My recent 6.3-kilometer morning commute through Brno included the following:
- Road construction while driving along Hněvkovského;
- Road construction while turning onto Zvonařka;
- Road construction while going under the train tracks at Opuštěna;
- Road construction at the turn onto Pořičí;
- Road construction on Udolní that forced me to detour;
- And, when I finally got to the school on Kraví hora, the early phases of new construction opposite the school and the end phases of construction inside the school that, because of painting, required that I use the toilet on a different floor.
It was a terrible way to start the day.
But, as I repeatedly remind myself: Can there be any better proof that Brno is becoming a better place to live?
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Every time I am stuck in traffic — like while going to the Zbrojovka game and missing the first-minute (and only) goal of a disappointing loss — the feeling of frustration is hard to tamp down. Around every corner is another hole in the ground or another detour.
Many dwell on the fact that, more often than not, there are no workers at the different sites. I know that construction is not a straight-line process, so I don’t let empty worksites bother me. Nevertheless, it is understandable that standing next to idle construction vehicles only adds to the collective simmering rage of a traffic jam.
A blockage is clearly less than ideal and many of the projects will continue for many more months. There are, however, some positive things to consider:
1 — We live in a city that is moving forward, investing in itself and working toward a better life for its citizens.
2 — It is better to tear the Band-Aid off in one quick jerk, rather than prolong the pain over a long period of time.
3 — Do you remember náměstí Svobody 10 years ago, or Pekařska or Joštova or Zelený trh five years ago, or the Hlavni nadraži tram stop last year? All of them are in better form, and, even though I am sure those construction projects were also annoying, I can’t remember a specific missed meeting caused by them.
4 — Brno continues to look more like a progressive, new city, which is perfect for attracting more international businesses and further improving the local economy for everyone.
5 — There are a lot of really good podcasts to listen to while trapped in your car, including The Daily, Pod Save America, The Gist, Conspiracy Theories, Slow Burn, This American Life and many more.
6 — People walk to work more.
7 — Children, especially my 2-year-old son, love the fact that bagrs — the Czech word for excavators — are all over the place. Benjamin likes nothing more than to sit in the stroller and watch any construction vehicles dig holes, flatten asphalt or lift heavy material. If I am honest, I like to watch them, too.
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As for now, the construction will only continue and there is nothing that can be done about it.
In fact, as I continued my day, my afternoon commute took me back through the construction-clogged streets and ended at an office building where an entire restaurant has been under reconstruction for months.
And, when I finally got home, I could see the old, leaky roof, which, though we finally have the proper permits to replace it with an attic apartment, still waits for a contractor to do the work — because they are all so busy everywhere else throughout Brno!
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Does all of the construction affect you as a driver or a pedestrian? Where are the worst places in your commute/life?
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Photos by: Jirka Lubojacký
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