When most people think of summer, the first colour that pops into their minds is green for the luscious grass and trees, or maybe pink for the delicate flowers blooming in the gardens.
In Airdrie, the colour of summer is florescent orange – the hew of pylons, signs, vests and the other paraphernalia associated with road construction.
We realize it is a necessary evil and the work is improving roads for the future, but that is a small consolation when you are sitting in traffic for 25 minutes to get somewhere that used to take three.
One of the most problematic areas is the Highway 2/Yankee Valley Blvd. intersection. There is no doubt the rat hole needed to go, and don’t get us wrong, we are thankful the overpass is nearly complete. But the growing frustration comes from the fact that the overpass is only one of the many, many construction projects around the city. In addition, some of the area’s projects have been underway for months on end or are being redone. Why not put a little more planning into it and do it right the first time?
Adding to the irritation is the fact that even some of the detours have construction work on them. Whether you are in the north, south, east or west, you will inevitably see the orange cones on the side of the road and groan in despair when you add your car to the traffic line up. Whether driving down Main Street, 1st Ave., Veterans Blvd., Highway 2 or 8th St. you will be stopped, detoured or slowed to a crawl.
Why are all of the road projects in the city being done at the same time? We realize that as much construction as possible must take place in the summer months to take advantage of warmer weather, but let’s face it, there is no “construction season” in Airdrie. Heck, the “construction season” in this town lasts two months longer than hockey season.
The traffic woes are starting to turn otherwise friendly Airdronians into road raging maniacs. We have seen people give each other the finger, cut each other off, refuse to let others in and honk their horns uselessly in frustration.
Here at the City View, we encourage residents to give themselves plenty of extra time, to exhibit patience and to be courteous to other drivers, construction workers and pedestrians. However, under no circumstances should it take half an hour to get a coffee in a city of 38,000 people.