The warnings are up — work is about to begin on the improvements planned for 4th Street. If you live on or near that street, or use it regularly as an arterial, you are soon to experience much inconvenience. It probably will dawn on a lot of us how important 4th Street is to how we get around.
I use it almost every day as an easy route to get downtown. I used to use it almost exclusively for getting on the SR 99 freeway before the southbound entrance was closed to accommodate repairs and expansion of SR 99. I use it to get to City Hall and the Madera County administration building.
Once the street is taken away from our daily use we will experience what is known as inconvenience for the greater good. The greater good in this case is that the improved 4th Street will be even more useful than it is now. The price we pay for that greater convenience in the future is inconvenience in the present.
That is true of many things in our lives. One may have to suffer the inconvenience and possible pain of surgery, for example, for the benefit of longer life, or a more comfortable life. I’ve yet to meet anybody who likes having a root canal, but almost anyone would say a root canal procedure is superior to a toothache or a gap in one’s dentition.
A person may find it inconvenient to set aside part of one’s life to obtain an education, but once one has the degree in hand, the benefits of that education begin to accrue.
Some of the roads built by Rome remain in use today, but while they were being built they were anything but convenient. Most of the work had to be done by hand. The splendid engineering was unaided by the instruments we take for granted today. The cost in money and lives must have been frightful.
Perhaps the inconvenience on 4th Street, in comparison, won’t be all that bad.