Your Views: City’s priorities wrong; invest in fixing streets

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

In 1966, while vacationing, I visited my brother-in-law in Janesville. He gave me a two-hour tour of the city. Afterward, he asked if I noticed anything unusual about the city.

“Yes,” I said. There were plenty of trees, no blighted neighborhoods and, in general, the city looked nice.

“You notice the potholes?” he asked. We’d grown up in a city known for its potholes. I hadn’t noticed because there weren’t any.

That was then. Today is a different story! Potholed rough roads add an average $335 annually to costs of owning a car, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. I would guess car owners in Janesville are unnecessarily paying between $1 million and $2 million annually.

Why have our streets fallen into disrepair?

In my opinion, it’s because city management has other priorities, such as a new bus barn and a proposed new fire station in a residential neighborhood. All the while, management ignores the city’s most essential need—quality streets!

The city’s authorization of $9.5 million for a new fire station is a waste. I think $1 million could be spent rehabbing to correct the lack of maintenance of station No. 1 and upgrading the old bus barn to store seldom-used auxiliary fire equipment such as the department’s boat, which then would be across the street from the city boat ramp on the Rock River.

The remainder needs to be spent repairing our city’s streets to what they once were.



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