Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Had to Ask

Just sharing a funny story.

Invited to a "final administration briefing" at ODOT's HQ on Monday, I was too intrigued to not attend.  Turns out the meeting was to focus on maritime port authorities.  I, and representatives of other land-locked port authorities, didn't learn that until we were already seated. Though we have a small creek behind my Port Authority offices, no one should confuse us with a port that owns harbor frontage.

Needless to say, I felt a little out of place.  A joke about major flooding to convert us to a maritime port didn't help break the ice much either.

So, even though I should have kept my mouth shut and just listened, I couldn't help myself.  I talked about what could be done by ODOT's Director. . .

. . .in the remaining one week of her term in office.

I had to ask.  Could she fix the numbering issue on the highway known as 161/37/16/36/250/22?

Having worked for state government myself and being mildly acquainted with the powers of cabinet members, I knew she "could."  The real question, would she, remains to be answered.

Extending the name 161 across this entire stretch takes merely an act of the ODOT Director.  Stroke of the pen.  Her successor, Licking County's Jerry Wray, could figure out how to get the signs and maps updated over time.

I and others have, politely, asked for this before and just can't seem to get anywhere.  One number would help marketing.  One number would help safety forces.  One number just makes plain common sense.

ODOT's own p.r. piece uses just 161
Seems that numbering request, fulfilled, would make the "Foundation for Transformation" piece handed out as a surviving documentation of the Strickland Administration years at ODOT more right too.

Maybe that will be persuasive.

See Page 9.  It reads:  "During the past four years, ODOT completed construction of. . .major sections of State Route 161 from Franklin County into Licking County.

What?  Seems the ODOT p.r. machine decided to drop all those silly other numbers too.

To be fair, the construction pieces were just merely three numbers--161, 37, and 16.  Still, if the Strickland Administration major achievements piece uses one number, why can't the ODOT director get out her pen and make it so?

I had another request too written on the back of my business card when I realized that I had an audience for change but with just one week for action.

That's for another blog though.

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