Thursday, August 21, 2008

Marquette Interchange: Fabulous Finish, But We Don't Know How To Merge..

The time is finally here. The morning of Tuesday, August 19 marked the opening of all ramps that make up the new Marquette Interchange. Only final touches remain, but its time to test if the tax dollars poured into the new system pays off.

Don't get me wrong. I love the work and the end result. The project team has done a phenomenal job in keeping the project WAY ahead of schedule and under budget. Many, many complements on a job extremely well done. It certainly helps that the weather was, for the most part, cooperative during crucial portions of the implementation.

It is definitely a beautiful structure, and actually quite fun to drive around.

However there are several design decisions which stump me and apparently I'm not the only one. For example, the addition of the I-43 North to Michigan St. exit and the open space between the I-43 to Lakefront / I-43 to I-794 ramps. My gut tells me the latter is an accident just waiting to happen. It seems far too easy for a rushed and frustrated driver to take the Plankinton exit and make a last ditch effort to switch lanes to go to the lakefront or the other downtown exits. Other people have agreed with me: no amount of signage can combat human nature.

Maybe its just a matter of getting used to all the new ways of getting around. I've keenly noticed that since the majority of the ramps opened a week or so ago, that traffic actually appears to be worse than before on the I-794 leg between the lakefront and the I-94/I-43 split. I'm anxious to see how the traffic flow changes over time, and am confident it will improve once we're all used to the new digs.

A good friend of mine summarized it best by saying, "we are in a society that does not know how to merge." At least here in Wisconsin. Yes, to those of you that know me: feel free to twist that statement any way you'd like..

Come on, people! Start using the new ramps and learn how to merge already. By the way -- the drive on the new I-43 North to I-94 West ramp has one hell of a kick-ass view!! As is the drive from I-794 West to I-43 South. ;-)

John Stewart's Review Of The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Hearing

May this video never be removed from the Comedy Central web site.

Here is a comical review of Elaine Donnelly's comments against repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Sure is something to watch someone like her try to keep a specific group of people from having the choice to serve in the military. Land of the free indeed.


Tornado Rainbow Triangle