Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ithaca, NY - Traffic Constipation

Ithaca is a crazy place. Home of the greatest population of tree huggers known to exist and a city dedicated to the idea that another non-synchronized traffic light to foster continual traffic jams is just what is needed to improve quality of life.

I have to admit, I do not recall ever driving in a place with more difficult traffic. I have driven in much larger cities and not seen such confused traffic patterns. And add to that, a train decided to drive through town at the height of rush hour the other evening which totally shut down some of the main roads through town. I was in a traffic mess of Baltimore proportions.

Ugh! Can't they do better than that?

Ithaca is not that large, in terms of people. In terms of ego though, it plays way above its weight class. Ithaca has a popultion of jut over 30,000 and the region has a popultion of about 101,000. And it is not served by a connecting four-lane highway from anywhere. Amazing.

I did search for this cities not served by a four-lane highway, but could only find big cities not served by an interstate--and Fresno, CA, is the largest of those.

And so my rant about Ithaca continues. Traffic always has been and likely will continue to be one of the most opprressive things about the area. As I drove down one of the hils last evening into Ithaca I saw ribbons of taillights, similar to I-95 at rushhour, stretching from one end of the city to the other. Not moving. Fortunately, I was able to take some side streets nd avoid most of the mess, but that kind of oppressive traffic does not belong in a place with as much natural beauty as Ithaca.

Millions of dollars have been spent to fix the problem. A limited access, elevated, four-lane bypass is really needed.

That aside--the beauty of the hills and Cayuga Lake filling the valley are world class.

But the traffic is totally frustrating.
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