All the roads in Austin are awful. It destroys my faith in civil engineering a bit. There’s a couple spots (southbound Burnet near North Loop) where you can catch air on a storm drain if you’re going the speed limit. The extreme Texas heat determines a lot of the road conditions by warping the asphalt. The giant live oak tree clusters lifting entire sections of concrete do their part as well. But that doesn’t explain all the shoddy patch work rattling your hubcaps off.

There’s a human element happening as well. Some years ago I learned almost anyone can dig up a road. My friend who owns a food trailer park in South Austin told me about this when he connected his sewer main. Get the permits, maybe prove you have the correct equipment, then jackhammer your way through the city road until your heart’s content. You don’t have to be a “road expert” or professional street paver to do it, you just need to attempt to repair the road when you’re done. I was astounded.

A swampy, soupy, oval-shaped pond of concrete in front of my house, about 4ft by 8ft in size

Last week a crew of guys made a big ol’ hole in the street in front of my house. They were fixing a broken gas or water line going to my neighbors’ houses. As they finished up late, hot, eager to go home, the patch job on the street was something else. Not a slick smooth surface that looked like a road, but a three-dimensional soupy blob of concrete covered with a lumpy, goopy layer of asphalt textured by the excavator tracks. I assume these guys are professionals but I doubt they come back and do quality assurance. My takeaway from the day was it’s shockingly easy to mess up a road.

All this talk about rough spots and jacked up roads has me thinking about websites. I think websites have the same problem. Lots of people work on websites. You don’t need to be a “website expert” to put something on a website; at most you need a login for a CMS or git access. It’s shockingly easy to mess up an entire website.

So whenever I come across a bad website - one with bad performance, bad accessibility, bad design, etc – and I’m about to throw my computer across the room, I stop and rejoice because some unqualified person jumped the turnstyle and was able to fuck up a website real good.

Anyways. I’m building a tool that helps you monitor your roads website. It’s called Luro and I think you’re gonna love it.