14 March, 2009

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

I just wanted to write about our road - good old "A" Street, South, the Ferry Road (no one seems to be really sure of its actual name.

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.
Simon and Garfunkel - 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)

Right around the time of the last national election here in Belize, we had attention lavished on our road out here. At first we thought it was residual repairs because of Hurricane Dean or possibly even Tropical Storm Arthur. The best and most logical rumors we heard was that the minister responsible for this area lived in either Sarteneja or Progresso and had to travel a couple times a week to Corozal. So, naturally, the road would get repaired for that.

All our ditches, potholes, bumps, etc., got smoothed out. I mean with the hard marl, it was almost like the road was paved. Of course, right away, the downside to all this improvement became all to apparent. People heading to and from the ferry (across the New River, heading to Copper Bank, etc.) just flew past our place. No speed bumps, straight and smooth... Step on it! And they did.

It got so bad, we even had some conversations (only partly in jest) with Mae and Craig, who own property across the road from us, about approaching the Corozal Town Board to put in a couple of speed bumps sort of equi-distant from each of our places to try to get some slowing of the traffic.

I guess if it was just cars and pickups that wouldn't be so bad. What is the problem is the large dump trucks hauling marl either to new construction sites for fill, or for more distant road repairs, must be on a short fuse. They go like Hell, shaking everything as they fly by. And the dust they stir up (since we are in the dry season) is sometimes unimaginable.

We even had a neighborhood watch association meeting at our house some time back. Attending was the senior sergeant and the new District Superintendent. We asked them what the speed limit was on this road inside the town limits. We were amazed to hear their answer - "Twenty-five miles per hour". I think hardly anyone goes under thirty past here.

But lately, there's been some solace. We have a series of potholes that have developed right in front of Casa de Winjama, and after enough vehicles have bounced through them, a significant number, including the dump trucks, are actually slowing down through the area we wanted to put speed bumps.
Natural Traffic Calming Devices
Yeah! That is so cool. Please Mr. Minister, don't have our pothols repaired (God, I thought I'd never say that, ever!). These potholes work as "traffic calming devices" as such things would be called in the politically correct verbiage of the US northwest (Washington State). I love my potholes. Traffic really does seem to be a bit more sane passing by our little patch. Let's hope it stays that way.

Of course now, we're two months and change away from the rainy season... Those potholes will start manufacturing muck and mud, much of it the consistency of loose pancake batter (you thought I was going to say loose bowels, didn't you?). It's really cool when it gets to be about a foot or even a foot-and-a-half deep. Splashes almost seem to be in slo-mo. And slick? I'm convinced it's even slicker than ice.

The mud and muck will do its part to keep speeds down too. So, I'm not sure which one I like better. I'll go for dry. The wet muck really interferes with my daily walks with my girls. I can't stand the pitiful glances they give me on the days when we can't walk. And to think it's soon coming up that the road takes four or even five days to dry out. Such guilt!

I'll probably have to start driving them up to the Northern Highway, so we can still get in our walkies.

Care to join us?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Years Ago, There was a pothole in from of your Place that was so deep they stuck a Tree in it so People would not drive into it. Took them about three months to fill the hole. I think the tree had died by then. I am sure the City keeps so many Potholes, So they don't have to put in speed bumps. Oh you could do what I do, and water down your road it helps keep the dust down, Works for about a hour, Then it drys out back comes the dust.