few feet south of the library's entrance and exits road. I asked the library staff if they could still get the bookmobile in and out. They can get it in, but to get out, they must exit west through the east side of the shopping center parking lot, then turn right on G-way from Centa Ave. Vehicles going northbound on G-way can make the left turn into the library provided there is no more than one car. If there is more than one car turning left and if there is traffic southbound on G-way, the northbound G-way becomes slowed and stopped. This was bad engineering by the City of Hayden. The library staff is not pleased, and they are encouraging us to write letters of complaint to the City.

Bill McCrory said...

"They can get it in, but to get out, they must exit west through the east side of the shopping center parking lot, then turn right on G-way from Centa Ave." should have read "...but to get out and turn south onto G-way..."