Roadwork in space! The constant running down of the budget for no reason other than fear of loosing funding levels for the following year has resulted in some standardized stupidity. Make you contribution to roadwork in space!

Widen a roadway, and then add an area to the center of the road that no one's supposed to use. Net gain: zero. You optionally may create this area out of concrete, which not only cost more but makes the rework later on very costly.

Pay for a traffic study to modify an intersection, eliminating strait paths in and out so that people have to slow down.When there is an increase in the number and frequency of resulting accidents, then pay for another traffic study to recommend further design "improvements". The resulting report returns lands taken to its original private owner, and puts the roadbed midway between what it was and what it is. Trees are replaced, lawns, and stone walls. The result is that people wonder what was wrong with it in the first place, since it worked better. Citizens may be reluctant to formerly ask why, or to suggest an additional study.

Subcontract a consultant from out of town to program the traffic signals that you just put in, that the installing contractor wanted to do for free.

Have all traffic projects reflect the viewpoint that unless all traffic is channeled though the business district and caused to stop excessively along the way (so to be forced to notice the shops), then no one will shop in our town.

Use movable, reusable "jersey barriers" to safeguard the public highways during construction. The barriers are safer than standard guardrails. Place a battery operated light reflector on each of the hundreds of them. Since there are no guardrails or barriers on the other side of the road don't put any reflectors there; after all, there are are no jersey barriers there to protect. When the construction is over, remove the jersey barriers and the reflectors.

Choose a stretch of state highway, never cease construction on it.

Rotaries are low technology. Never build one of these unless you plan on screwing it up with a traffic light. The principle behind a rotary is that everything keeps moving. Control freaks and highway department planners hate roundabouts for that very reason.
Its goes against instinct to plan to not control.

Replace rusty guardrails.

Cut rain grooves into the road anyplace you can.
These wake up drivers as they are driving off the road. Be sure to get right up to the concrete wedges that were installed at all the ramp entrances two years ago, although they do the same thing.

Repaint the lines in the road. Do this without regard for those pesky passing zones. Basically, no road on Earth can go a year without being repainted, as this is a public safety issue.
Remove sand and debris from the gutter. This needs to be done no less than four times per year.
Create a logo that embodies the new spirit of the Highway Department. Purchase big, beautiful signs to attract customers at all the equipment yards.
New Highway Department Trucks can eat up budget surpluses fairly fast, but don't mess around: each new vehicle must have the new logo emblazoned on both doors. This vehicles should be taken to a car wash once a week. Insist that the entire existing fleet is a safety concern.

Selling the public on public road projects requires strict adhesion to following guidelines;
1) promise that the traffic problems will be solved.
2) promise that most of the financing will come from the voluntary contributions from the businesses affected by the project.
3) promise (but don't legislate) that the toll or special tax increase is only a "temporary" fee.
4) point out the resulting increase in the tax base will actually pay for all of the cost of construction.
5) have an environmental impact study done (usually for about a million dollars) that irrefutably points out that the project conserves the environment, reduces pollution, decreases slow moving traffic, improves water and air quality, increases the life span of any living thing near it. The report should never be less than 150,000 pages.
6) point out that failing to address this problem now will likely prevent any future solutions from ever being carried out.
7) promise that the new road project will create an estimated X number of thousands of new jobs, mostly for local people.
8) launch a tax paid advertising campaign to sell all of this to the public.
9) speculate that the projects effect on the tax base, coupled with the new jobs and immediate new revenues from the temporary fees or taxes, actually reduces the tax burden on citizens across the state.
10) if the project reaches the ballots, immediately establish a comity or non-profit consumer action group to argue on your behalf that without the new road project that there will be no affordable health insurance, no new jobs, school funding will have to be cut further, and that our place in the global community will compromise the welfare of people everywhere.

<I've got one for SpaceMarina!><Return to Index>