The DOT Wishes Us Luck

Maybe I haven’t lived in Rhode Island long enough, but I’ve never heard a state actually introduce its new highway ramp by calling it a total fiasco. Excerpts from the story in today’s Projo, talking about the newest phase of the $610 million, 195-rerouting project:

“I can’t sugar-coat this,” Transportation Director Michael Lewis said. “Westbound traffic will actually get worse.”

DOT officials say they are very worried that some drivers will get it wrong, swerve at the last minute, or even stop and back up in the travel lanes, with disastrous results. It makes a crash likely, and that will snarl traffic further. “If you miss it, you miss it,” one (official) said.

“The whole thing is a complete sh-t show,” said another.

Okay, that last quote wasn’t in the Projo. But someone should tell the folks at RIDOT that "You’re on the highway to hell" isn’t really a solid brand message for a state department of transportation. If you must travel this new route, the article on the Projo website comes with explicit multimedia instructions: “What to Do If You Take the Wrong Side of the Split” (backing up in the travel lane is no good?) and –we hope the irony is unintended– “How to Get to the Hospitals.”

 Oh dear.