Stop ig­nor­ing roads in Ot­tawa’s east end

Ottawa Citizen - - LETTERS -

Re: Ot­tawa’s rav­aged roads need se­ri­ous at­ten­tion, Oct. 9.

While most tax­pay­ers will prob­a­bly be happy with Mayor Jim Wat­son’s ap­proach in keep­ing tax in­creases low, it has come, as Ran­dall Den­ley points out, at the ex­pense of hav­ing the worst roads among 15 cities.

Although the Or­léans area may not be any worse than other ar­eas, reg­u­lar users of St. Joseph Boule­vard have be­come ac­cus­tomed to dodg­ing pot­holes and wob­bly drainage cov­ers. Side­walks are just as bad. Cen­trum Boule­vard was built 30-plus years ago and in spite of a fairly heavy level of traf­fic and pedes­trian ac­tiv­ity, it re­mains as is: plagued by shoddy side­walks, rust­ing gates that once were a wel­come fea­ture to the Or­léans Town Cen­tre, and out­dated street lights that are con­stantly be­ing re­paired.

Even though some of these is­sues go be­yond road re­pair, it speaks to the lack of at­ten­tion to gen­eral im­prove­ments. Keep­ing taxes low by de­fer­ring re­pairs in­evitably cre­ates a greater ex­pense at some point. These types of prob­lems are not unique to Or­leans. If the roads sit­u­a­tion, as Den­ley sug­gested, can be ad­dressed with a 0.5-per-cent tax in­crease, why isn’t the city mov­ing for­ward now, or is Wat­son wait­ing un­til he is no longer in­ter­ested in re-elec­tion?

Dale Boire, Ot­tawa

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