September 19, 2011
Peter is pretty expressive and can certainly convey his feelings without actually using words. I have never actually seen him so frustrated as he was when he burst into my office last week.
“These construction delays are killing me! Now that the summer is over, the kids are back to school, and everyone is back to work, summer construction projects are still dragging on and wreaking havoc wherever they are!”
It seems that there’s a construction epidemic gripping our roads and causing horrible delays just about everywhere. It took me an hour and a half to drive 1.1 km in downtown Toronto two weeks ago. Downtown Montréal is no better, and with its crumbling infrastructure and collapsing tunnels and bridges, not only does it take forever to drive anywhere it sometimes feels that you are taking your life in your own hands every time you hit the road.
Vancouver is no better. There are even You Tube videos out there showing pictures of construction nightmares and how people are coping with them.
Other major cities in Canada are not faring any better. It feels like there have been no repairs to our roads and infrastructure in the past 50 years so the various levels of government decided to do it all this summer… and fall… and winter…
Many places have specific laws that double or triple the fines for people who are caught disobeying the reduced speed limits caused by construction. I have heard of police officers being stationed on the corners of city streets where the traffic flow has been altered due to construction to make sure that no one cuts any corners or goes the wrong way. And if you do, they give you a ticket!
Just because there is construction does not mean that you’re allowed to ignore the law or ignore posted signs. Don’t forget that temporary signs have priority over existing signs, but if there is a conflict, you may have a defence if you’re unfairly ticketed.
So what had Peter so upset? As he was trying to get to my office he joined a long line of cars that didn’t seem to be going anywhere. It seemed that something was blocking the road. After about 10 minutes he got out of his car and walked forward to see what it was since there was no way that he could reverse or move his car in any direction.
To his surprise he found a large construction truck parked smack in the middle of the road with no driver in it. A bunch of people were arguing with the driver who explained to everyone that he was on his break and was entitled to 30 minutes according to union rules! He just stopped his truck in the middle of the street blocking everyone claiming that he really had nowhere else to park it! Really, things are getting ridiculous!