• Streets highlight lack of policy
    April 12,2014

    Streets highlight lack of policy

    As any citizen of Montpelier, I am made aware daily of the terrible conditions of our city’s roads. The shocks to my tires and frame are a constant reminder. So when I read about the City Council’s consideration of the need for road repairs, I had a moment of hope that help was on the way. It was at least refreshing to note that the city admitted that it had failed to accept its responsibilities in timely road repair for the past several years and hopes to address the issue.

    The deeper I got within the article, however, it became clear that there was no planned help on the way for those of us who live south of the river. All the planned repairs, should they happen, seem to be slated for Barre Street, Upper Main Street and even Murray Hill. But no mention of the tank traps dotting Northfield Street. Why?

    Perhaps few councilors ever bother coming over to this side of the river. Perhaps our neighborhood’s citizens fail to make their discomfort known to the council or the Public Works Department. Whatever the reason, it is time for the Montpelier City Council to become aware that there is a substantial portion of the city whose jarred tires, backs and kidneys are not being considered in its road repair plans.

    Climate change is going to make every year a new and different challenge to our roads. We need a plan to rebuild our key arteries with those challenges in mind. Otherwise, every year at this time we will be, once again, facing the same catalog of failed roads. However, with our municipal failure to systematically address the underlying failure of our basic street design, each year that list becoming longer and more dire. Its time for the city to be honest with us about what will really be required to keep our aging road system working in the future.

    Dan Jones


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