Every morning I make coffee and turn on the news for a few minutes to see where we stand in the world.
Usually, we are in pretty good shape, economy OK, weather pretty good, and people acting civilized, for the most part.
There are some constants that we can rely on in the daily reports of the traffic. There will be congestion in the tunnel, an accident on the Alex Fraser and right about 6:45 a.m., a rear-ender or a rollover between 264 Street and 232 Street, westbound on the freeway.
I offer no solutions to these incidents because I’m retired and I don’t have to brave the blacktop every morning.
However, experts will tell you that most of these accidents are caused by speed or not paying attention or a combination of both. I assume that means people are so anxious to get to work they just go too fast.
Efforts to get drivers to double up or take transit have done little to solve the problem as everyone takes their own vehicle.
There are reports of groups of people in vans travelling through the tunnel who are developing ‘carpool tunnel syndrome.’
But I have to applaud the City and Township of Langley for the steps they have taken to slow drivers down. They have used heavy equipment, grinders, paving equipment and flag persons on every major road in the community to bring traffic to a halt.
Even some of my short cut detours have a backhoe, a crew and gravel truck digging a hole or filling one in. Yes, the summer is the best time to get all this work done and by September, we all have become adept at swerving in and out of lines orange cones and smiling at ladies holding stop signs.
But in the end, the crews always do a great job and the streets are wider, smoother and ultimately faster. Then just as the final line painting is completed, a new development is approved and Fortis has to come in and dig a trench across the new road for their gas lines and then we are left with a nice little indentation and bump for the next few years.
But I shouldn’t complain. I remember when some of our major roads were gravel and not easy to negotiate on a bike with a load of papers in the front carrier. I can recall Dad dodging pot holes that would swallow today’s foreign cars and chattering over washboard that would shake the fillings from your teeth and the ashtray from your dashboard.
Pioneer photos will show early graders and bulldozers carving trails through old growth forests to access farms or small communities. Those early dirt and gravel roads all carried the names of pioneers or veterans and without those paths to follow, there would not have been the development we see today.
Just yesterday I noticed two orange-vested men with survey equipment on my street, measuring, making notes and pointing. My road is just fine. It doesn’t need to be re-paved or widened or dug up and I can see the lines just fine.
But there is new paving taking place on the cross street so I’m concerned somebody saw my quiet street and asked, “Hey, how come we haven’t dug this street up yet?”
Let’s face it, we are no longer a pioneer village, the ox carts are gone.
At least that’s what McGregor says.