In a stunning display of insight into the behavioral psychology of motorists, Middleburgh Town Highway Superintendent Dale Nunamann explained that “the smoother we make the roads, the faster they go”. This of course was in response to a series of complaints from residents of East Hill Road in the town of Middleburgh. It's true apparently, the smoother the town makes East Hill Road, the faster drivers want to go.
This is quite a dilemma. But I wonder if there is a solution that could not only spare the slow-moving pets of East Hill Road residents but also lower taxes and help the environment at the same time.
Let’s chew on Nunamann’s little nugget of wisdom for a moment. If people go faster when we make the roads smoother, let’s just not make the roads any smoother! Instead of constantly upgrading our county’s rural roads with pavement or blacktop, or some other petroleum-based product, let’s leave them as is: rough, gravelly, uneven and strewn with gaping potholes! Naturally, they should be minimally maintained so that they don’t cause damage to car tires (when driving at reasonable speeds of course). But it seems like it might be cheaper and safer all around to just have dirt roads remain dirt roads.
Think of the taxes rural towns could save on material and labor costs. Not to mention the environmental benefits of not using all those nasty petroleum-based materials for paving. Then there’s the safety and quality-of-life aspect: if don’t make the roads smoother people probably won’t drive as fast! Just ask Dale Nunamann, he’ll tell ya.