Friday, June 5, 2015

Las Vegas on the Jefferson

Have you been down Jefferson Avenue lately? 

Ever since the much-celebrated "Jefferson Bikeway" project, which was going to bring joy, happiness, peace in our time and higher rankings on those all important hipster e-mag livability rankings no one reads, I have been on the lookout for where exactly our $1,000,000.00 was being spent. Surely they did not blow it all on new signs with bike logos? Or on the "sharrow" op-art pieces painted, covered, re-painted and scraped away in one good street cleaning and performance art piece? Surely it was not spent on the bike "lines" from Lexington to Fort Road which look like Mr. Magoo, the City line painter, fell asleep or stopped off for a quick ten at the Spot; Dorthy had a straighter road to Oz.

Well what have they spent the money on? Want a Vegas vacation, then you too can travel West from Snelling Avenue and experience the "Let it Ride High Roller" at the "Trafficcircleosphere" as you wind in and out of useless traffic circles in a game of "will she or won't she yield" and "break for the confused pedestrian who does not know where to cross." Then make your way down to the Cleveland/Cretin Strip where pedestrian lights, or should I say LIGHTS!!!, have been installed to alert vehicles that there are pedestrians wanting to cross. These lights are flashing yellow, startlingly blinding LEDs and go off at unexpected moments, like when you're driving your car. 

Seriously . . . why did the City install these lights? They are a "Don't be a Menace to Mac Grove" and will cause some serious accidents. One wonders (well, actually I wonder) if these carnival lights are payback to some of the neighbors on the corners of Jefferson/Cleveland and Jefferson/Cretin who objected to the Bikeway. 

So the City wanted to control these intersections for pedestrians/bike crossings? I have an idea, how about a traffic light? Radical I know as they have only been around 147 years. Of course a simple traffic light hardly gives one cred at urban planner conferences when all the other Cities' pony-tailed planners are going on about sharrows, traffic circles and bike bridges. How gauche it would be to have to admit you used a, dare I say, pedestrian traffic light when you could have closed off the street or installed the Laser Pink Floyd monstrosities they in fact put into place.

We now all wait with poorer pockets and baited breath to see how the Public Class in Saint Paul will be spending the rest of the Productive class' $1,000,000.00. 

Is anyone out there?

The calm before the Fireworks

The Light Show in repose

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