Repairing a road makes it more dangerous

Commuting to work is like driving in the Death Wish 500, especially now that road crews are toiling along the route I take. The road’s 55 mph limit, which nobody ever paid attention to, is 45 mph for the time being.

I hope it’s for the time being, because most of the few people who actually drove 55 before are still ripping along at 55 – this despite copious signs and warnings that driving above the new limit would cost a minimum of $100,000.

OK, perhaps the minimum fine is just $100, but as far as traffic tickets go, a miss is as good as a mile, or some nearly appropriate aphorism. My wife says I don’t have $100 to throw away, and she knows these things pretty well.

Even I will concede that 45 mph is much too slow for that road, which, for reasons known only to the National Asso­­ciation of Road, Street, Ave­nue, Boulevard and Al­ley Names, has been designated River Watch Park­way.

You see, to catch even a glimpse of the river, you have to wait until all the leaves have fallen off the trees and you are perched atop your car, steering by ropes tied to the steering wheel.

What, you don’t believe that? That appears to be the way many of the commuters are driving already along that stretch. They have always blocked the passing lane and dared you to try to get around them and the right-lane drivers they have aligned with. Now, when your act of passing a car going 44 mph is such a drawn-out affair, they ride your back bumper on their attempt to win any given day’s River Watch Parkway Rally.

To be fair, I have noticed that a few drivers are trying to drive safely because of the sections of closed lane, orange cones and highway workers whose lives must be flashing before their eyes. These drivers stay in the slow lane, follow the rules and hope to live another day. I applaud these motorists, which makes it difficult to keep my hands at the 10-and-2 positions on the wheel.

This reminds me of the observation by every stand-up comedian everywhere: Did you ever notice (or maybe that whiny opening came from 60 Minutes’ Andy Rooney) that we park in a driveway but drive on a parkway? I’m pretty sure either maneuver would bring up blue lights in our rear-view mirror.

My stepson and his wife recently replaced a light fixture in their basement, and I helped. (Webster’s defines “helped” as “held the flashlight.”)

This fixture had a bulb I had never seen before – and still haven’t.

An LED bulb was sealed inside; when it burns out, the whole unit must be replaced. The thing is, the bulb has a 42-year warranty, so they can throw away their flashlight.

Perhaps that bulb is better than obsolete 100-watters, but it’s relatively new science, and no LED bulb has ever lasted 42 years, so how do they know?

How do they know?

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

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