Considering the circumstances, things are going smoothly traffic-wise at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 23 in Marshall.
We're all used to the road construction by now, and the installation of working traffic lights at the intersection is definitely a step up from where we were early on when the busy intersection was transformed into a four-way stop and police officers played the role of traffic cops to keep things flowing.
Since the lights have been in operation, the wait time at the intersection has been reduced to that of a normal four-way intersection. There are no more blocks-long back-ups, no more gridlock, no more 10-minute trips from Hy-Vee to Wal-Mart.
Now, as drivers, we all have to do our part in making sure things continue to go smoothly around that area. That means no riding people's bumpers, no impromptu U-turns over the median on 59 and no blowing through stop signs at the Saratoga/23 intersection. We must not consider patience behind the wheel a mere virtue when driving around Marshall, it's a must. - whether it's at 59/23, 23/19 or waiting for someone to pull out of their parking spot in front of the post office. Crashes, whether they're minor fender-benders or more serious incidents that lead to injuries, happen when drivers hurry, and get impatient and upset.
Sixty-eight percent of those who responded to the latest Independent website poll said they were satisfied with the improvements that were made May 13 to help get traffic moving through the 59/23 intersection. That leaves 32 percent still unhappy, proving you really can't please all of the people all of the time.
It also begs the question: What more can you really ask for?
This is a major project taking place on one of Marshall's main thoroughfares. We should expect - even since the lights have been put into operation - some minor inconveniences from time to time. Businesses along 23 are dealing with it all day, every day; why can't we, as drivers, do the same the one or two times a day when we travel near the construction?