This year University Heights has repaved two miles of streets, the most it has in years.
Must be an election year! But seriously...
In our city of 1.8 square miles we have thirty miles of streets. If we repave two miles of street every year, every street could be repaved within fifteen years. If we adopt this maintenance cycle long term, residents could then not only count on their street being repaved, but would come to know about when to expect it. I say "about" because some streets may wear out faster than others, and other infrastructure work that tears up a street could require new pavement sooner.
This is a modest proposal. Inspired in part by an old neighbor of mine on Barrington Road, Marie Hood. Incidentally, I bought my first house in University Heights on Barrington Road in 1998 (I live on Washington Boulevard now) across the street from Ms. Hood.
Earlier this year at a city council meeting, Ms. Hood spoke at open forum to complain that her street, Barrington Road, had been passed over once again for repaving. Nearby Silsby was to be repaved (and is now finished), Edgerton south of Silsby, Tyndall, Ashurst, among others. But Barrington was passed over once again. She said that for as long as she has lived on the street, it has not been repaved.
Later that week, I took a walk down Barrington Road. I got to my old house, and I noticed something.
When I moved to Barrington nineteen years ago, the pavement in front of my house was worn in a unique irregular pattern. Too shallow to be truly a pothole, yet not smooth. And nothing I’d care to ride through on a bicycle (more on bicycles later).
In 2017, nineteen years later, that irregular pavement that was in front of my old house is still there. A little more pronounced now. But I recognized it immediately. It bears repeating that when I moved to Barrington Road in 1998, this pavement was already this way. In nineteen years, this rough area has not been filled in, much less the street repaved.
My old neighbor across the street, the one that said she hadn’t seen Barrington Road repaved since she moved there? She bought her house on Barrington in 1988. Twenty-nine years ago. So, if her memory is right, Barrington Road has not been repaved in at least twenty-nine years.
I return to this modest proposal, the one where we repave every street every fifteen years. We should aim to do this. And as mayor, I would not only support our city implementing this schedule, but Barrington Road would be on the top of my list for 2018.
Because thirty years is more than long enough to wait for a new street.
What do you think?