The perils of the ‘perfect road’
The Editor, In the year 2000, we protested the removal of our mature trees by chaining ourselves to them.
However, the trees came down and the reconstruction of County Road 2 was completed as planned. In addition to the loss of the beauty and environmental value of the trees, many of us have experienced other little horrors as a result of the “perfect road” improvement.
Our front lawns were greatly reduced as every inch of road allowance was taken back; deep ditches were dug, which to this day have not drained properly, providing wonderful mosquito breeding grounds.
Sight lines around the road curves are so bad that, as in our case, it is next to impossible to exit some driveways safely.
The driveways have also been shortened, and for those of us on heights of land, that has resulted in considerably steeper slopes and, especially in winters like this, more falls and more broken ribs.
Safety is a concern: car speed has increased considerably. And in spite of the huge initial cost of the road work, repairs continue to be made with even more of our tax dollars.
Road engineers aren't a bad lot; it is just that they are taught in their university Civil Engineering courses to build “perfect roads.” This is just fine in the 905 area around Toronto. There are many “perfect roads” there, along with many perfect houses but with nary a tree to be seen for miles and miles.
The trouble arises when these engineers try to build their perfect roads in heritage places, with old houses, winding roads with pedestrians, and lots of old trees.
We do hope that the residents of County Road 17 and the village of Williamstown will come together, as you have so often in community events, to protest (in chains if necessary!) the planned destruction of a most beautiful road and village. You have something so special that it would be nothing short of tragic to see it disappear.
Your branding and imaging of Historic Williamstown and Celtic Glengarry are brilliant and “Preservation is the New Progress” is a great slogan. We wish you the best of luck in persuading the “powersthat-be” that minor repairs on your road are all that's needed. Then you can keep your trees and they can keep their ditches.
Jane, George Foster, Cornwall