Lost in Ontario

I have been mildly inconvenienced lately on the drive to work. My hope was that the construction would result in something good and beneficial. As it turned out, though, even maintaining the status quo would have been an improvement; at least there would have been nice smooth tarmac. Instead, the city of Ontario has gone and made a bad situation even worse. 

What you see here is a view looking east along 4th Street. Up until last week 4th contained two lanes heading in each direction, a standard width lane against the median and an extra wide right lane, with a bike lane against the curb. Following some utility work for a new housing complex (just at the next corner in the view) the city repaved and restriped, choosing to retain the bike lane, but making the street three lanes wide in each direction. If 4th were an elegant and slow grande boulevard, the new layout might be acceptable, but no, the only thought for 4th appears to be that it is a high speed thoroughfare

where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour.

Interestingly, the high speed and six lanes will do nothing to enhance the quality of life of local residents, but will, no doubt, be welcomed by drivers on the nearby congested interstate.

Honestly, who thought this was a good idea? Or better yet, did anyone in the city think it was a bad idea? Rubbing elbows with drivers moving along at freeway speeds. Why even bother with the bike lane? Will anyone use it now? Who would want to risk their life in that narrow strip with cars and trucks roaring past at sixty miles per hour; and at that speed lives are exactly what are at stake.

Fourth is lined by residential developments and businesses, side streets lead to schools, more housing and more business. The city of Ontario really missed an opportunity to take a lead - there was enough room to maintain the two lanes in each direction, and add a separated bike lane. It would have been a boon, a compliment to all the new residential development that has taken place over the past ten years, Such a lane along 4th would have created a straight and direct avenue to the Ontario Mills, a place with a great need to reinvent itself.

Instead, what has been created is in effect a freeway next to a freeway (the I-10 is two long blocks to the south). Then again, perhaps that is what was intended all along - an alternative to that already congested corridor.

Where is the vision? What has happened to the visionaries? Don't look for it, or them, in Ontario.