I have always been a believer in “you get the government you deserve.” Americans are well known as being one of the most pacified, conservative (timid), and easiest to fool citizens in the industrialized world. In simple terms, we’re whipped.
After my rant about the freeway construction last week, I decided to do the least “something” I could manage and I wrote a letter to our state representatives:
It is pretty obvious that Little Canada residents are considered to be throwaway citizens, based on the indiscriminate noise generation of the current I35E construction and the "plan" to widen the freeway without consideration for the noise pollution we'll suffer as a result. If the state had a functional EPA that actually monitored the noise level highway construction and freeway expansion in neighborhoods, we might be receiving some protection from the uncontrolled, irrational expansion of our barely-taxed (as in overbuilt) freeway system and the multiple pollution sources that idiocy generates. Since we seem to be barreling toward becoming another Texas, in every moronic respect, citizens are constantly out-voted by special interests.
Having been kept awake almost every night for the last two months by the unregulated, inconsiderate construction schedule just across Savage Lake from I35E, I have about had it with Minnesota and, especially, the Cities. Residents of the other side of the lake are even closer to these vandals and corporate criminals and they have all of my sympathy.
Why this place would want to model itself after Houston, Dallas, Chicago, and other mismanged urban hell-holes is beyond me, but it appears that is the direction our quality of life is degrading. If I thought we had a functioning civil court system, I'd consider hiring a lawyer to shut this project down until some semblance of sanity raised its head out of the muck. Minneapolis is regulating noise in night clubs while St. Paul is turning into a noise pollution nightmare. Clearly, the closer to the state government one lives, the dumber the environment. I'm only 66, so I'm not old enough to remember a time when this country was a "nation of laws," but at one time I believed Minnesota was a place where government served the people instead of itself. I've lost that faith along with several months of reasonable peace and quiet.
Yeah, I admit I was a little over the top. A couple weeks of little-to-no sleep will do that to me. I also pretty much assumed that my note would vanish into the void of state government. So, you might assume I was surprised when I received a call from the “Transportation Ombudsman Office.” Marcell Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-366-3340), the MNDOT representative, asked if we could meet so he could hear my complaints and any suggestions I might have to mitigate the intolerable noise in our neighborhood. Monday, Mr. Walker and I spent several hours in our backyard discussing the noise, what could be done to moderate it or make it less offensive, and other issues regarding our neighborhood and the freeway. True to form, he said I was the only person from Little Canada to complain about the construction noise. He admitted that isn’t unusual. He offered to do some investigation into the construction schedule and get back to me with what he learns. So far, I haven’t heard back from him, but if some of you were to offer some verbal or electronic input we might learn something.
All of the links I’ve previously posted about the construction plan and schedule have been taken down by the state. I can’t guess why. Mr. Walker suggested that, as property owners near this project, we should have received something more than the city’s notice that our noise ordinances would be ignored for an indefinite period. The reason the jack hammering is going on all night is because the construction company is concerned with flying concrete shrapnel from that work and is too unconcerned with our neighborhood’s peace and quiet to bother with putting up screens so that work could go on during the day. The rest of the noise they are generating could likely be modified with some motivation, but if we’re willing to put up with being abused I’m sure they will be willing to offer plenty of abuse.
I’d like to thank Representative Jason Isaacson (email@example.com) for forwarding my email to the department that might be able to help. I’d like to thank Marcell Walker for taking the time to seriously listen to the noise in our neighborhood and trying to help.