Thursday, August 7, 2014

Detours, Diversions, Disturbances

              Nearly a year ago (holy crap, that went fast!), there was a massive landslide on the main road to/from Town to my community. The landslide washed away part of the road.  Since then the road has been closed and there has been a diversion through surrounding communities.  In the village, where the road washed away, there is another road; lets call it a shortcut, which eventually connects to the main road.  However, this road is incredibly steep and narrow, and has numerous right angle bends.  Only one vehicle can fit at a time.  Technically, legally, this road is a one way, in the direction coming FROM town. But it’s a shortcut, so every one wants to take it both ways. It makes for some interesting maneuvering, and can some times take a while, as vehicles often have to back up, down or around to let traffic coming down pass. Yet, its still faster than the directed diversion. However, to get TO town, traffic is to continue on the diversion road, past the shortcut road, through various other communities, and loop back to the village where the road washed out.  This adds about 15 minutes to the trip to Town. 
            Then just before the roundabout where the main road to my village connects to the Windward Highway, there was construction work to rebuild the gutters, sidewalk and repair the mashed up road.  This created another diversion, through yet more various other communities.  Of course this diversion was a one way, and was actually strictly enforced. See Diagram 1. 
Diagram 1: Map of route To/From Town.  If you add all the Purple and Red sections, you get the actual route.  Diversions are green and the short cut is blue.  Obviously this is not drawn to scale, and neither are the curves. Anyways, you can see that the green diversions are quite lengthy and add significant amounts of time to the trip.

         So, to get back home, instead of turning left at the roundabout to go up to Mespo, we needed to continue past through many more villages, just to loop back to the main road just before where the other diversion was circuited.  This is all best explained via diagram 2. It is a nightmare.
 Diagram 2: Map showing diversion coming FROM Town.  Again, not drawn to scale.  If you add the purple section coming from the right up until the roundabout and the red section and subsequent red and purple sections, you will get the actual route.  However, construction, road work and road closures has resulted in lengthy diversions.  The new route is: coming from the right on the purple section, continue around the roundabout on purple, take left on green.  This green section is the diversion to bring you back to purple after the red.  It add about 15 minutes to the trip.

Shortly after the landslide and subsequent road closure and further diversions along the route, van drivers started taking a “short cut” through a different village along the way to Town. This prompted me to just start taking different van routes altogether. If the original van route I was taking, was going through this new route, why not just take that one. So that’s what I have been doing ever since. Besides, Van Route B drops me much closer to my house, and it’s a downhill walk, as opposed to Van Route A which drops me at the bottom of a massive hill.  See Diagram 3.                                                                         Diagram 3: The orange section is the actual route (condensed) of my original Van Route (A).  After the landslide, Van Route A drivers would turn off of orange and connect onto the purple route (about half way up the pay on the very left side).  Van Route B is the purple  It is in fact, a bit longer, but with all the diversions it ends up being about the same or 10 minutes longer.  It is still better to walk 5 minutes downhill than 15 minutes uphill though. Van Route A takes approximately 40 or more minutes depending on the time of day and whether the shortcut (in diagram 1) is used.  Van Route B takes approximately 45 or more minutes depending on the time of day and other factors.

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