… in making lemonade. This one from The Atlantic by way of Gladys We:
Infrastructure in America is decaying. Normally when we lament this fact, we cite big targets, such as bridges, dams, water systems, and so forth. … But other, more mundane infrastructural nuisances plague our cities far more regularly. Among them: the increasingly ubiquitous steel road plate. …
Given their obviousness and potential danger (real or perceived), steel plates play a curious, secondary role on American roads today: calming traffic. As roads become more congested and as drivers traverse them at higher speeds while increasingly distracted by smartphones, steel plates have become an accidental, ad-hoc speed limiting service on our roadways.
It’s hardly systemic or strategic solution, and it’s certainly not an attractive one. But as long as we have to put up with steel road plates, we might as well appreciate the small role they can play in encouraging us to use our cars less hastily—and maybe even just less, overall.