Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pray for me, I drive Grant Line Road

There was a great bumper sticker in Turlock when I worked for the newspaper down there. It read “Pray for me, I drive Lander Avenue”. Lander was a two lane road notorious for accidents and fatalities. Some of the most horrific accident I went to were on the stretch of Lander Avenue that linked Turlock with the city of Hilmar.

While not as accident prone Grant line is turning into crap. Think of one continuous rut that you are forced to drive through to get to work. Never mind the hap-hazard safety cone closures that turn the road into some kind of twisted asphalt bobsled course. Forget that the construction crews turn your water off with out notice just because and often block the entrance to your apartment driveway because they can’t make an effort to move a cone. Don’t mind any of that. What makes for a kidney crunching fest is a drive along the road marked by the myriad layers of patches and trenches.

It almost looks like a road that was attacked by a fleet of bombers. Black tar repair lines crisscross the lanes through the barely visible lane markings. It’s not like we even need lane markings anymore, you can’t maintain a straight line as you traverse the hills and valleys rising out of the roadway. Lane markings would just get in the way and scare the driver as he realized his car was out of control.

I was assigned to shoot the roadway after a report someone broke their windshield crossing over a bump in the road on Grant Line. I drive the road everyday so I know how pitiful is. I didn’t need to look far to find a horrible section to photograph.

The work (if you can call it that) is scheduled to run through October. Plenty of time to mess up more cars and inconvenience more residents in the area. I drive around town a lot on assignment and I notice other neighborhoods never seem to get this bad. Grant line seems to be the red headed stepchild the city wants to forget. We are not all glamorous and pricey like a Redbridge subdivision but we are still hardworking people and it would be nice to have a road that actually looked like one.

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