Construction is one of the worst inconveniences for drivers. It makes getting from one destination to the next difficult, it’s frustratingly confusing and the process is ugly. If there was a way to eliminate construction and have spontaneous updates, life would be much easier.
Currently, South Main Street is undergoing a heavy dose of the aforementioned road construction and, if you couldn’t tell by the landmine-esque arrangement of orange cones, it’s quite messy.
However, the roads and traffic have been bad for a while, but complaining won’t fix them any faster. People shouldn’t be complaining about an improvement they asked for. City residents also knew these improvements were coming, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
The South Main Improvement Project, which started construction Oct. 11, will make improvements from South Avenue to Highway 71. The $12.6 million project is scheduled to last 15-18 months and will include power line installation and road expansion to Maryville’s most congested road.
It’s hard to avoid Main Street. When 62% of the city’s retailers are located on South Main, it’s impossible to do anything without using or passing it. Everyone who has been in Maryville has experienced the extensive line of cars stretching from McDonald’s to Walmart. We all know how irritating it is to sit in that traffic. With the commencement of construction, it seems like these issues have only escalated. So, why would Maryville plague its residents with such a burden?
This temporary inconvenience will pay off in the end; we just have to deal with it until the project is finished.
As NBA player Joel Embiid famously says, “trust the process.” It may take 18 months, but soon enough traffic will be much easier to navigate, and we won’t have to complain about that or the forest of cones.
Soon enough, South Main will be a four-lane street where drivers won’t have to wait for others to figure out which turn leads to the destination they want. There won’t be lines created by drivers wanting to turn left who are halted by an onslaught of cars coming from the opposite direction.
The city understands that its drivers are fed up with the poor road conditions and less-than-desirable traffic. That’s the purpose of this project. The construction isn’t there to spite drivers; it’s what people asked for. Drivers have to understand that improvements require some inconvenient work to be brought into existence.
The cones littered everywhere do make for difficult navigation. Leaving a retailer’s parking lot and not knowing which part of the road you’re allowed to be in is confusing. It doesn’t make it easier that the cones don’t make a clear pathway, so you don’t know if you’re in the correct lane until you’re in the middle of one and it’s cut off by, well, more cones.
If you feel like you’ve made the mistake of driving in the wrong place, don’t feel alone. Just one quick drive back and forth on South Main will show you how often it happens.
The 1 1/2-mile improvement project will feature new access points, landscaping and aesthetic features, pedestrian and bicycle paths and wayfinding signs. For those who don’t have a car and miss out on the amazing trials of traffic, your lives will be improved as well.
South Main Street has never really been safe for the average pedestrian, not to mention a Northwest student without a car, who is unfamiliar with the area. The Missourian applauds the city’s efforts to make South Main Street more vehicle friendly and generally more accessible to all modes of transportation.
It’s going to be a long process, but all good things are worth the struggle they demand. Although it will be hard to get around for the time being, understand that it’s for the best in the future.