19 February, 2007

What? My Tax Dollars Work???

I wrote a letter, an excerpt of which I would now like to share with you:

Due to the ongoing widening of US 27, a lane shift was enacted 2 days ago onto a new section of road, ending at 192. At this time, the intersection of 27 and ##### became extremely unsafe. There are a total of 3 left turn lanes across 27 (2 from Wal Mart onto 27 S and 1 from ##### onto 27 N) and there is not enough space in the intersection for all three lanes to turn at the same time. I personally have narrowly missed an oncoming car twice already.

Also, the lanes exiting ##### have been painted incorrectly. According to the arrows painted on the street, there is one lane for left turns and going straight, and one lane for right turns only. However,there is a left turn arrow, so those abiding the law and waiting in that lane to go straight are blocking access during the green arrow for anyone behind them wishing to turn.

Those of you who actually pay attention to the ramblings on here will have probably thought, "oh - Jamie flipped off some old people at that intersection a few days ago!" The arrow painting I didn't even notice until yesterday morning when I left for work and had to go across 27 to fill up my tank.

I got to work, and got on my "power to the people" activist soap box. I decided to find out who in FDOT to call and complain, and then I was going to e-mail their phone number and a script to everyone we know in our apartment complex. The website, however, had convenient e-mail links for construction, safety, right of way, and a dozen other "concerns." So I sent an e-mail to those three (you know - that one up at the top of this entry) figuring that my concern fell to all three departments.

Yesterday was Sunday. And today is a government holiday. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from guy named Bill this afternoon apologizing for the striping error and telling me that it had been fixed! I called Scott, who sounded dubious, reporting that there had been about 30 guys in the middle of the road when he left for work. So I decided to walk down to the intersection and see it for myself.

Would you look at those beautiful arrows? Not only do my tax dollars work, but they work on holidays (probably for overtime pay... but let's not think of that right now). Sure, there's still a backhoe - or whatever - in the middle of the highway. Sure, there's a stop sign with a flag sticking out the side so that the morons from my apartment complex don't drift into the intersection like we've become accustomed to. But now I won't have to worry about a) breaking the law or b) getting honked at by a left turner when I go to the gas station.

While I was out, I also took a few pictures of the new condos being sold in the front of the complex. First, I'd like to mention that these condos start in the $190's for a one bedroom. One hundred ninety thousand dollars for a one bedroom condo on top of a Chinese restaurant (or worse, over the 24-hour fitness center). No, the toilets aren't made of gold. Although apparently the appliances are stainless steel.

I noticed a few balconies with a rather unique feature: a total lack of balcony! I am guessing that this is just some safety gate to stop the construction guys from stepping out for a smoke and plummeting to the lovely brickwork below.

Of course, the balconies that actually are balconies aren't much better. They are WAY small. Probably small enough that furniture out there isn't an option. And without furniture, do you really want to stand on this in bare feet or sit on it? Ouch!

Alas, that "town square" is really pleasant to walk around. Hopefully some day there will be more than the three currently advertised shops filling that bottom section. And who knows? Maybe life a mere seconds from won ton soup is somebody's American dream.


mama joy said...

The flooring of that thing looks like the torture device floors used in pet shops. I sure hope that's the framework for someting REAL!

Hey! Congratulations on fighting city hall!

Janette said...

Wow - an actual response from the DOT is incredible enough but that it was speedy???!!!
that's just stunning!

I don't understand how anyone can afford to buy a condo much less a home in Florida anymore. Real estate prices have just gotten ridiculous and as the Boomer generation retires and moves South it's only going to get worse. I'm sad to say that the tiny condo with a faux balcony is probably a good investment.