Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hwy 71

I live near the 150th exit off of hwy 71. This winter is going to suck big time. They couldn't close that exit during summer, spring or fall - nope they did it in WINTER. So much traffic down the access roads as people try to get on or off of 71. The narrow, barely plowed, no guard rail access roads.

If people would make some small attempt to drive carefully through the construction I would be less worried, but they aren't. Even with 71 down to two NARROW lanes and no shoulder, just concrete walls, speeding and tailgating are still the norm. I find myself going way out of my way to avoid the construction area. If it snows I'll have to go down 150 to Byers and then over to Highgrove before heading back to 71. Fun, fun, fun. That plan assumes that Grandview plans to plow Byers. Otherwise I will just stay home. I don't do snow very well, especially in the tiny car I have right now. It's more like sledding than driving with it.

Kansas city isn't the first time hwy 71 has been a headache and the people who drive it have been a headache for me. I went to college in Fayetteville, Arkansas and my grandparents lived at the other end of the state. To get there I just took 71 south. 20 years ago there wasn't a bypass like there is now. Leaving Fayetteville to go most places south meant driving on the twistiest highway I have ever been on. With sheer drops and steep inclines. Oh, and tractor trailers too. Can't forget the semi trucks hauling goods over that road. Speeding and tailgating was the norm there too. For awhile the state posted a sign at the beginning of the twisty area that said how many people died on that road in the previous year. In the winter that part of 71 can become impassable. Not that I would have been foolish enough to be on that road if there was any chance of snow. I would have rather gone into Oklahoma and then down to another part of Arkansas than take 71 south.

Today there is a bypass so you can skip all the icky parts and get down from Fayetteville to Ft. Smith pretty quickly. If the weather is nice I will still take 71. All the trucks, speeders and tailgaters are on the bypass and now it's a beautiful lazy scenic drive.

This is an interesting (to me) article on Hwy 71 in AR.

I hope that the mess on 71 south in Grandview does eventually become some glorious highway construction that improves life for people south of the city. I have to wait at least 9 months to find out. It's kinda like being pregnant, only you get to watch the baby being constructed.

I found this on Reader's Digest

Spitting Image
Driving her Chevy Malibu on U.S. 71 one day, Kansas City motorist Robbin Doolin, 31, opened her car door to spit. “I leaned too far,” she confessed to officers. And she landed on her butt. Not one to be deterred by a tumble, Doolin hopped up and, according to an amazed witness, chased her car down an embankment and into a construction site, where she finally caught up with the runaway.

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