There are times when I wonder about the pace of life in this corner of Germany. Some things are painfully slow, especially construction projects.
There is a street in neighbouring Laufen that was undergoing some repairs when we moved here more than a year ago. They are still working on it, though I must admit I never never actually seen anyone doing any work.
I’m not sure what it looked like originally, but the new paving stones look very nice. But why not just use asphalt like the other streets in the village? Wouldn’t that have been faster?
Still, it isn’t a street I travel on very often, so the inconvenience of having to use an alternate route has been minimum. A couple of weeks ago though a new project started on a road I take daily.
There is a miniature grocery store in Sulzburg, and a larger one in neighbouring Dottingen, which is also open an additional 31 hours during the week. It is only a two kilometre walk each way, very pleasant if it isn’t raining, so I frequently do my shopping there. Since both stores are owned by the same family I don’t feel guilty about not shopping “locally.”
The only drawback to the walk is the sidewalk. For some reason the city decided that, while there would be a sidewalk along the entire street to Dottingen it wouldn’t be on both sides of the road. I can understand that as a cost-saving measure. What annoys me though is that the sidewalk switches sides. You can walk along one side, then the sidewalk vanishes and you have to cross the street to continue, then a few hundred metres later you must cross again. Or risk oncoming traffic, which is not pedestrian friendly. Cyclists here use the sidewalks, not the roads – I guess it is safer.
Two weeks ago construction started on something on that road to the grocery store. it seems as if overnight there was a hole and a crane. Of course it would be on the side with the sidewalk. Traffic is down to one lane, controlled by a temporary traffic light. For pedestrians negotiating the area is a challenge. You either walk on the road and take your chances with oncoming vehicles, or in the field, which is difficult of you have a grocery cart.
I thought at first it would be a temporary inconvenience, that the work would proceed quickly and that road and sidewalk would soon reopen. Now I wonder though.
On two consecutive days as I walked to the store last week I noted there was no-one working at the construction site. The weather was good enough for walking, which to me means good enough for working. Not a high priority I guess.
As a result, I am left to wonder. This time next year, will the road still be one lane? Will I still be choosing between street and field as I walk to and from the store? Where did the workers go the day they weren’t at the construction site? Are there rules about this sort of thing? How long will traffic be restricted to one lane.
Somehow I don’t think I’m going to get any answers. I just can’t see how or why it would take a full year. But there is that road in Laufen that looks like there are no plans to ever finish it…