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Sarajevo traffic rant

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
First let me explain that Sarajevo was not a city designed for cars. It occupies a long narrow river valley, surrounded on all sides by steep mountains. At the end of the valley the city comes to an abrupt end as the river gushes out of an impassable gorge (now there are road tunnels leading out to the rural area on the other side of the mountain). There are only two streets that go the length of the town, one on each side of the river, and all the streets that go off them rise sharply and then start twisting and narrowing. It is not a place to drive for the fainthearted.
Anyway, a week or so ago, the City authorities decided to dig up and resurface BOTH streets that run the length of the city. And they have done it from the start to the end, all at once, not in small tranches that would be easy to manage. Since the commercial district is in the old city that is closest to the end of the valley, most people have to drive up the valley to get to work. Since it began, I have sat immobile for up to an hour while idiots, who haven't a clue how to direct traffic, move barriers and cordons for no apparent reason, wave some cars through and refuse others, and on one occasion marooned me in an area with a JCB at one end and a barrier at the other so I couldn't move anywhere! The trams are also stuck, as cars are using their lane in the absence of anywhere else to go, and hte weather is getting hotter so that cars are boiling over, not to mention tempers. Minor accidents and road rage incidents have become common - I saw two arguments this morning where the drivers were out of their cars swearing at each other! And no mention anywhere of how long this is all to take. As I have 9AM classes four days a week, I am now leaving home at 7.30 AM for what should be a 15 minute drive, but many students are arriving late or even missing class altogether. Sorry, but I would rather rant here than at some other poor driver!
post #2 of 13
Oh Jenny, that sounds like a real pain! Plus the driving sounds a bit scary!! My heart goes out to you!
post #3 of 13
Uck! I'm sorry. Is there any chance of riding a bike? Would that make it easier?

I certainly sympathize with you about the re-construction. There's only one highway up to where my Mom lives, and there is always something going on with it. *sigh* Here's to hoping they're done soon!!!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sarajevo is such a hilly city that you would end up pushing a bike as much as riding it - and where I live is up on a hill in a side valley. Also, to ride a bike would be almost suicidal the way people drive - they are just not used to bikes and there are almost none. I shall grit my teeth, stay polite, and live through it.
post #5 of 13
Boy talk about poor planning!!! In Wisconsin we have a saying that there are two seasons winter and road construction!! I'm doing alot more driving than in the past and way too much work going on. Here if a road is down to a single lane of traffic they have people posted at both ends with walkie-talkies and they take turns letting either side of the traffic proceed through the construction zone.
post #6 of 13
Is it possible to walk? I know if it's a 15 minute drive, it'll be long walk, especially uphill on the way home. But if the weather's nice and you're leaving so early anyway, it may just make for a less stressful day.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
It is 25 minutes going, maybe 35 coming back, for an unladen person with good legs. But I have to carry a large briefcase and I have a bad knee, for which I am supposed to do gentle flat walking ten to fifteen minutes per day. I can get a bus that drops me about ten minutes' walk from the Faculty, though the buses also have to go partway through the construction site. But it might be less stressful.
post #8 of 13
That sounds horrid. The old European towns and cities just weren't built with cars in mind. I can really sympathize. We live in a centuries-old town that's located in a river valley, and surrounded by hills and forests. The setting is idyllic, but there are only two ways out of it - the "old" highway, which is also the main street, and the "new" highway. For the past month, we haven't been able to use the old one to drive west, because the next town over is completely rebuilding its center. That should be done in about a year. So what do the idiots responsible for road construction do? Decide to make major repairs to the new highway. As a result, the entry and exit ramps to our town, and the next two towns to the east, are closed. We have to drive 22 kilometers to get in or out of town if we want to go/come from the west. Or take the train, walk, or ride bikes. Mind you, several of the World Cup games are taking place in this area next month!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I know what you mean. There is no co-ordination! Mind you, it is lovely to live somewhere beautiful with lots of tradition and beautiful architecture, and I guess we have to live with the inconvenience. Here is a picture showing hte mountains enclosing the town. You can see them on every side.

post #10 of 13
That reminds me of Salzburg!
post #11 of 13

Are you moving soon? Then you don't have to worry about it!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
That is what I keep telling myself - another few weeks and I will be out of here. This morning they have extended the traffic chaos by digging up one of the main cross river roads - I know the weather is much better now, but they seem to have decided to cause maximum disruption for a short time (maybe) as opposed to getting a bit done at a time and have it go on for weeks. I don't know which is worse.

Tricai, yes it is like Salzburg. Sarajevo is a cross between Austria and Turkey as far as architecture is concerned, and very like Austria in its geographical situation, though the mountains are closer on all sides.
post #13 of 13
I remember my 1st trip to the UK I was so impressed at how the coach driver negoitated the narrow streets with the bus!! Everyone in the US should be thankful of our roads!! (except for major metro areas of course!!)
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