Friday, October 15, 2010

Prepare for the Worst

As you saw in yesterday's blog, I spent part of my Wednesday afternoon in Monroe County.

The trip home turned out to be quite the adventure, and needlessly so.

Interstate 80 Westbound, near Stroudsburg, is being re-paved.  Traffic crawled Wednesday afternoon.  Because of that, and my desire to make a couple retail stops on the way home, I took Route 611 north.  Big mistake.  Traffic on 611 moved slower than the cars and trucks on 80.

I traveled 611 from Stroudsburg to Tannersville, before I became frustrated enough to make a right and hit the back roads to Mount Pocono.  Here's what made the trip even worse.  In all that time on 611, easily more than one hour, I never saw one State Police officer, one local police officer, or anyone from PennDOT attempting to keep traffic moving.  There was a major back up in Bartonsville, where 611, 80, and 33 meet.  Cars and trucks were all over the place, with many drivers disregarding traffic lights.  PennDOT had to know what was going on.  There are cameras all over that intersection.  We're lucky no one was killed.  The paving on 80 is no surprise.  Wouldn't it have made sense for someone to keep an eye on 611 because of the increased traffic load, possibly re-timing the lights, possibly keeping a check on traffic-- in person?  611 is tough to navigate on a normal day.  Add all the cars and trucks trying to avoid 80, and you have major issues.

America lives and dies on its transportation system.  I shudder to think at what would happen if there was a real emergency in this area, one that involved moving a lot of people in a short amount of time.  Accept the fact now.  It's not going to happen.  If police and PennDOT can't and won't compensate for planned traffic problems, we'll never be able to handle the unexpected.