“Tell them they can kiss my bumper! Just kiss it!”

My Toyota Previa minivan at Vienna MetroThose of you who get Washington DC area TV stations will recognize this line from the Senate Auto Insurance commercials. And auto insurance is important as an ingredient in what I’m about to discuss. It’s that time of year again for summer session, and we know what that means… that means I’m commuting to Harrisonburg from home once again, as I move ever so carefully towards that B.S. in Public Administration. And the commute to Harrisonburg can be summed up as “less than fun”, because my route takes me up Route 608 in Stuarts Draft, a route popular with farmers’ tractors (very slow if you get behind one), and then later I hit Interstate 81, which is an overcrowded little road with two lanes going each direction, and more tractor-trailers than the road was designed to accommodate. There is talk of widening Interstate 81, but a number of competing interest groups, the elected types, and the Virginia Department of Transportation can’t seem to figure out how to do it. Myself, I’m a strong advocate of the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) philosophy, saying to just give us however many lanes each way that they think we need and leave it at that. Some groups want to provide “express” and “local” lanes, others want to impose tolls on truck traffic, and I think I heard at one point that they wanted to install some ways to transport stuff via rail. All in all, it’s an excellent example of Public Administration in action, but in the short term, the road’s not getting any wider. And so the commute goes on, oh-so-pleasant as it is. So for those tractors and such that want to slow me down, tell them they can kiss my bumper! Just kiss it!

Date posted: May 19, 2003