2 min read

i know nothing.

i know nothing.
I hate asphalt

A few weeks ago the county started doing a bunch of roadwork right in front of our house. Our house, you see, was built before there were automobiles. It was a school. So they built the valley's schoolhouse right on the horse trail.

In the ensuing century the automobile has conquered (and, perhaps, destroyed) the world. The progress zombie has repeatedly swollen the trail into what is now a 45mph 2-lane highway with zero traffic enforcement of any kind.

Dumbasses in trucknutted coal-rollers wake my kids up as they drunkenly floor it right outside our bedroom windows at 1 in the morning.

Yes, I am the old man on the corner in his robe futily shaking his fist.

I'm this guy, but in shorts.

Except that I'm not really that old and I'm in short shorts futily shaking a scythe.

The reason I bring this up is that they started construction out front and I have vascilated on whether this is actually good so many times I'm practically a fucking Taoist parable.

You see I don't really trust public planners in America. I mean look at what they've built so far: strip malls and freeways and big ass parking lots. So when one shows up with a fuckton of machinery 10 feet from my front door, I'm immediately on guard.

At first I was terrified they were going to put a stoplight at the intersection, which would only cause the trucknutters to idle in front of my house and then gun it. That would smoke us out for sure.

When I found out they were simply regrading the road and fixing some potholes, I thought maybe this is good.

When they repaired the road but also widened it and halved the width of my planting strip (on which I'm growing trees to help shield from the road noise) I thought this is bad.

When I realized how much quieter the road was after the new asphalt I thought oh, this is actually very very good.

But I also know that making the road smoother could encourage people to drive faster, which makes the road more dangerous. So maybe it's bad.

But I also convinced the engineer to extend the double-yellow line 200 ft further so people would be less likely to t-bone my wife by trying to pass on her left as she's turning left into our drive.

The thing I'm getting at is that - honestly - I don't fucking know. And maybe I just need to be okay with that.

But also, on a much more real level: building any more of this kind of infrastructure is a fool's errand. There's a lot more important work to be done with the money, and paving more of the earth is about the least beneficial thing we could be doing.