It makes a winding approach to the picturesque McDonough Square, just on the other side of nasty traffic snarls and horn-honking tractor-trailers. It veers along tree-shaded home lots and past the historic Hazelhurst House before it crosses a pair of one way streets that feed in and out of the downtown area.
That's when it falls apart, directly in front of our office here at the Daily Herald. Sloan Street becomes both a unloading dock for a carpet business and a dangerous intersection with phantom stop signs in a section I'll refer to as the "100 Yards of Terror."
We'll go over this in a few parts, although this "100 Yards" combines its elements into a gauntlet of gridlock gestalt.
First is the loading dock. I'm calling the carpet place out on the carpet! Somehow these people have used this public road for years as their private unloading zone at the expense of a smooth commute for drivers. Cars have been forced to run off the side of the road and take turns passing, which has backed traffic up onto Griffin Street, which slows down cars heading out of the square, which backs up all the roads into the square, etc...
You get the picture, it's bad.
For the three years since I've worked at the Herald, I've watched those trucks hang into the road and block traffic a few times a week.I've watched people angrily slow down, then speed by on their way. I can't say that I've done anything about it, so maybe after writing this I can get some proper sleep at night.
Now for the next part: phantom stop signs. Sloan Street was repaved several months ago and the decision was made to turn the 3-way-stop T-intersection into a single stop sign. A simple enough transformation, except that it took months for someone to pull the "3-Way" tag off of the remaining stop sign, and I witnessed more than a few close calls as out-of-towners, or drivers who hadn't been through since the change, nosed out only to be met by a new friend at 35 mph.
That 35 mph would be easily reachable, unless the new friend broke their axle in half on the 6-inch drop that opens in the road to reveal a manhole cover that predated the new pavement. How do you raise a manhole cover to meet the level of a freshly paved surface? Apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't know.
The "100 Yards of Terror" also remains unlined. It really sums up the lawlessness of this segment of an otherwise pristine road. This might not seem as important if the other obstacles weren't in place, but there they are...
This should have been said months ago, but here's a belated complaint, and if the next road project can learn from history then it won't be doomed to repeat itself.
Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or firstname.lastname@example.org .