CarmageddonPosted: May 11, 2014
As usual, the Phoenix DOT has picked one of the most inconvenient weekends to close a major interstate for road work – Mother’s Day. This particular section of I-10 is the busiest and most travel length of concert in Maricopa county. It ambles in from California, intersects mid-town and downtown, continues south to Sky Harbor Airport, links up with I-202 and I-60 towards the eastside, and meanders on down to Tucson, Mexico and eventually into New Mexico. During week day mornings and then again in the evening it’s crammed full, wall-to-wall and lane-to-lane, with workers trying to get to their office or factory or store and then home again. On the weekends it’s busy with people heading west to LA, heading through town to the airport, or moving locals to the east side suburbs or further south to Tucson.
Bill and I were meeting the kids and grandkids in Tempe, on the east side, for Mother’s Day brunch, a plan that was made before the interstate closing was made public. We’d heard the announcement for the road closure during an evening news broadcast early in the week. We decided to go any way and just take a different, and longer, route to get from our northwest location to the restaurant in Tempe. At least until I got a “Mom Alert” the Friday before Mother’s Day.
We had unloaded grocery and I was putting water in a vase for the bouquet of flowers we got Mom for Mother’s day, when she suddenly called out, “Can you believe what they’re doing?”
“What whose doing?” I shouted back, dumping the little packet of flower powder into the water in the vase.
“The car people,” she replied.
“What car people?” I yelled. “Like Ford and GM?”
“No, not them. Like car traffic people,” she yelled back.
“Are you talking about ADOT?” I asked as I brought the flowers into the dining room and placed them on the buffet.
“Who? What dots? No, I’m talking about the Arizona Department of Transportation. They’re closing all the interstates through Phoenix.”
“Not all of them, Mom,” I said. “Just I-10.”
“But its Mother’s Day,” she sighed. “How will the mother’s get around to see their kids? How will they be able to drive if the roads are closed? It sounds like a stupid time to close roaads.”
“Yes, I agree, it is a stupid time to shut down I-10. I don’t know why they can’t do the work in the middle of the night and then reopen during the daytime like other cities. I don’t get why they feel like they have to close freeways for entire weekends and they do it all the time.”
“Well just be glad you live here and you don’t have to drive to see me,” she said, smiling sweetly.
“Oh, sure, easy for you to say. We’re meeting the kids in Tempe tomorrow for Mother’s Day lunch,” I sighed. “It’ll take us twice as long as normal to get there.”
“Well, at least it’s only once a year,” she said, picking up a crossword puzzle magazine and a pen.
“What’s only once a year?” I asked. “Mother’s Day?”
“Yes, Mother’s Day,” she replied with a nod.
“Not around here,” Bill declared from the Arizona Room. “Every day’s mother’s day in this house.”