Monday, November 16, 2009

A Truck Unloads

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am happy and pretty well-adjusted in Belgium. I love Brussels and try to push through the difficult challenges and to keep things here in perspective. But to keep it real I have to moan and groan a little from time to time. So here goes.
We have a real traffic hurdle living right here in the middle of downtown. We are scattered within the commercial shopping - food, high-end clothing, restaurants - you name it. To keep these stores humming along delivery trucks must unload new goods. Here's the rub... There are no back alleys or loading entrances for these stores. So trucks simply park it anywhere they darn well please, put on their hazards and take their sweet time hauling stuff in.
For every action there is a reaction...
...Here Mr. Fresh Logistics stopped for at least 20 minutes. Blocking the one lane going that direction during the middle of the workday. Trailing cars, buses and trucks had to play chicken with oncoming traffic to get around.
And this was the angry, frustrated reaction behind Mr. Fresh Logistics. Every single one of those cars put their hands on their horns and kept them there. For a solid 20 minutes.
Of course Connor was napping. Of course she woke up to the horns. She has hardened herself against most of the city noise and sirens, but this was too much to ignore.
I don't blame them. Either of them. The trucks have to do their job. There is nowhere else to unload. This "making everyone else mad" seems to be the only answer to get the job done. And I don't blame the stopped cars. It is maddening to be stuck and at the mercy of the unloading truck driver. My fingernails curl just looking on from our apartment window.
Ugh.And while I am on the complaining subject - please help me understand construction projects in Brussels. More than 1/2 of the roads in our block are torn to bits and blocked off at the moment. There seems to be little organization, planning or efficiency in timing these projects. By pulling up 1/2 the streets that takes away more than 1/2 of the available parking spots. Brilliant. Makes the road rage skyrocket!
This sign I saw recently in the car pretty much summed it up. This advertised project is scheduled to take TWO YEARS.......what do you bet it actually takes THREE?!?!
Oh Brussels, you have so much going for you, but construction planning and execution is not your strongest suite.

1 comment:

Karen said...

And somewhere I read that trucks even have special "unloading" permits so they can double park like this!