The per­ils of the ‘per­fect road’

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

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

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