Friday, October 2, 2009

STUPID Public Works! Burning rubber or what?

I'm tired, but I've just got to write this.

When I headed off to a meeting this morning, I noticed tire marks on the street where I live that looked like someone had been burning rubber. "Stupid people," I thought, although I couldn't remember hearing any noise like that either last night or early this morning.

It wasn't until I came home this afternoon that I realized the marks were not just on my street-- but on Garfield, Fairfield, Litchfield, Belmont Ave. and Oakland! And I'm sure there are other streets with similar tattoos, also marked.

Finally I realized that the tire marks occurred in front of every home, and guess what? Today was trash day. Obviously the marks were left by a City of Springfield trash truck.

So what the hell was happening? How, physically, was this accomplished? What I can definitely know, though, is that the employees on that particular truck were well aware of leaving the marks, and also how the marks were made.

When we walk or drive through a neighborhood in Springfield, our impression of whether we're in a "good" neighborhood or a neighborhood in decline is partly based on the streets-- not just their condition, but their appearance. It's subtle, but it matters. I've been feeling guilty about the drops of power steering fluid I leave when I pull my car out of the driveway. (Still do.)
But man, these guys really made a mess of our streets!

I tried to mentally picture a truck driver, picking up his rig this morning, saying, "Hey, Boss, this is a bad truck-- messes up the roads. How about a different one?" Or not knowing when he took the truck out, but then figuring it out and calling it in. But obviously neither of those things happened (unless the boss refused.) And it may very well have been the driver himself who was responsible-- deliberately slamming on the brakes?

Somehow I felt very discouraged by this event. I understand (but don't forgive) the random thoughtlessness of those people who toss a candy wrapper on the street instead of using the trash receptacle right by the door. I'm even less understanding of store owners who don't keep up their property-- the gas station/convenience store on the corner of State and Magazine Streets is a pigsty outside, with NO trash receptacle. But damage paid for by the City of Springfield?

Yes, I know there are hundreds of more important issues that deserve our attention, but I'll work on those tomorrow. And Monday morning, I'm calling DPH.


Tony said...

The stop and go patterns look like they could be fresh asphalt that had stuck to the tires, possibly from a DPW truck filling in potholes around the city..?

Michaelann Bewsee said...

Good guess, but I don't think so. The marks are different lengths in different places.