I know it is probably a shock to find out that not everyone likes the Interstate Highway system, but some of us are getting sick of your consistently bad behavior.
I hate your dark asphalt and your multiple fast-moving lanes. No one seems to be able to stay in one lane. They keep switching lanes and passing. Why don’t they realize we will all end up in the same place sooner or later?
I travel on you almost every day, not because I want to but because there is no other way to get where I’m going. Commuters have become so dependent on you that alternative routes seem impossibly slow. Local roads are neglected and their numerous stop lights uncoordinated. The focus is now on you and not on alternatives.
I hate the way you intersect with other Interstates. There are never enough funds to build elaborate interchanges. So, I-24 and your good buddies I-40 and I-65 come together in a haphazard fashion that could drive any highway engineer insane. The Interstates merge and crisscross, another of your five-lane nightmares.
I hate the overhead electric signs flashing the number of fatalities. Can’t you be more positive? I especially hate your billboards that do nothing but make some advertising company rich at the expense of drivers’ attention. The most hideous signs are the electronic billboards, flashing several different ads in sequence. How are we supposed concentrate in this billboard jungle?
I hate your monstrous traffic jams. When a wreck happens, traffic is backed up for miles and miles. Actually, it doesn’t even take an accident to stop the traffic flow. A traffic stop or flashing blue light can create enough of a diversion to slow traffic to a crawl while drivers’ rubber neck.
I guess you are in a hurry to get where you are going, I-24: From Illinois, to Paducah, to Nashville, to Chattanooga, to Georgia. You are so hard-surfaced that you don’t care how frustrated people are with you in the cities you pass though.
I hate every pothole and every patch of you. You are not nearly as smooth as you seem to think you are. You are only out to give people a ride. I hate life in the fast lane. I hate your HOV lanes for vehicles with two or more passengers. That’s really not enforceable, is it?
I hate the large trucks that think they own the road. They are supposed to stay in the two right-hand lanes, but they can’t read the signs as they are going too fast. Little wonder that one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the country is a steep grade between Nashville and Chattanooga.
I hate your orange barrels and construction zones. I hate the way they close you down on the weekend to resurface you. Of course, you do need a face-lift, especially after they scarify you to make the asphalt stick. The construction seems to go on forever. Will you never be finished?
There is hardly a day when I travel on you without seeing something that should be called in to 911: road rage, an animal on the roadway, a broken down motorist, a speeder who imagines he is a NASCAR driver, a road hog refusing to allow cars to merge, tailgaters two inches off someones bumper, and white-knuckle drivers that are afraid to drive. You seem to bring out the worst in people.
I just wanted to let you know how I feel, I-24. I know you are hard-hearted and don’t give a whit about the incidents that take place because of you. So, you just go on thinking you are the king of the roads, but one day you will find that life has passed you by and a new bypass will take your traffic. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving highway.
Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss