Pure Michigan Roads

Written by Patrick Ewell

*You can view a video version of this post here*

The simplistic concept of “driving-down-the-road” swells within, creates a sensation of patriotism and freedom. The roadway is an escape, a break. It offers a chance to disconnect with the routine of the household and navigate the world on your own. All of this is possible with the power of your car, a sleek and steady machine dedicated to throttling down the road.

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But this concept is littered with the bitter results of disrepair and neglect. Subzero winters and the freeze-and-thaw cycle cripple one of the fundamental parts of this concept: the road itself.

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The foundation of our world is rotting away. Beneath our feet, the blacktop withers and decays. The rot marches forward, seemingly inching toward a master goal that eludes all human thinking. The road of our state lie suffering, and crumbling in the wicked summer heat and the vicious winter chill. The parking lots are crippled, and pockmarked with these ugly, wretched beasts.

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In a state that made its name manufacturing cars, one would think the roadways would be repaired and patched up regularly. One would think that rubble and debris would be brushed from these pathways, and the fractured blacktop would be made new. Cleanse and repair. Cleanse and repair. Given how essential “the car” is for workers, and the entire economy, it would seem rational to maintain the roads, and parking lots. However, that is not the case. Instead of pristine, cushy surfaces for our cars, we have craggy, broken, streets to drive on.

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Water ponds and ceases to move across the lots. Garbage collects and stews in the depths of these bitter devils. And if there is a spring freeze, whatever holes that harbor water will creep and expand once the weather warms up.

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It is sad to see these ribbons of freedom atrophy, especially in a nation that prides itself on the open road.

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