Mysteries of road construction
We know the rationale behind the priorities and timing of road construction projects is arcane and mysterious. Why some sections of street, road or highway are repaved before others, and how the date and time of road projects are selected, appear to be decisions driven by cryptic calculations and esoteric equations to which ordinary citizens like ourselves are never privy and wouldn't understand if we were.
But given all that, we can't fathom the reasoning or the timing for the recent reconstruction of a stretch of Arnold Drive on either side of Agua Caliente Road that took place more or less precisely at the same time as PG&E was busy digging up, and shutting down, sections of Highway 12 in the Springs.
The predictable, though unannounced, result was that, instead of creating one impassable bottleneck among the limited options for traveling north or south through the Valley of the Moon, while ensuring one relatively-clear alternative route, the people in charge of ripping up and repaving Sonoma's major arterial byways somehow managed to innocently or deliberately conspire to clog both routes at the same time.
The result was infuriating chaos. We confess we couldn't find the time during the construction melee to query the county about its decision on the timing of the Arnold Drive resurfacing, partly - we would insist - because we spent so much time stuck in traffic. We look forward to an explanation of this mystery, but we need to point out that never did we receive a single communication from the county about the impending chaos. A simple emailed press release would have gotten our attention. Instead, the only warning of the gridlock awaiting us was the placement of electronic road signs at either end of the construction zone.
Lest you choose to argue that roadside signs should suffice as a form of public notice, let's talk for a moment about the roadside signs placed at either end of another county resurfacing project in Glen Ellen. According to the electronic signs greeting motorists before and after the Sonoma Creek bridge crossing by the Glen Ellen post office, construction - along with significant delays - would commence on June 12. Those easily-programmable signs were up for a month before the work actually began this week. After the first day or two or 20 after June 12, were those signs taken seriously by motorists planning their travel routes? You think?
So, as with mosquitoes, horseflies, poison oak, the Kardashians and perhaps Justin Bieber, we can't help but ask, really, was this necessary? (For the cheap shot against Justin Bieber, we apologize in advance. We just can't help wondering if he shouldn't be singing, "But will you love me tomorrow?")
We can't imagine it was and we hope it won't happen again. But we would be remiss if we didn't warn our readers that there is in the works the likely construction of a traffic round-about in that same Agua Caliente Road-Arnold Drive intersection in front of Hanna Boys Center. If it happens, we'll try to give you more advance warning than the county provided last time.