James Lileks
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As you might have read, Interstate 35W heading into downtown Minneapolis will be reduced to 2 inches for most of the summer. You will be required to park in Bloomington, then walk single-file, crab-style, the rest of the way. It’ll be great for those inner-thigh muscles.

A wall will be built around downtown, with archers who will shoot out the tires of anyone who thinks they’ll find a parking space.

You will be able to exit by the university, but traffic will be so slow that we recommend signing up for classes by audiobook; by the time construction is finished you will have an advanced degree. I plan to go for a Ph.D. in Exclamatory Linguistics, meaning my oral presentation will consist entirely of cursing the people who designed this freeway in the first place.

What were they thinking? “Let’s jam 35W and 94 together and give everyone 2 yards to merge, knowing that failure to get over means you end up in Iowa instead of St. Cloud!” It looks great on paper, but so did Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. And compared with the rush-hour commute, that was faster and had fewer casualties.

The good news: The 35W/494 interchange will be remade. At present, the cloverleafs are so small you have to barrel through them to merge. The centrifugal force pulls your car so strongly to the left that if you’re listening to Rush Limbaugh, he starts supporting universal basic income.

But that’s not the worst of it. If you’re heading east on I-494 and you want to go north on 35W, you’re funneled into a little concrete tunnel they carved out from the overpass. There’s traffic coming up behind you, so you have to straighten the wheel, check your 6 to merge, then make sure you don’t smack into the concrete, all in about four seconds. It’s like trying to fly a 757 through the Panama Canal at Mach 3.

We want to interview the designers:

So, how did you think this would work out?

“Our guiding idea wasn’t built around cars per se, but very careful sloths. Sloths that were Lutheran and would get out of the way in case they touched another sloth.”

Have you considered designing something for sociopathic jack rabbits? Because that’s always who’s behind me when I’m trying to merge and not hit the walls of your murder tunnel.

“We’re not entirely convinced a Protestant sloth-based model doesn’t have some merit.”

It’s a familiar pattern. We complain about the road. They announce they’re going to fix it. We complain about construction. When it’s done everyone thinks, “Oh, this is better” for about 30 seconds, then forgets it ever was a problem.

Hurry up and finish it so I can complain about another road!