netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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Self-interested volunteerism

Saturday I was out on the medians repairing some deep ruts left by a truck that wandered off of the road and onto the grass. It's not that I'm a stickler for aesthetics -- these ruts would have made mowing a complete pain. So I went out with shovels, rakes, and implements of destruction traffic cones.

I was contemplating what a pain it was going to be to fix ~200' of dual-wheel tire tracks when I realize Hey! We have a backhoe. It weighs nearly three tons. That'll crush things flat. So, with some mechanized help from my Deere friend John, I got things straight.

Lemme tell you, I was happy to have the bulk of that tractor between the on-coming traffic and me. When I'm mowing, I'm always facing traffic as I go up and down the median and have at least a chance of spotting an errant automobile. Not so with my head down over a rake. Whenever I was doing hand-work I always had the backhoe parked 'upstream' from where I was working.

Here's a little back-of-the-napkin math to make the point for you.

Let's say that the truck that made the ruts was going 40 mph -- a not unlikely speed for south-bound traffic coming down from the highway portion of Rt. 17 approaching the Main St. intersection.

The length of the ruts is roughly 200 feet.

(40 mph x 5280 ft/mi) / 3600 sec/hr = ~60 feet per second.

QED, the truck that made the ruts I was fixing traversed all of that ground in just under four seconds.

How good are your Spot and Dodge rolls?
Tags: gpip

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