29 July 2008

Observations, on and off the roads

Yesterday, I needed to make a run up to one of Louisiana's remaining "charity hospitals" to get a literal pain in my ass (more like my thigh) treated. What passes for healthcare for the poor and working poor in this state is a disgrace. I got in at about 11 AM. I got out close to 6 PM. One reason was that in a fairly busy emergency room, there was only ONE doctor. Just one, to handle about 35-40 people with varying problems.

Part of this is culture. Since many people in this state don't qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, but don't earn enough to afford or aren't offered (as a job benefit or something) a private plan, they just go to the emergency room for the most minor of ailments. It's been this way since the Dawn of Time around here (as in, since my grandparents were little children, at least). This clogs them up when moderate and major emergencies happen, as must have happened during the day during my wait.

Another part of this is less people going into medical professions. LSU runs the hospital I went to, and it seemed badly short-staffed, especially with only having one doctor in the emergency room during the day.

Cost seems to be at fault on all ends, at least from my viewpoint.

I also noticed a few things about the roads, so don't fret.
  • Business US 51 in Hammond is getting a facelift. It looks like they're redoing (or at least smoothing) the concrete surface, and they're replacing the suicide center turn lane with a raised median and "classic" turn lanes.
  • I don't think they'll ever put up gates at the railroad tracks for all the minor crossing roads in Tangipahoa Parish. Fine. But could they at least put up STOP SIGNS?! A lot of them are regulated only by yield signs, for crying out loud. As such, I predict many more "train vs. car" articles in the blog, and much more senseless death.
  • Work is proceeding on Interstate 12 near LA 21 for (unofficial and ESTIMATED) Future Exit 61. When complete, this interchange will serve two functions - it will link to a new shopping center, as well as linking in an auxiliary manner to LA 21. (They tore down a rest area and a fairly decent park for this. Assholes. Seriously. What The F*ck?)
  • Work is complete on LA 22 in Mandeville. The new configuration is two lanes westbound, a center turning lane and one eastbound lane from the shopping center with the Rouses in it westward to the Beau Chene main entrance. West of there to the Marina entrance, it's two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane.
  • The surface of Interstate 55 is horrible for taking snaps. Still, I managed to gut out the pain enough to get a few. Filled my digital camera's memory in the process. Looks like I'll need to snag a SD card. (Or get the camera working with altaria so I can offload them on the fly.)
  • Many stoplights in Mandeville were either flashing red/yellow or depowered entirely yesterday, although they seemed to be brought back on line quickly.
  • US 190 through Old Mandeville has shifted to the future eastbound lanes, as they work now on the future center and westbound lanes. I'm waiting for businesses on the north side of the highway to bitch that customers can't get to them now.
I did take a few pictures while I was out, I just need to make them a little more viewable, then I'll post them online. That'll happen either today or sometime this week.

Edit: Noted in no uncertain terms that the possible exit number for the future exit is estimated and not official. -T


Froggie said...

I'll admit to not getting west of Mandeville on I-12 much (my last two times west, I was on US 190 instead), but what's the deal with this "Future Exit 61"? Seems awfully close to Tchefuncta River crossing.

Sorry to hear about your leg.

Taralyn said...

It is. In fact, it looks like the on-off ramps for the new exit will be in the same locations as the old rest area ramps. They may even re-use the same exact approaches off of I-12. While coming back from the hospital, I noted it would be fairly close to milepost 61, as the 2 mile BGS for Exit 63A-B (US 190) is within the area where the interchange is being built. Hence the (unofficial) Future Exit number. Could be 60 though, as well.