OPINION: Road rage – One of city’s neglected streets finds its voice

I am road. Hear me roar.

John Dickson

You know me well.

Almost every resident of Sarnia-Lambton and thousands of visitors from elsewhere have driven, biked, bused or walked all over me.

John Dickson

I am the road in Canatara Park.

Some might say I’m the single most iconic roadway of them all in this city, one that has helped define our shoreline community.

But in recent years my image has gone straight downhill, so to speak. Sadly, today, I’m a broken and pot-holey mess.

Sometimes, I overhear people from out-of-town speak openly about the beauty of this city’s parks and beaches. But, at the same time, they’re befuddled as to why my surface is so rough and crappy.

One of those voices said recently: “Hey, we came here from London because we heard Canatara was so beautiful, but this pocked road has changed our minds. Now, our Honda needs new shocks! Why are there potholes in July?”

I heard another visitor from Port Huron say: “For the love of God, why would the town leave this road in such a mess. We won’t be coming back here anytime soon!”

You see, it’s not just me trash-talking such a valuable municipal asset — meaning me!

Please, city council, find the money and repave me now. You approved more than $13 million for Centennial Park just south of here, so surely a little hardtop of asphalt for me wouldn’t be out of line.

If you look at the statistics you’ll see my park has way more visitors than Centennial.

And remember, just three years ago, more than $1 million was spent replacing a boardwalk on Front Street that overlooks those ugly mounds beside the train tracks.

And please, don’t respond to this plea with another one of those sub-standard, hot-asphalt patch-up jobs so commonly found on Sarnia’s streets.

I’m a showcase road and deserve better than that.

Here’s a suggestion: perhaps our progressive city council members could schedule their next meeting for here in Canatara Park? Then they could see up close what I truly look like.

One caution though — they would need to drive slowly to get to such a gathering. I’m a very bumpy, grumpy, angry road these days.

Please, council, open the road repair wallet, fix me right and make us all proud again!

 

John Dickson is a business development and marketing consultant and a former General Manager of Tourism Sarnia-Lambton.