It’s time to thank the hardworking people who have been improving Cedar Rapids’ streets. The terrible road conditions have reflected poorly on our city for years. As LOST fills in our pot (and some budget) holes, we’ve been jackhammering away our lousy reputation.
Work must be done to address the shortfalls that leave us with terrible roads, but city staff and elected officials should be commended for their efforts prioritizing some of the bumpiest bum-sores, crews for completing outstanding work, and motorists for respecting the work zones. The complete streets policy should be commended for filling in gaps in the system for folks who don’t commute by car.
Even while 10th Street SE is down a few lanes and while traffic slows down dramatically in the work zone, I’ve been surprised at how little the construction has affected my drive time. It seems 10th Street is able to accommodate as much of the morning rush as ever, while the narrowing street causes motorists to be more alert to their surroundings.
Because two lanes of unusually cautious driving can handle — and even relive stress from — 10th Street’s commuter traffic, I hope the city will consider a road diet — bringing the road down to two traffic lanes with a center turn lane — and consider adding bike lanes to this street and others like it. We stand to benefit from more attentive motorists and better biking infrastructure, particularly in areas like the MedQuarter, which are trying to promote a healthy lifestyle.