Monday, January 15, 2007

Road Rage

It’s tangential to the gist of the story, but I was immediately annoyed when I read this in the SJ-R this morning:
"Koke Mill is no longer an oil and chip road," said Joyner's attorney, Gordon Gates. "R-3 is usually going to be single-family with duplexes on the edge.
Not that the statement is false in relation to the subject at hand (the development of teh intersection of Iles and Koke Mill), but not all of Koke Mll is “no longer an oil and chip road”. North of Old Jack it’s still a country road with not so much as a center stripe. The section between Old Jack and Washington continues to grow with a new development going in even as I type.

The larger issue is that virtually all north-south roads in the far western parts of the city and metro area are still what they were 30 years ago when they serviced nothing but farms. I’m talking specifically about Meadowbrook and Archer Elevator (in addition to Koke Mill). Bradfordton Road isn’t much better but I’ll take it over the others.

Like most things, I don’t know shit about zoning, urban planning and the like but I’d like to see some requirement that developers be made to include decent access to their new developments. Sure, that cost will be passed on to those buying the developed properties, but so what. The city and county should play a part too by kicking in funds or helping secure state and federal funding. I think it’s ridiculous that new developments are out-pacing the associated upgrades to the streets by 20 years or more.

What really amazes me is there aren’t more accidents on these roads. There is plenty of traffic but limited lighting at night, no shoulders, no lane delineation, and sometimes the roads (Archer Elevator north of Wabash) meander ever so slightly so that you can momentarily find yourself in the wrong lane. Throw deer into the mix and well, let’s just say it’s not safe.

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