Sep 7, 2009

Irrational, the "Law of the Stupid" or Down Right Corrupted

When you think of a street, what do you usually think off? I mean, a street in the middle of the Capital City of a country. Well, that you have the street, the gutter (or sewer), the sidewalk, the buldings... right? And then the street is like wide enough for cars to run on both directions (usually), and the gutter is either lower than both the street and the sidewalk or covered, but still a bit low, and then the sidewalk is higher and wide enough for two to three-four people to walk and pass each other, and the buildings at the opposite side of the sidewalk and so on. Why am I getting into these stupid details and questions? Because here there aren't stupid at all. They don't even seem to be logical or part of the general conception of what a street should be.

I work close to a big park at the Capital City, called La Sabana. Our main offices are at the North side of the park, butr we are in a building at the South side. The South side is quite special because it has a tad more of commercial life and the street is divided in a small "boulevard"-like street lined with long branched trees, wide sidewalks with plenty of greenery. There was a separation where the railroad lines ran and then a wide highway-like-goes-into-a-highway slided away into the West. Life was good and nice until the Major decided to turn the boulevardy street into a three track street. That meant killing the trees and all the green because allegedly the extra track would come out of the sidewalk "gardens". So yeah, on peak hours that street could become very congestionated, but an extra track won't really make much of a difference.

Anyway, they went on with the destructive path. Trees cut out, sidewalks and street tracks destroyed. Right now I would like to remark that this is a SMALL 8 block street. The whole thing doesn't make 1 Km, which is almost 2/3 of a mile.

For a pedestrian like myself, the work in progress was the daily sight. At first averything seemed normal, until you realized that they planted new lamp post on the middle of the outer track, and dug and cemented protuding manholes 50 cm above the height the street should have. Loads of cement were mixed and piled un into the most horrendous and strange forms, and though I'm not a civil engineer, enve I know that a 1 meter high irregular cement dome has nothing to do with adding an extra track to a street. Then they brought big machines and broke down the recent job. Okay, they realized it was a mistake, but damned, after something as stupid as that, I would have fired the entire company.

The lamp posts were relocated now reducing the sidewalk in some places at a one-man track, and medium built man. Anyone overweight cannot walk on that sidewalk.

The middle of the street was then gutted out for HUGE cement cilinders to be laid under. Strange but probably okay, to run cables and sewer waters and so. These were burried, and then the asphalting of the thorn up tracks started. It was cool up to the part where the first two blocks from West to East were laid down. Then it happened that they realized that they miscalculated and at the Western begining of the street one of the tracks sported a very dangerous, probably over 45° angle slope right were cars turned. How could that happen is still a mystery. The slope wasn't there before the street was transformed, so how could have it appeared during the "improving" of the street? An Unsolved Mystery, I'm sure.

So they ripped up the whole asphalting (yeah, like the second time they have to undo something they've previously done on the street), DUG up the middle of the street, embedding a deep V shaped canal, though right under was the concrete cilinder, "leveled" everything, stripped the whole street and then built upon it concrete blocks that stand 25-30 cm over the original level of the street. All side streets, among them our office's sidestreet had been cut off this street, barricaded by a 1 m pile of debris. One can walk everyday next to this horrendous street, and now try to understand what's the point of it. In the best of cases the street is as tall as the sidewalk, but otherwise is taller, and that's just the concrete layer. It that will have an asphalt layer, it will be taller by far. The sidestreets will need a slope, hopefully not to pronounced, so that the bellies of the cars don't get scrapped each time.

With streets so high the floodings in the houses and buildings around will be inminent. A bigger rain would turn sidewalks into rivers, and Hyne forbids a car slips and run into the sideway. The damage will be taxing, both from potential lives, physical harm and property damages.

By now at least five blocks out of eight have been blocked up, on two of three tracks, but each block seems somewhat separated. They are tightly packed with thin iron rods, wire and solidly poured concrete, but the work is very, very badly done, so, if they are somewhat conscious, they will rip the whole thing up and do it again. The question here is a double question: a) Why do they doing wrong and undo it and do it again over and over and over? and b) Why is the Major's office and the Government in general letting them?

Honestly, the only answer I can think of is that I wouldn't mind fucking something up and doing it again if I knew I could get money and get paid for each time I do it. So, it's like getting the money worth for three streets (or more) out of one. Probably the last version of this street won't be an improved version, but probably a hineous monstruosity dangerous for everything and everyone, and it will remain because there's no more money to pump out of the Government to keep up the game.

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