Keeping the roads fit for travel is essential in our society. That means that you will probably come in contact with road construction at some point. It doesn’t matter if you are in a car, walking on the sidewalk, or even a storefront business owner: road construction affects everyone in the community in both positive and negative ways.
There are plenty of good things about road construction. Most obvious, is that the roads and sidewalks are being fixed so that they are safer for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. Lately, when roads are being repaved, bike lanes are added, increasing the safety for bikers and providing more travel options. Another positive to road construction are the jobs it creates. These construction workers are improving the community and supporting themselves and their families. Inevitably, they will invest their pay in their own savings and back into the community when they shop at local businesses.
While there are good things about road construction, there are also several drawbacks that come with the good. Road construction can block storefront businesses, divert traffic, and cause traffic delays and jams. These traffic problems and lack of visibility can cause storefront businesses to have trouble staying in business while the construction is going on. Also, it can be dangerous for drivers and pedestrians. The large amounts of traffic and the noise from the construction site can drive people away from the stores. When any business closes its doors it is not a good thing for the community.
One store in Franklin, Indiana, is fighting to keep it’s doors open because road construction has crippled it’s business. Imagination Station, a toy store, survived the recession and was growing steadily until construction began on Main Street, blocking their store front. The store turned to the community to help raise funds. Co-Owner Julie Wells said, ““Perhaps we’ve outlived our time in the community, but I don’t think so. I think the community is going to rally around us and help. They’ve seen the construction around our store; they know what we’ve been going through.” The community responded overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the toy store, and through events, fundraising, and an online campaign, the store was able to raise $60,000 it needed to keep its doors open.
Road construction is an unavoidable part of living in the kind of communities that we do. Construction will not last forever and is just the sign of a healthy community. The best-case scenario is that the construction moves quickly and only inconveniences drivers and business owners for a brief amount of time. Remember to drive slowly through a construction site and also to be careful while traveling on foot. Also, remember that the businesses that are dealing with the road construction would love to have you as a customer.
What kinds of road construction have you noticed going on in your community? Have you noticed any positive or negative affects? Leave a comment in the box below.