Got a beef? Send it here because complaining works

Complaining works.

Whether it’s to get yourself motivated, or just to make you feel like you’ve done something, go ahead and complain.

Complain to your spouse, complain to your boss, complain to your kids and your friends and your co-workers.

Don’t let the self-help gurus deter you with their talk of negativity and bad juju. Negativity is a part of life. Let us not ignore it.

Better yet, complain to me. I’ll be your proxy complainer. No one but me will know who the original complainer was. I’ll get the reputation as the curmudgeon. Or strengthen the rep already there, anyway.

And, together, we’ll get stuff done.

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This reader didn’t leave a name, but sent in a good complaint. Bravo.

“The road surface in the braking zone on Wigwam at Pecos (both west and eastbound lanes) is so rough that I drive out of my way to avoid it,” the reader wrote in an email.

Now, I don’t know what a braking zone is, but I assume it’s the part of the road approaching the intersection.

“It is long past due for being made smoother,” the reader wrote. “I know this is in Henderson and would call them, except I don’t know the number. Maybe you can convince them to correct this situation. Thanks.”

It just so happens that I have that secret contact info, so I checked in with Kathleen Richards, a city spokeswoman.

She said the city’s public works folks have put that intersection on a list of things that need fixing. It’s on the planned maintenance schedule.

“But” — pay attention here — “based on feedback from residents just like this RW reader, we recognize the approach to the intersection seems to be wearing faster than other portions of the road,” she wrote in an email.

Did you catch that?

Complaining works.

She said they really don’t want to do the project twice, though. The intersection, and then the road. That’s a nuisance to everyone. Who doesn’t hate it when a road gets torn up, repaired, and then torn up again a few months later?

There are projects scheduled that will install fiber optic cable there, too. So they’re going to try to combine it all into one project.

Like every story, though, this isn’t all puppies and rainbows. There’s no money to do it right now. It probably won’t happen until next summer, Richards said.

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A guy named Reuben sent this one in, and in doing so, displayed a keen sense of how to properly complain. He started off with a compliment.

“The state has done a marvelous job with widening and updating Blue Diamond from I-15 west and included great bike lanes up to (state Route) 159,” he wrote in an email. “However they rarely sweep the bike lanes and there seems to always be hazards to us bikers who travel up to Red Rock via Blue Diamond. Lots of construction going on and lots of spills on the bike lanes. Hopefully more sweepings will occur as the biking season is getting underway.”

I checked in with Damon Hodge, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation. It took a couple weeks, but he came back with some good news.

“Our maintenance crew has been sweeping through this area,” he wrote in an email. “NDOT also contacted the mine and the gypsum plant and they agreed to start sweeping in front of their property.”

Cha ching!

Nice job, Reuben.

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While we’re at it, I’m going to toss out a complaint of my own: Y’all need to get off your phones while driving.

Not you, of course. But those other people. They need to stop. Especially the teenagers.

A study out in the medical journal Pediatrics last week found that 45 percent of high school-age drivers admitted to texting while driving within the past 30 days.

These particular students were more likely than other students to drive without seat belts, ride with a drunken driver, and drink and drive themselves.

That’s almost half, folks. That means this isn’t just the “bad kids” doing it. It’s the good ones, too.

These teenagers probably think they’re invincible. Tell them they’re not. Tell them that people die. People get hurt. They wreck their cars and ruin their lives.

It won’t sink in at first, and it won’t sink in for all of them, but it will for some, over time, with enough complaining. Maybe your kid or your grandkid will be the one who listens to you complaining.

It can’t hurt to try, so go forth and complain.

Got a transportation question, comment or gripe? Ship it off to roadwarrior Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter @RJroadwarrior.