There are a few people that I would like to talk to today.
First up would be the DOT official or officials that signed off on closing the Witzel and 20th Avenue overpasses at the same time. DID YOU SEE THE TRAFFIC MESS YOU CREATED IN THIS CITY ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON? I had a simple mission on Friday--get a couple of things from the grocery store before we left for the parent's cabin. That simple mission turned into Mission Impossible as traffic on Oshkosh Ave just east of highway 41 was backed up--both lanes--to the Sawyer Street intersection. Westfield Street heading north to Oshkosh Ave was backed up to Red Arrow Park--as no one could turn left. And 9th Ave was backed up--both lanes--to Sawyer as well--as no one could get onto northbound 41.
I'm sure that more than a few of the people stuck in that mess were just looking to get across--not onto--41 that afternoon--but the closure of both non-exit overpasses made that impossible. Eventually I just gave up and went to a northside store just to preserve my sanity. Oh by the way--the highway 45 interchange was just as backed up later that afternoon as people thought they might be able to "jump the line" on the 41 backup by going around the Butte Des Morts Causeway--but that didn't save a minute at all either. Count me out of leaving my house on Friday, July 2nd.
I'd also like to talk to the Police Chiefs of Clintonville and Marion--along with the Langlade County Sheriff. While I can certainly appreciate the "fact" that people driving five miles an hour over the posted speed limit is the greatest threat to our personal security nowadays--is it really necessary to have an officer on each end of town running radar? Two squads along highway 45 in Clintonville and Marion Friday evening and again Monday afternoon. I guess those are two of the safest cities in Wisconsin if half the police force (or perhaps all of it in the case of Marion) can be out trying to catch FIBS speeding through town. And to the Langlade County Sheriff, thanks for posting a deputy to shoot radar at the end of one of the precious few passing lanes along 45 Monday afternoon. Everyone afraid to move around the RV towing the pontoon boat at 54 miles an hour really appreciated that.
And finally, can someone please talk to President Obama's handlers? First you allow him to blow off the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetary to take the family back to Chicago. Then when there is the inevitable public outcry that the President isn't honoring the true meaning of Memorial Day, you cobble together a last-minute appearance at President Lincoln's burial place. (Some historians do consider Lincoln the "final casualty" of the Civil War--so I guess we'll let that selection slide--even though he has his own memorial day). Of course, a severe thunderstorm rolls into the area--sending attendees running for shelter in driving rain and lightning. Weather in Arlington, VA yesterday: partly cloudy and 91. A message from above?? Hmmmmmmm