First of all I know that everyone everywhere complains about the state of their Public roads. This certainly isn’t unique to Toronto. Like gravity or the speed of light, potholes are practically an accepted universal constant in Montreal, and they’re at least an urban fact of life just about everywhere else. But lately things have been genuinely different, and not in a good way. I’m sure you’ll have all noticed the enormous amount of extra roadwork that’s been done in the past year by everyone from City Contractors, to the Utility Companies. Perhaps you’ve wondered if it’s just you, or if anyone else has felt like the whole city has been turned into some sort of urban war-zone, where you can turn any corner and suddenly be faced with bombed out street craters and construction wreckage strewn helter-skelter. Caterpillar tracked behemoths staggering across the road in front of you, with plenty of warning signs posted and pay-duty cops chatting and sipping coffee of course. Although Motorists might be too busy cursing the maze of construction zones and disrupted traffic patterns to have also noticed what’s happened to the the actual quality of the pavement, any Cyclist will tell you that the patchwork of horrendous asphalt repairs that these crews left behind is almost criminal in it’s dangerous leveling, poor tamping , and its appallingly shoddy work. The roads basically went from getting bad…to instantly being way, WAY worse, and we’ve all been left to quietly wonder why?!?
As it turns out, the onslaught of roadwork in the past year has certainly been the result off financial (RINC) incentives from Federal initiatives, and stimulus packages, so you can rest assured that when those funds dry up, there will be nothing to pay for repairing the sloppy carnage that has been left behind by these crews. In fact I’d argue that the contractor have already been skimping on the final re-pavement costs!
It might warm the heart of the Finance types, who are glad to know that the blue collar incentives enabled some significant “upgrades” (ie. overdue maintenance) to our infrastructure. The bean counters and financiers can also rest assured that these very well payed blue-collar crews were soon spending their windfall of tax dollars on their new cars and TV’s which is surely what the Feds counted on to keep the economy rolling through the Recession.
In the meantime, our streets have been turned into booby-trapped post-warzones with the horrifyingly bad re-paving work, that was obviously tossed on top of these money-pits, without the slightest skill or consideration for the aftermath. God help us all…