Smile Politely

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“Remember: No matter where you go, there you are.”

A shovel to the head followed that line in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. But in our reality, that saying is a great, temporary slogan for the new Web site The site shows most of the active, major road construction projects in the area on a clickable map. And it’s as free as the air around you!

One local print outlet — we’ll call it Aunty N-G — would have you believe the same information is marketable if it’s spread out over days at a time and offered for a cost. That approach might pad a few story counts and make Aunty’s Web site look as if it’s filled with information, but it won’t keep the lights burning in Bartertown. might not save you from the gulag of Illinois’ crumbling roads, but it will help you find the fastest way to travel. In time, the site will offer additional features that go deeper than a map. For now, though, you won’t have to worry about whether there’s enough runway or whether the locomotive that’s conveniently hidden beneath the methane factory is still functional.

Down the road (pun intended), events other than construction will be spotlighted. A history lesson or two about local development might even surface. I expect a few photos to pop up here and there. You can feel it — the dice are rollin’.

Admittedly, won’t have some of the tricks in Aunty’s bag. Our recipe for carrot cake with sauerkraut and lime icing is still being perfected, so it won’t be at the site. And at least for now, there is an embargo on witty Twitter banter. You’ll just have to live without knowing what road markers we’re thinking about adding to the map. When they’re ready, they’ll be posted. In other words, things will just happen, as they did in the cold, dark days before Aunty’s family had Twitter accounts.

Suggestions for future maps are encouraged. Limits such as time, marker allotments, and mapping efficiency might come into play, but reasonable ideas will be considered. A couple of new ones are already under development.

Finally, solicitation for donations is excluded from But there is an active advertisement, and any commerce that develops from said ad would go a long way toward encouraging future projects.

When the dust settles, has all of its information in one place. Area travelers will see its light, and they’ll be comin’ home.

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