My Letter to ODOT

Odot Sucks

ODOT- Ohio Department of Transportation

I’ve absolutely had it with my commute. 31 miles should not take 45-65 minutes every single day. Sometimes there isn’t even construction, just fucking orange barrels, standing at the side of the road, taunting me like,

“this road is next bitch….”

So I just sent a letter to the press secretary of ODOT 5 minutes ago. Don’t worry, it was only after 1 glass of wine so I was a lady. I know my letter won’t make a difference. If anything, it was therapeutic.

What pisses me off beyond belief is how ODOT downplays how much construction is really going on in Columbus. We are now the 15th largest city in the U.S. and I wonder if they just can’t keep up with the growth. Below is a map from the ODOT site. In red I’ve added my daily commute. I’ve also circled additional areas ODOT conveniently failed to mark as under construction. Route #2 is 36 miles but is the route recommended 95% of the time from my GPS despite route #1 being 5 miles less.

ODOT construction

Years ago, a man put this on his house. To this day, it’s still there:

Odot Sucks

For a while I thought this person may be a little crazy. Just a cranky old man who doesn’t want a highway right by his home. Over the past year, I get it. I TOTALLY GET IT! He absolutely nailed it and if my home faced a major highway, I too would probably display ODOT SUCKS. In fact, seeing that my car is 14 years old, I’m not too far from spray painting these sentiments on the side of my car.

The Letter


To Whom It May Concern,

I reside in P but work 31 miles away in H. I am in my car no less than 90 minutes Monday through Friday and leave my home at 8:20 a.m. and leave work at 5 p.m. This evening, I am writing to ask you the following question:


Seriously, what is it because this commute is horrendous. Do you know how long it took me to drive just 31 miles yesterday? One hour and 20 minutes. An hour commute happens at least once a week and that is simply unacceptable.

Why do you continue to completely jack up 50 different sections of the highway then take years to complete them? Columbus road construction reminds me of my sons who make a complete mess in the living room then move on to the kitchen and spill milk, then leave it. Later on, they’ll go upstairs, use the toilet and not flush. Just leaving messes all over the place but never cleaning up. The only time I see roads being constructed is next to Children’s Hospital. Other than that, I rarely see progress. I would accept that roads are being worked on at night but after months and months of absolutely no change, its evident this isn’t happening.

And you want to know what really gets my goat? It’s when I’m on the outer-belt and there is clearly a lane completed that was started in 1883, but we can’t drive on it because no one has removed the stupid orange barrels. I swear to God, one day I’m going to get out and begin removing them.

I am trying to understand your thought process but when I see charts like the below, it’s difficult for me to reason. Additionally, I briefly read one of your reports that seemed to underestimate the congestion in Columbus. I don’t know if the person that created the report is Amish, never traveling on highways but if you ever want a commuter’s vantage point, come take a drive to and from my work. It will make you absolutely batty.

letter to odot

From a commuter’s perspective, the timeline and completion of all construction projects are thoughtless.  For instance, take the last 24 hours. Yesterday my exit, 310, was closed for construction for the day. This will be the third time in 2 months it’s been closed. Had I been able to use the exit, I still wouldn’t have been able to use my usual streets to get to my development because not only did you close one street, but you closed 2. My 3 options to get into my development has dwindled down to 1 option and I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t close that, thus leaving my family imprisoned in our neighborhood.

But wait there’s more! This morning, I couldn’t take 70E because traffic was backed up for about 6 miles between 256 and 310, thus forcing me to take 40. It didn’t matter though because we were down to 1 lane once in Reynoldsburg thanks to….you guessed it….more construction.

My last question involves construction that ironically is not labeled on your construction map. Quite frankly that’s almost a slap in the commuter’s face considering we drive it EVERY SINGLE DAY. I want to know when the West side of 270, between Roberts and Cemetery will be completed. I have yet to see a human working on it so unless there is a construction fairy, what’s the plan?


Hot Mess







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