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Letter: The condition of our roads is an embarrassment

We have reached critical proportions, and patching is no remedy, says reader
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We know all cities have potholes, but in Sudbury, we have road decay virtually everywhere.

If our roads were airport runways, no planes could land. Vehicles run an obstacle course in a vain attempt to avoid blown tires and bent rims. Even people are falling into the craters and being taken to hospital as happened to a mother and child just last week.

Third World counties have better roads. 

What impression do we give to those who visit – we all know – they are shocked at the condition of our streets and wonder why the largest city in Northern Ontario has allowed such deterioration. It is normal, we are told by the city, that it is the same every winter and spring. But drivers who have been around for many years all know better as each year it gets worse. 

This year has reached critical proportions that simple patching will not remedy as whole sections of roadway have crumbled. 

Councillors will gather later this month in a strategic planning exercise. As a priority, and not to be rude, but we would suggest that “it is the roads, stupid,” that need to be addressed. Forget the grand plans for the Kingsway Entertainment District and the Downtown Junction and fix the roads. This is what citizens really want and how visitors to our city judge us.

We already have casino gambling at the slots in Chelmsford, an arena downtown, a downtown library, an art gallery, and convention facilities at hotels and other venues. What we do need is decent pothole-free streets to drive on safely.

The condition of our streets is an embarrassment. Why must we apologize for the sad state of our roadways for the many who come to Sudbury for whatever reason and how can we expect businesses to establish themselves here when it seems we cannot even provide decent streets.

Let us hope that our elected representatives can get their priorities straight and not just say that we “can have our cake and eat it, too” by suggesting we can fix our roads and have our “goodies,” as well.

Sure we can, if we had unlimited resources, but continuing tax rates above inflation and borrowing is not the answer if we are to be fiscally responsible. Fix what we have, starting with the roads, a real need, and then later consider the wants of the dreamers.

That is what we would call responsible governance and we should expect nothing less.
 
John Lindsay
Sudbury




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