Saturday, July 24, 2010

Government in Action

Some time ago, Las Condes (a municipality in Santiago) decided to widen a road near UDD, where I am hanging out. The road wasn't THAT busy, but they thought it would be useful to widen, for some reason. (Maybe the contractor was a big supporter of an elected official, whatever). The widened road now looks like this: That is, the entire "new" lane is blocked off behind a fence. A very sturdy, permanent looking fence, quite expensive. Why? Here's why:

Yup, they didn't move power lines. Now either they should have moved the power lines, or not added a new lane. At least, that's how I would have done it. When I asked what the deal was, I was told, "There were no funds available to move the power lines." Looking at the second picture above, you can see that there is a LOT of brush and trash piled up behind the fence. It has been nearly ten years.

The Chilean reaction to this, and to most government actions, is a half-smile and that Gallic-Ibero-Roman shrug. No one can shrug like people with a Mediterranean heritage.