Monday, 18 January 2010



When did repairing a road become beautification? Repair, patch-up, fix, repave are the active verbs that come to mind.. Not that much has happened here by the looks of it. Guess the 2009 road revitalization season has come and gone; perchance funds for this project went elsewhere for emergencies; then again the purchase of Olympic tickets for city council and senior city staff could have been construed  as an emergency or dire necessity. So the information board remains resting forlornly on the verge, lacking a scheduled pickup or remaining, in case a sizable mil rate hike squeezes cash from residents for a 2010 restart (or picking up the sign is covered by next years budget).

Even when the decision is made to repave sections - which is scheduled to close up lanes as long as possible and bottle neck traffic - the new smoothen surface lasts approximately a month before a contract to replace gas lines or water or sewer etc. ends up leaving a bumpy patchwork quilt to bounce over.
Other spots along this main artery have been planted in the median under the rapid transit, overhead guide way. Simply anchor a 4 ft tree to the pit run gravel, used as a road under base, with some rebar. Toss on 6 inches of soil.  Cover that with bark mulch. And then send a crew each and every day - except weekends, of course -  to water the trees and somehow attempt to force them to survive in a barren wasteland. Strange they haven’t considered planters hanging down from the elevated, concrete train bed. If I can find a contact number or email address maybe I’ll suggest it to city staff. On the other hand planting fake trees would save a pot full of money and who would know. Especially during the morning and evening rush hours, I doubt frustrated commuters are oohing and ahing the landscape. Chances are most would be surprised to discover anything has been planted in their hurry to get to the office or arrive home before midnight.

Anyways, I surmise a city employee with a newly minted Doctorate in City, Urban, Community and Regional Planning: attended numerous high-end seminars, travelled at municipality expense throughout Europe and received taxpayer support for education upgrading in order to spend the better part of a year preparing a report for city council recommending that the word repair be stricken from all future written proposals and contracts in favour of the expression ‘beautification’.

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