2019-01-04 / Education

Road Art

By Hanah Watts, local high school student

Hanah Watts Hanah Watts I have often marveled at the modern art installment recently added along Millwood Avenue—right past Dreher High School and The Mad Platter. I mean, the lines seem to hint at some pattern without being too geometric in nature.

The bold, almost black lines really overshadow the much lighter yellow and white ones. And the asymmetrical balance of the composition as a whole really just leaves the viewer wondering what is yet to come.

After all my raving, I was saddened to discover that it was not— in fact— a modern art installment, but it was instead the road repairs... I mean “patching.”

Yes, I know, those beautiful squiggly lines on the road are actually an attempt to put a temporary bandage over the gaping wounds found throughout our fair city. And apparently, they are not supposed to interfere with the actual road lines on the road.

In other words, our eyes are not supposed to get distracted by the intercrossing, interweaving lines that appear to have been hastily painted over the yellow and white ones.

I have decided this was probably a practical response for calls to beautify Columbia. They are killing two birds with one stone—repairing the roads and adding to the beauty of our great city. What a brilliant plan… transforming the roadways into an art piece to be marveled at daily.

Now I know South Carolina has never been high up there in the national rankings of road quality, but we are not usually at the bottom of the barrel either. For 2018, South Carolina was ranked No. 24 for “Road Quality” (and number 35 for overall transportation).

But all I have to ask is —did they ride down Millwood Avenue? And if they did, was the ranking higher because they too got distracted by the modern art? Actually, that probably is what happened. They drove down that very road, and by the time they reached the end, they realized they were so enamored with the installation’s beauty they forgot to pay any attention to the quality of the road and then decided they were too tired to go back and re-examine it.

All-in-all I believe we should continue these road improvements and “beautification.” What is the harm? A few drivers may veer off course and follow the squiggly, black lines. Only time will tell. Safe driving!

(Disclaimer... I know roadway repairs are funded by tax dollars. And, I do not pay taxes, therefore, my perspective and experience is a bit more limited than that of others.)

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