Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Wisdom Of Bureaucracy

Today was the day we selected to register the "Cabin Annex"
Since the tax appraiser's office was about a block and a half from a daughter's hair salon, I decided to walk down and drop my pocket change into a MD collection jar which she had in the shop.

I was happy when she moved into this convenient downtown location, in a building which had for forty years or so had a parking area of undefined spaces for approximately nine cars, depending on the ability of the individual parkers.

Last year, for several months, our city government was involved in a massive "beautification" project, which took her undefined spaces away, and included them within the street, which it was their legitimate right to do. However, while making a nice 8' wide sidewalk, and a pretty little landscaped area at the corner, her nine undefined spaces became one undefined space where there had been five, and 2 parallel parking spaces where there had been four "head-in" spaces..

She feels that her business has suffered, because many elderly clients felt they were forced to go somewhere else, where they wouldn't have to face the city block's walk from the nearest municipal lot. Inclement weather makes the walk uncomfortable for anyone, especially the elderly.

So back to today (and yesterday). When I went in for a haircut, I found that the street which contained the two parallel spaces was barricaded in order to do some work on the brand new paving job, which had only been completed a few months ago. Then when I returned this morning to drop in the pocketful of quarters I'd forgotten yesterday, I noticed that the nice 8' wide sidewalk was barricaded, because they had a 2' wide segment torn out in order to install some cables.

I know that public works are meant to benefit everyone, but I wonder how often people are inconvenienced or actually damaged by them, for such a small benefit to the public. Knowing how the people of this county and town have been over a period of almost 35 years, I really question the value of the 8' wide pedestrian way that has eliminated the potential for six parking spaces, and will probably be used by perhaps six to eight people per hour.

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