Sunday, November 30, 2008

An Open Letter

Dear Ohio Department of Transportation,

I am not a resident of your great state, but having spent almost 8 hours on your roads today, I feel that I am qualified to make some suggestions that might improve the Ohio driving experience. I hope you find these helpful.

The road that first brought me into Ohio today was I-90. I was driving along, enjoying my cruise control and the Sponge Bob Square Pants theme music blaring from the DVD player when suddenly the car jolted. It was then that I saw the "Welcome to Ohio" sign. The next two hours were like a very long ride on a very old wooden roller coaster. There was a seam in the road every 20 feet and I was able to reach a top speed of 55 mph.

Now, I understand that economic times are hard and Ohio can't just go around fixing all of its roads because some crazy woman from Kentucky had an unpleasant experience. But, I do have an alternative. At theme parks, such as your very own Cedar Point, there are signs posted warning certain people that they may not enjoy certain rides or that they may even be hazardous to their health. Maybe, at the state line, you could just put out a big sign that says, "This road is not for people who have back problems or a heart condition."

Enough said about that. My second issue is with a certain construction project that you have going on on I-271. I do applaud your attempt to fix some of your roads. This shows real initiative. But, the idea of merging everyone into two lanes just as I-76 merges with the main interstate was probably not a very good one. You should maybe look into firing the guy who came up with that one. Either that, or make him drive through it during rush hour as a penance.

I have one other suggestion that I hope you will consider. I believe that Ohio is not appealing to their driver's sense of psychology with some of the signs they have posted. Along I-90 in New York, there are signs requesting that drivers only use the left lane for passing. I found that most drivers actually did this. Once I arrived in Ohio, the sign changed. Instead of requesting that the left lane be used for passing, it asks that slower traffic please use the right lane. Now, nobody wants to believe that they are actually "slower traffic". Who wants to be slow? It has been associated through the years with a lack of intelligence or stamina - nothing that anyone wants to admit to. So, as soon as I passed the state line, everyone moved into the left lane, except for the semi trucks that have all come to terms with their label of "slower traffic" on account of their size. This meant that both lanes were traveling a good 5 miles beneath the speed limit and there was no way to legally pass anyone - though the shoulder looked awfully tempting at times. I believe a simple sign change would remedy this problem.

Thank you for your consideration in these matters. I appreciate your time.




Brig said...


Kimbooly said...

I love it! What a clever post that quite descriptively captures your traveling woes through Ohio.

You should really send it in to the transportation department of Ohio!!

Some of those lines were too perfect, like posting a sign for those with back or heart problems. The penance was a good one. But the best was the fact that no one wants to be thought of as "slow," and your explanation of its negative stigma.

Too funny! Oh, and sorry for your miserable driving experience! We, as a general rule, do not travel on Thanksgiving. I've decided that everyone is all trying to fly out and back at the same exact times, or drive out and back at the same exact times. So we just all sit in the traffic. At least at Christmas we can try to stagger when we leave and return, especially all the mormons going to Utah.

Charlene Roberts said...

I read about your trip to New York. Bless your heart! The trip back sounds like it may have been a little rough too. Hope you have a better up and coming holiday.


Sheldon said...

Coming to visit us makes home look SO good, doesn't it? I think God gave us each other so that we would more fully appreciate the lot he gave each of us individually.