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Music Savaged By The Average Beast

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for April 21, 2004

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by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has sprung on us a strangely cheesed trap: starting very soon, Route 18 between Routes 1 and 27 will be blocked off, hacked into bite-size bits and reworked to include pedestrian bridges, modest widening and a tunnel.
Don't take Your Darling's, Your Diva's, Your One True Love's word for it, look it up. If you plan to drive anywhere within a five-mile radius of New Brunswick over the next four years, you might reconsider and strap on your jetpack. Don't have a jetpack? Consider swimming the Raritan.
Route 18 construction will impact upon traffic on Routes 1, 287, 22, 27, 28, 130, the Parkway, the Turnpike, Old Bridge Turnpike, Easton Avenue, River Road, every street in Highland Park and New Brunswick, and other side streets in East Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Milltown and Edison too numerous to mention. Rutgers University's transportation gurus have advised staff to imagine gridlock at every intersection and plan accordingly for the duration, and yes, the hospitals are worried. As yet, no plan exists to speed ambulances through the main roads, and this is a major problem for a city with two enormous hospitals.
"My Beloved," you remark, "that's hardly hilarious." No, pet, it's not funny. What is amusing is the DOT's plan to temporarily reroute Route 18 traffic down George Street. If you've ever tried to drive from one end of George Street to the other during the day, you know four years of this rocket science will be as much fun as a daily spinal fracture.
What's a city dweller to do? Bicycles are only moderately safe to ride, difficult to lock up securely in small apartments and never, never safe at the train station. Buses, cabs and shuttles prowl the streets, but how effective can mass transportation be if traffic inches forward? The only answer seems to be to move out of town and in whatever direction will minimize construction's impact on one's life. So much for dinner downtown, so much for a show, so much for seeing that band you love, so much for a Rutgers ballgame, so much for a quick trip to your Auntie's on the other side of town.
Send up a smoke signal. It'll get there faster than fire trucks.

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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