Wednesday, November 14, 2007

don't go back to breezewood

How amusing - today an article extolling the attractions of Breezewood, Pennsylvania. Never heard of it? You're lucky. It's a small town in eastern Pennsylvania that is at the intersection of I-70 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Except, unlike 99.99% of the other intersections along the interstate system, you actually have to get OFF of I-70 and drive a couple of hundred yards along US-30 thru the "heart" of Breezewood to get onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

And unless you're doing this at 3 AM, this means a slow crawl thru a soul-less strip of motels and fast food joints, a change of roads that should take 30 seconds requires 5, 10, even 15 minutes depending on traffic.

Why is this interchange so screwy? Why, when I-70 was built and it approached Breezewood, did they not do a regular intersection. Curiously, nobody seems to know.

So here's my theory. An unscrupulous cabal of Breezewood businessmen and landowners back when the interstate was being built realized they could make big bucks if enough drivers were forced to drive thru the center of town. And they paid off a few corrupt officials in the Federal and State governments, and probably had some engineer reassigned to Idaho to keep him from proposing a NORMAL intersection. And now, those Breezewooders are laughing all the way to the bank, and you're stuck in one more avoidable traffic jam.

Don't fall for the plot. If you're going west from the DC area, skip Breezewood and its dubious charms. This Post article reads like they took a Breezewood press release and ran it unedited. Hey, it's Breezewood, not the White House. Instead take I-68 west thru West Virginia and I-79 North to reconnect to I-70. No tolls. And better yet, no Breezewood traffic jam.


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