But I agree that Greensboro is something else. Greensboro has the worst, most confusing road system of any city I’ve ever been to, including internationally. I still don’t entirely know why this is. My theory is this:
Greensboro’s role as a textile manufacturing hub in the early 20th century lead to massive population growth- over the 1920′s alone, its population more than doubled. As automobiles began to emerge as the dominant mode of transportation following WWII, the new population put enormous strain on the city’s roadways. With the development of the interstate highway system, this problem became worse due to the fact that it is, as the city itself puts it, “anchored at the crossroads of four interstates (I-40, I-85, I-73, and I-840) and seven major NC and US routes.” To fix this, the city began experimenting with designating many roads as one-ways in the 1940′s, and then in 1965 expanded it so that the entire city had a one-way road system. The problem was that the one-way system was inconsistent and poorly coordinated:
`People make a left-hand turn and wind up in Kernersville,’ complained Hill, whose family has run a poster shop downtown since the 1980s.
“They’re not only one-way, but they run backward. In other words, you can’t make a right-hand turn and go around the block the way you can in any other city.’
Truly a nightmare. These roads also had the literal effect of directing traffic out of the city, which probably has some effects in encouraging sprawl, thus further expanding its broken traffic layout.
The city’s taken steps to convert some of it’s one-ways back into two-ways, but it seems like the damage that the flawed grid did to the city in the first place over many decades will be really hard to undo.
I still ask myself, if there was a sense in this special moment. The traffic stopped. The day kept on, being a day. The time went on. I took a photography. So, was there sense or was there the absence of sense? All I definitely know is - it was!
An achievement I am recently proud of is instilling obedience to my colleagues in terms of following the basic rule of crossing the street via pedestrian lanes and doing it ONLY when the walk sign is on. It is a must everywhere, especially in the congested streets of Makati where the hot-headed drivers may be less considerate of the pedestrians or at times aggressive in advancing from other vehicles to get the best spot possible to get to their destinations much more quickly. Waiting for a short while than risking your life for a little convenience is always the better option.
The method I used might not be the best, but it’s what was impactful to this bunch of crazies. I would say jokingly, “VOVO lang ang tumatawid nang nakared pa ang sign!” and little by little, in weeks of constant reminders, it resulted in it becoming a part of their system.
Mrs. Aurora Santiago, my high school Physics teacher whom I respect immensely, was the one who imparted this to me in my teenage years. Almost sixteen years since then that I have been practicing this and again, I am proud of how her influence has extended to the people I interact with on a daily basis. Hopefully, its reach doesn’t stop in our circle in the office.
How about you? What tiny good influence do you have on people?