I haven’t ranted in a while, so bear with me. My first rant – and I know I’ll have tons of supporters for this one – involves the new traffic light at Laramie and the Congress Expressway. In the past, southbound traffic had a left turn signal, followed by the green light. That allowed the heavier southbound traffic to make the left turn onto the Eisenhower Expressway, plus gave us drivers the opportunity to turn on green so that a large number of cars could get through their turn.

For some moronic reason, the city has now installed a “left turn on arrow only” signal. So while cars sit and pile up on Laramie Avenue with little to no traffic coming northbound on Laramie, we can only turn left on the signal. Why? I for one am sick and tired of some bureaucrat who has discovered how much he/she can affect my life by placing lights that only allow left turns when they feel we should make a left. That turn-on-arrow-light at Congress and Laramie serves no logical purpose other than to cause me to burn extra gas and wait extra time to get on the expressway. That light, rather than making me see red, should let me turn on green.

And speaking of cars, what happened to all the car dealerships that used to line Cicero and Western avenues from one end to the other? Years back, the city put forth an ordinance that said we still had to pay the taxes for the car to the city whether we bought the car in the city or suburbs. Well the flip side to that coin is that the city no longer cares if the dealerships are here – with the jobs that come with them. Now all the dealerships can move to the suburbs and the city will still get its tax dollars.

Over the past couple of days, I have been watching the destruction of the former Harris Bank building at 5353 W. North Ave. Only in a black neighborhood can a bank be replaced with a dollar store and auto parts store. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a reflection on what the alderman and mayor think of you. You are not worthy of an institution that can lend you money to better your life and that of your children. Rather, the view is that if you do have a dollar, you can spend it on some Made in China crap while keeping your car running. Sad.

We would have been better served if that site had at least given us an Aldi’s. Many people like myself lament the one we lost that once was at North Avenue and Lawler. And please, don’t tell me about the one on Kostner and North. That is not even in Austin.

We’re the largest, most populated neighborhood in the city and we have the fewest quality stores. Pay attention, folks. The stores are put on the outskirts of Austin and never in the middle. There is a reason, and I suggest you take a look in the mirror to see why.