Dangerous Detour

By Joe Rector

Work continues on the new road that will relieve congestion on Ball Camp Pike. Those of us at this end of the county have waited plenty long enough to have completion of the project in sight. The road work began about 15 years ago, but the economy sank like a rock, and the work stopped for years. I talked with one worker who thought this new road might be open for business in about another year. All of us are a bit tired of the inconveniences that have arisen.

Just recently, Ball Camp Pike was closed at Frostland Lane. Drivers have had to detour onto Frostland, turn right on Wheatland, and, if they follow the sign, wind up right just above the same detour. On the first day of the closing, Amy and I sat on the front porch and watched hundreds of cars drive by. One elderly lady passed us three times as she continued to follow the signs. Little did she know that taking a left at the end of Wheatland would have put her at the right place.

Turning left proved to be a test of skills for drivers. They entered Boss Road. This is one of the many roads that could be considered “one lane.” Some drivers took their halves in the middle of the road; others pulled over to let cars pass, but their courtesy turned into a disaster for homeowners who face plenty of work to repair damages to their yards.

These driving tourists in our subdivision made no changes in their driving habits. Just as they did on Ball Camp Pike, motorists drove like the proverbial “bats out of hell.” Speed bumps had no effect on slowing them down. We watched several vehicles buck like wild horses as they flew over the bumps.

Some of the drivers were morons. They pulled onto the subdivision road and immediately maneuvered to the left to pass other cars that were going too slowly. I yelled at one driver, but my protest went unheeded. Several neighbors walk their dogs during the day, but doing so is a dangerous proposition these days. I’m not nimble enough to walk Sadie and jump into a yard to avoid a speeding car.

To add insult to injury, rumor has it that a lane will connect Ball Camp Pike to Andes Road and will lead to the renaming of the first to the second. I’ve lived on or just off of Ball Camp Pike most of my life, and I just don’t like the change. When the project began, the finished road was going to be named the New Ball Camp Pike. For some reason, it was then changed to the Schaad Road Extension.

I’d like to think that this new road will cut down on the snarling lines of traffic, However, the area’s open land is being filled with subdivisions that will dump hundreds of cars onto the roads again. I seldom go far from home, but when all this road work is done, I might choose to never leave or be unable to do so. Our scruffy little city has outgrown its roads.

I won’t hold my breath and wait for improvements.