I live three blocks from work. And these days, I only have to walk six blocks to get there.
Yes, I know the math doesn't add up. But it's true. Like just about every street in Marquette this year North Front Street is under construction. Specifically, the curbs and sidewalks are being replaced. Now, I don't have a problem with that. It's s good thing the streets are undergoing an upgrade. The thing with which I do have an issue is this—on the 200 North block of Front they're doing work on both sides of the street, which means the sidewalks on both sides are closed at the same time. If you're walking down Front and come to that block there's nowhere for you to walk, unless you wanna walk in the street. And since I kind of value my life and don't feel like walking in the street, I have to cut over to Third, walk down that street for two blocks, and then cut through an alley to get to work.
That's why my three block walk ends up taking six (or, more to the point, five and a half blocks).
Like I said, I have no problem with the construction on the sidewalks and streets. Really, I don't. They needed them, and it'll make our pretty downtown even prettier. But what I do have a problem with is the fact that they're doing construction on both sides of the street at once. I know nothing about construction, so maybe there's a reason for this, but wouldn't it be easier on both workers and (especially) pedestrians to tear up one side of the street, rebuild it and make it functional again, and then do the same to the other side of the street? That way at least one side of the street would be open at all times and, instead of having to go three blocks out of my way I'd just have to cross the street twice.
Or is that just too easy?
I don't wanna sound like I'm whining. Really, I don't. I usually reserve that for the weather. But it just doesn't seem like they took the needs of pedestrians into account when they set out to plan this whole project. I guess I shouldn't be surprised; when talking about another project a few years ago with a construction worker he said, and I quote, “we didn't know that people actually used the sidewalks here”. Why yes, we do. In fact, a lot of us do. And that's, apparently, unlike a lot of places where this person had worked. I don't know if that plays into why they do things they way they do or not; I just know it's inconvenient.
Thankfully, it'll also be a short inconvenience, as it only takes a few weeks to repair & replace a sidewalk (as opposed to, say, putting roundabouts in). I know that my walk will shortly go back to being the usual three blocks. It's just that it's a pain in the butt for those few weeks. And that's all I'm gonna say about that. After all, I do wanna reserve my whining for more important things.
Weather, you'd better watch out!
Oh...don't forget to get your votes in for my desktop picture. Scroll down to Monday's entry if you wanna know more.