Derek Johnson Muses

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The Roads of Dubuque

If Omaha can figure it out, Dubuque has no excuse.  Omaha is shaped by hills and the Missouri river , but the roads are mostly straight . Even Fort Wayne keeps its roads going in round-about circles that generally don’t seem to bad, at least not in comparison to Dubuque’s streets. The longest a Dubuque street can go straight is nine or ten blocks

I think the reason I’m complaining is that I’ve been here to visit Tom 10 or 11 times since he’s moved here, and every time I drive around here, I always feel I get were I’m going by accidentally. I know Asbury Road, and that it ends by the Presbyterian Church and the University of Dubuque. I know how to get down to the Riverfront, but after that I’m reduced to driving around in circles. Too many streets start and stop and start in the wrong places; further, my GPS doesn’t work because of the bluffs. Granted, after a few days, I started to get the hang of it. I can find where I’m going, even if it takes me a while. But times I do wish I could look at roads that went straight for at least half a mile, and that there was one road that went straight from the waterfront to the end of town.

Sunday going to church, I had the prime example of how the roads in Dubuque are so screwed up. I came to a place where three roads came together, and I veered to stay on the natural way for the street that I was on to continue. It was the wrong way.

And even on straight roads, there are hazards. Take Loras Boulevard: there’s a turnoff on Loras I have to take that is right on top of a hill. You literally can’t see the oncoming traffic because the road falls off just beyond the intersection. I’m surprised I haven’t come close to an accident there.

Looking down from the intersection in question

Maybe I need to design my own city….

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