Guest Column: Let’s get our priorities straight on street repairs

I live in the Windsor Apartments on the corner of Whitman and Main. This morning and yesterday morning at around 6 a.m., I woke up to the sound of jack hammering. I understand the need for progress and would agree to be woken up if there were more people working on the street and less people standing around it. I don’t have a degree in Construction Management, but I believe in order to make due progress, they may need to exchange the two-workers-per-slow-down-flag for the one-person-per-big-fast-machine, or one-person-per-doing-any-kind-of-work-at-all; save the worker using the jackhammer from 6-7. I understand I may sound sarcastic and I apologize.  I haven’t been sleeping well lately.

It’s not just the intersection directly below my apartment that has been lowering my spirits lately. I also question why many of the street repairs go unfinished. Again, I am not a city planner, but I would expect that the repair maneuvers would be set strategically rather than by method of darts or 900 psychic line. Simple thinking usually produces the best outcome. Simple thinking in this case would mean finishing one street before we attempt to repair another. Is there a reason this is not standard in Rockford?

As of today, July 15, 2009, I can name at least five unfinished road projects off the top of my head to include: Whitman and Main, Whitman and Ridge, most of Auburn Street, Wyman and Mulberry, and the Jefferson Street bridge. I can’t name them all, but if I took a short drive, I’m sure that the number would increase to, let’s say, more than a baker’s dozen.

I understand the city of Rockford may be saying,
What business is it of yours?

Well, I would have to remind the city of Rockford that I am a financier of the project, as is anyone who buys a stick of gum in this town, thanks to the sales tax increase that we all pay.

In conclusion, I send this e-mail with many better things to do. I send this letter not out of ignorance, anger or arrogance. I send this letter in hopes that one day our streets will not look like Bosnian mine fields. I send this letter with the same wishes of most Rockfordians, that one day we will have a bustling Midwestern utopia where the streets are as clean and neat as the people are nice. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Maybe we should take it one street at a time?

David W. Pederson is a Rockford resident and taxpayer.

from the July 29-August 4, 2009, issue

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