Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Traffic Circle.

Few times in history has VDOT ever improved traffic flow. Our infrastructure is too old for the volume of cars (we all know this, anyone who doesn't needs to move away from the boonies). There are so many "bad intersections" that I hate to run across in my travels in my car, and most of the time, i tend to avoid these intersections. We all have our preferred routes to take when going places, and mine tend to follow the mantra of "avoid shitty left turns." You know the turns i'm talking about. Where the planets have to align for you to be able to cross the street without saying "hold on" to your passengers.

But in recent times, I have noticed a few changes to the traffic patterns that have vastly improved some of these "bad intersections." Most notably is the traffic circle that VT installed on the intersection of West Campus Drive and Washington Street. Before this traffic circle was installed, it was impossible to turn left onto Washington Street between 9am and 7pm. Before this, buses would be stuck at this intersection so often, that they hired a traffic cop for rush hour. Well, not anymore. You can read about it and see a picture here.

Another surprising change in the traffic patterns in Blacksburg is the removal of the street light from the corner of Washington Street and Draper (this is farther down on Washington street off campus). Most of the time, waiting for this light was pointless because there was never any cross traffic. The 4 way stop that is in its place is much more efficient in keeping traffic moving and i assume it has reduced the number of accidents at the intersection.

Finally, in something that i can only call sheer genius, to get to Blacksburg, I drive about an hour down 66, hang a left onto 81, and 3 hours later i exit. Normally when I exit, it's 55mph on 460 to get to campus. But in the past month, the gods above have smiled down upon us and raised the limit to 65. That's right ladies and gentlemen... they actually RAISED the speed limit on a road. This is the same road that one of my friends got a ticket for going 75 down the hill when the limit was 55 (even after i WARNED him not to speed on 460). What amazes me is that people still drive 55 on this road. Even when the speed limit was 55, people NEVER drove 55, they all sped. Now that it's 65, i find more people actually driving 55, than anything. Appartently I was the only one that got the memo.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Shower Power.

Jess and I moved into a house in Blacksburg. It is 3500 sq feet, and I love it. The yard is large, it's close to Lane Stadium/Campus, and it's 120 years old. I've only found a few things that i can complain about it.

I have written about showers in the past. When i originally wrote that post, i thought i had distinguished all of the possibilities for terrible showers. Apparently i was wrong. In this house, we have 2 bathrooms. One that goes with the master bedroom (our room) and the "public" bathroom downstairs. In our bathroom, there's a bathtub. Unfortunately we forgot to actually look INSIDE the shower curtain, cause we probably would've noticed that it does not actually have a shower. Shower curtain, but no actual shower. Just a tub. So... it's baths only upstairs.

Downstairs there's only a shower. The shower is 3 walls of flimsy metal, so that if you barely tap it, it sounds like thunder. The 4th side is obviously the curtain. The floor feels like smooth concrete. The water takes about 5 minutes to get warm... I hypothesize that the reason for this is that the water flow is so slow, that it takes that long to get to the shower. When i say low flow... that does not even begin to describe the water that comes out of the shower. This shower is the airport faucet of showers. With those press down buttons that slowly (read: very quickly) rise up and shut off after a few seconds so that no one floods the sinks. That's what it feels like to shower in this bathroom.

So my choices are taking a bath, or showering in an airport faucet shower...