By Steve Rodriguez
We are about to witness a change of biblical proportions in Mission Valley! Construction around the Friars Road/state Route 163 interchange has begun and will continue for the next two years.
Unfortunately, some Mission Valley residents are complaining about the hassles to be caused by the upcoming construction. They decry, “Why must we have to put up with all that construction noise and the traffic cones redirecting traffic, as well as the expected road and lane closures?”
But I see things differently. I see all this construction as an occasion for celebration. Once this construction is over, we will never again experience any traffic jams in our local area. Our commute to work or to nearby shopping centers will be hassle-free – the equivalent of a commuter’s nirvana.
Think about it: no more dangerous lane mergers, no more backups and no more ineffective traffic light timing systems. I have complete faith and confidence in the California state government and its ability to design roads and intersections. Our bureaucrats at Caltrans will surely deliver us to the Promised Land of safe and efficient driving. I can’t wait!
I can easily imagine how pleasurable the future will be once we get past this period of construction. I suggest you all do the same.
For example, so what if we must put up with two years of possible inconvenient detours and unusual lane reconfigurations? Think of the next two years as a form of religious experience – a traffic purgatory (purgatory being a middle ground between heaven and hell in which you temporarily suffer in the hopes of finally making it to heaven).
The real purgatory, according to the Catholic Church, involves a thousand-year term. We are lucky; this traffic purgatory is only two years. We can do two years standing on our heads. In the end, we will find ourselves in traffic heaven. Believe me, it will all be worth it!
If you are not a religious person, I suggest you look at it this way: the end of construction will probably coincide with the introduction of driverless cars.
In two years, you may find yourself relegated to sitting as a mere passenger in the back seat of your driverless car – texting, watching movies, drinking a beer or just sleeping – as the car moves independent of your own mind and vision.
So even if all this major construction turns out to be a bust – if the finest engineering minds that California can assemble fail to make traffic flow better in Mission Valley – the two-year hassle will not have been in vain. For in the end we will, in all likelihood, be turning our keys and our lives over to robotic cars that will zoom in and out of Mission Valley lanes with no sense of worry or frustration.
We will ultimately end up surrendering our inherent right to experience “road rage,” “merge anxiety” and the general angst associated with fighting heavy traffic while trying to get to the Fashion Valley Mall during the holiday season.
Consequently, I suggest you see the next two years of construction not as a hardship, but as your last opportunity to experience these heartfelt human emotions. Enjoy them while you still can.
I must admit: the future looks bright for Mission Valley residents. We just have to survive these next two years. I know we can do it!
— Steve Rodriguez lives on the border of Mission Valley and Linda Vista. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.