IDOT…You Got Some ‘Splaining to Do

Offer perfectly reasonable explanations.

That was my Facebook quote today.  I posted it with an inner sense of irony because I’m certain I will not receive a perfectly reasonable explanation to a question I asked of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) this morning.

Dear IDOT: Use message boards...even if they say this!

IDOT is unlikely to respond to my email complaining about a violation of their lane closure requirements.  A violation that completely jacked up my commute to work.  I wouldn’t be so irritated if I didn’t work in the construction management industry and KNOW what IDOT requires.  My email read as follows…

“It is my understanding that IDOT typically requires lane closures during off-peak hours only (see your own FAQ).  Further, I am aware of projects performed on IDOT roads that were only permitted between the hours of 9 AM and 3 PM, or at night.  Therefore, I am befuddled by the following situation.

There is a resurfacing/patching project currently underway on Irving Park Road, west of Mannheim Road.  There is no signage in advance of the road work.  Work was underway by 7 AM (if not earlier), effectively shutting down rush hour traffic.  In fact, ALL LANES were closed for 15 minutes shortly after 7 AM to patch/pave across the full width of the road.  It took 30 minutes to travel less than 1 mile east of York Road.  I had not reached Division Street before turning around to find an alternate route. 

Please explain why lane closures during rush hour and no signage to warn of construction ahead or offer an alternate route are considered acceptable.  This reflects poorly on IDOT.”

I should have signed it “Hugs and Kisses” but I thought that might be a bit much.

Perfectly reasonable explanations serve a similar purpose as an apology.  Situations or things that frustrate, that irritate, are often eased when we receive an explanation that resonates with truth.  We climb off our soapbox and say, “Huh.  Okay.  That makes sense.  That’s livable.”  And we get on with our lives.

In this case, a road sign or two would have served the same purpose.

Does a perfectly reasonable explanation ease your frustration?


4 thoughts on “IDOT…You Got Some ‘Splaining to Do

  1. I would absolutely love to see a sign like the first one. It would make things so much better when you travel through traffic to have a sense of humor along the way. Of course, I’m probably the exception and every one else would just get pissed.


    • I’d laugh right along with you if I saw a sign like the first one. And it would have certainly improved my mood today! 🙂

      Getting stuck in the mess this morning wouldn’t have been so bad if, after I u-turned to go another way, I hadn’t gotten stuck in slow moving traffic caused by a fender bender. I got through that, thought I was home free, then came across ANOTHER patch/pave project on my alternate route. Fortunately, I was only stuck in that one for about 5 minutes.

      My low fuel light came on during this whole mess. I’m considering sending the fill-up bill plus an invoice for my time to IDOT.


  2. The first sign was great!

    Whether or not a reasonable explaination eases my frustration depends on how reasonable I feel like being that day. Some days are better than others 🙂


    • The first sign is fantastic! I’m trying to convince my guy, who works in the paving industry, to put up a sign just like it on his next big project. He keeps shaking his head at me and laughing. 🙂


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