The Road to Perdition

I'm a Colorado native, so I understand how difficult it is for public authorities to keep the roads clear and passable during inclement weather, and am sympathetic to the challenge of doing so. Nevertheless, the performance of transportation authorities over the past couple of days puts me in mind of a certain snowman. It's been abominable, particularly along the foothills stretch of C-470 that I drive on a daily basis.

During my miserable, nightmarish commute on the afternoon of November 28, as our latest storm hit, I didn't see a single plow or sand truck. Not one -- and as a result, the highway developed a thick sheet of ice that's still in place two days later. During that span, I've traveled the route four times, and a journey that typically takes me 25-30 minutes has stolen a minimum of 75 minutes from my life each time, and once over ninety. This might have been excusable had weather prognosticators blown their predictions, but shockingly enough, they didn't. Every major forecaster called the arrival of the storm accurately, yet state and local government types still weren't ready -- and we continue to pay for their mistake.

Obviously, I've had a lot of time lately to think about how to punish officials for this error, and this is my proposed solution. They should be forced to stay in their car for the total amount of time that their decisions cost each and every area commuter -- and the sentence should run consecutively, not concurrently. When they're finally released from automotive lockup -- in five years or so -- I bet they'll be much more attentive when it comes to watching the friggin' news. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts