Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Council Street Barrier

It had rained during the night, and the morning ride was a bit damp, in spots, but it's amazing how quickly the May sun can dry off pavement.

This afternoon, I decided to take advantage of this windy, but nice, spring day by taking the bike trail home that leads through Hiawatha.

Normally, this changes my 25-minute commute into about a 45-minute commute, because the trail bends to the west, and when I get to Hiawatha, I have to ride for another 20 minutes east to get home.

No big deal, and on a nice day the trail is worth it. Except that the city is in the midst of what seems like the 10-year reconstruction of Council Street, and I hadn't bargained for my route east to be closed.

So I headed north. Hiawatha has some communal "alley" sidewalks that allow you to travel quite a ways, and, despite heavy traffic on Boyson (traffic possibly made heavier by the Council Street Eternal Construction Project bottleneck) I was able to ride into my sister's neighborhood.

Sadly, another section of Council was blocked off, and the route I take from my sister's house home was unavailable. I went along a sidewalk for a block on Boyson and turned north into an uncharted neighborhood (at least by me).

Eventually, hungry, goggle-eyed, panting for waters and desperate for a bathroom break, I emerged from the confusing spaghetti of streets.

OK, I exaggerate. Despite feeling "lost," I didn't actually lose my sense of direction (if you remember that the sun sets in the west, it helps) and the "new" neighborhood route probably didn't cost me that much time.

Still, what is usually a 25-minute commute that I thought I had added 20 minutes to became an over hour long sojourn.

Which leads to the question: How long does it take Cedar Rapids to fix Council Street?

Scientists speculate that new forms of intelligent life may evolve as we contemplate the answer.

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