Friday, November 22, 2013

Broken Road - Broken Promises
Bad, broken roads, like this one here in Oklahoma, are more common than they need to be.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Earlier this year my automobile insurance shot up almost thirty dollars a month. I hadn’t had an accident, nor had I been cited for a traffic violation. I hadn’t added anyone to my policy, nor had I made a weather-related damage claim. When I called my insurance company, they told me they had to raise my premiums because I live in Oklahoma, that Oklahoma had been designated a hazardous area because of poor road conditions.
It doesn’t stop there. Last month I spent nearly two thousand dollars replacing the struts and shocks on my 2008 Chevrolet HHR. The service tech who worked on my car told me they’ve been getting a lot of suspension work in the last few years. “Those Oklahoma roads,” he said. “Nothing like job security.”
Recently, I’ve been doing some traveling. I drove up to Northern New Mexico, around the Enchanted Circle, through Angel Fire, Red River and Taos. I drove down to Santa Fe, down through Cline’s Corner, along I-40 through Tucumcari and into the Texas Panhandle. All along the way, over 500 miles in total, I never encountered rough roads like I commonly see in Oklahoma. A few weeks after going to New Mexico I took an autumn motorcycle ride through the Arkansas Ozarks. I rode up Route 23, commonly called The Pig Trail, impressed with the good road conditions, thankful I didn’t have to ride my 1600cc Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad on patched asphalt in addition to negotiating some treacherous curves.
During my trips I noticed some peculiar things. The weigh stations in Oklahoma are closed and seem to have been closed for quite some time, causing me to wonder if the bad road conditions in Oklahoma might be caused by excessive loads, and I’ve been concerned about our poorly lighted highways, lines and lines of unlit street lamps, even in heavily traveled areas like the I-40 and I-35 interchanges in Oklahoma City. Another concern: what’s with the closing of our rest stops and rest areas?, Oklahoma has ten turnpikes with more tolled roadway miles than any other state in the nation.

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billy pilgrim said...

i couldn't believe how crappy our roads were when i got my first motorcycle.

our roads get trashed in the winter when the water in the road cracks and holes freezes. little cracks magically become big cracks.

texlahoma said...

Billy - When I was a kid I could tell when county elections were coming up, the roads suddenly got a lot better.
I remember one county line road where, one county paved half of it.
So going one direction it was bumpy and messed up, but going the other direction it was smooth sailing.

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