Everybody wants to see progress, but so few are willing to deal with a little inconvenience while progress is under construction.
Occasionally I’ll take to my friendly neighborhood social networking site and ask the people what they think might be the biggest problem facing Sedalia at that given moment. There’s always at least one person that insists the roads of Sedalia are in such a state of serious disrepair that it would be improper to concern ourselves with any other problem. I’ve heard it in person, I’ve seen it in the comments section of the Sedalia Democrat website and just about anywhere locals can have their voices heard.
I’ve never really understood this mindset, because it seems to me that the City of Sedalia does a pretty good job maintaining the roads, but to be fair the loudest people could be on the out-of-the-way streets that could do with a little more attention – nobody would deny their occasional existence.
Money was spent on a sign, a pension, or a raise? Well that’s silly, we could have spent that money fixing the roads! We must literally shut down all other city projects and expenditures and direct all our resources toward our streets! I won’t dare take my PT Cruiser out of the garage until the roads are paved in low-impact gold!
So the city begins to do just that – they work on the roads. Yeah, it wouldn’t be hard to find someone in a crowd that would tell you that they’re working on the wrong roads, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. All right, so some of the road work is an inadvertent side effect to some sewer work but at least it’s happening, right?
The cold season is almost upon us and Sedalia is a city under serious street construction. They’re stretched thin and trying to get a whole lot of things done before the cold temperatures set in for a while and make conditions unfit for both man and material. Those roads just won’t set right in the cold.
But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a little annoying, at least when it comes to attempting to navigate through Sedalia. The mostly residential giant block of Sedville that lies west of Limit Avenue is filled with roads that run directly into people’s front doors, dead ends that appear to be dead for no good reason and roads that stop and start like someone’s been messing around with the block grid of town on the computer program of life.
I mostly experience it Saturdays mornings while attempting to go to various local garage sales. The garage sale season seems to ramp up right before the cold season just like the roadwork – seemingly because the people who had been procrastinating all summer realize they really do want to get one in while they still can.
And it was particularly frustrating last Saturday because it seemed that around every corner there was either a natural and permanent dead end or a temporary work-based dead end. I got deals to get to, my competition could be out there right now eating all of my secondhand lunch!
But it is the price that we must pay for progress, I suppose. But it’s almost time to put away the road construction equipment and break out the snow plows and trucks full of salt. When it comes to the streets, a city’s work is never done.
Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.