Streets are a big investment, we should maintain them better

It has become somewhat alarming to witness Red Deer city council’s apparent long-term commitment to the complete and absolute neglect of our city streets.

It has become somewhat alarming to witness Red Deer city council’s apparent long-term commitment to the complete and absolute neglect of our city streets.

Yes, they are only streets and they are not very high up on the priority list as far as tax dollar expenditures are concerned. However, the paved streets in the city of Red Deer really do represent a collective, long-term and significant investment made by the tax-paying citizens of this city, past and present, to the tune of 10s of millions of dollars.

The current state of almost every intersection and a high percentage of roadways within the city is the cumulative result of this city council’s complete oversight of the upkeep, maintenance and repair of the entire system.

There are large, deep, potholes that we are all familiar with that have gone unrepaired for a number of years and when the most obvious holes finally do get some attention, it really seems that any such repairs that were attempted by the city seem to have been carried out with a bucket of cold asphalt and a stick with no apparent attempt to actually repair the pothole so much as to leave it in a condition worse than it was before the repair, perhaps to punish city motorists for the occurrence of the pothole in the first place, like it is our fault and has nothing to do with the complete absence of any sort of adequate maintenance program to maintain our city streets.

If there was an adequate maintenance program in place and a pothole was properly fixed the first time, our city streets really could last the lifetime they were designed to and provide a smooth driving surface for many generations to come.

We can all see for ourselves this spring what happens to our streets when you turn a blind eye for so many years. I privately wonder if this year’s property tax increase is to help pay for re-paving the entire city as it very much needs, or if city council is planning another high dollar single expenditure civic project which seems to be their spending custom.

Duke Hanson

Red Deer