My faith in bureaucratic stagnancy has been shaken.
Indeed, local traffic design bureaucrats are threatening to shatter my understanding of the workings of the world around me.
In fact, my trek into work every morning along 56th Avenue has given me pause to reconsider my perception of reality.
Anyone who regularly travels from the east into that atrocity known as the 56th/Bypass intersection surely commiserates with the hours of frustration I've spent trying to make a simple right turn onto the Langley Bypass.
Morning traffic has often backed up past the bridge over the Nicomekl River, as the vast majority of Township motorists attempt to squeeze straight into Langley City or hang that dastardly right onto the Bypass via a single right-hand lane- while an entire left-hand lane devoted to the few souls who dare venture into the Uplands or Brookswood wildernesses lies empty.
Worse still, that empty lane has tempted many an inconsiderate driver to use to jump the queue, passing the (relatively) patient majority and forcing entry into the right-hand lane out of turn.
Many an angry fist has been shaken and honking heard in an effort to inform the jerks that they are- well- jerks.
And on at least two occasions I have witnessed near-misses, as people wield their vehicles as weapons to defend their positions.
Another time, I watched, horrified, as an idiot very nearly ran over an elderly fellow in his wheelchair/scooter.
People have been railing against the poor design of the intersection from the start.
And now, against all expectations and predictions that can be derived from the Standard Model of bureaucracy- it has been fixed!
I doubt that the fix will be seen as perfect by everyone. Nothing ever is.
But what has been done makes at least a modicum of sense - indeed, it is the solution that numerous ordinary people without the benefit of engineering degrees or special education in traffic flow management have voiced since the atrocity was first perpetrated on those of us with little choice but to facilitate usage of that abomination (sorry about the big words, but I would like the bureaucrats to appreciate my appreciation of their signal accomplishment in this matter).
A virtually unnecessary eastbound lane has been converted into a left turn lane for the Brookswood-bound, leaving a dedicated lane for through traffic into the City and another dedicated lane for those who are Bypass-bound.
Effective, and simple- perhaps too simple for the designers to have figured it out without months of thorough study.
Another recent reality-shaking project on 56th Avenue has been the deletion of the four-way-stop intersection at 232nd Street, and its replacement with a roundabout.
I'm going to admit to you right here that I was one of the naysayers on this project when it was first announced.
I did not believe that a roundabout would work at an intersection with such heavily dedicated bi-directional traffic flows at peak periods.
With morning traffic heavy from the east and south, and the afternoon burden carrying vehicles almost exclusively from the west and north, I was in the chorus of skeptics who thought free flow from one line into the roundabout would completely block the second line.
But I (and anyone who will still admit to having agreed with me) was totally wrong.
And I'm happy to admit it, every time I flow smoothly through it.
The traffic design bureaucrats were right!
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