Thursday, April 6, 2006

Golf tournament motivates London's Board of Control to fill some holes

To hell with the people who live and pay taxes in this city. It's all about appearances. If a recommendation made by Board of Control passes, Londoners could soon be paying $200,000 for a concrete carpet leading to the CN Canadian Women's Open:

London may be laying down a $200,000 welcome mat for a major golf tournament, even though that temporary paving job could be ripped up later for a major rebuild of the road.

The $200,000 is the amount board of control wants the city to spend repaving a section of Oxford Street to ensure visitors to this summer's CN Canadian Women's Open have a smooth ride to the event.

That's in spite of the fact the same stretch of road is to be dug up within five years for a $9-million rebuild, including widening and upgrades to sewer and water lines.
Only Controller Rush Monteith opposed the improvements, adding that many new roads in London are torn up a year or two later. In addition, the city is reported to use second rate asphalt that is more prone to develop potholes, resulting in more car repairs for Londoners and larger road crews.

But Gord Hume believes those coming out of town for sporting events should have a smoother ride than daily occupants who are forced to pay his wage:
The issue was raised by Controller Gord Hume, who worried the road's poor condition would leave a bad impression with the thousands of visitors -- including media -- expected for the golf event.

"I was on that road last week on a bus and you really get bounced around," he said. "This is a major route for the people going to the tournament."
It's been a bumpy week for Hume and I regret he made his way out of the stall to attend the meeting. Apparently it doesn't matter to Hume that thousands and thousands of Londoners travel similarly treacherous major routes throughout the city, each day, because he keeps getting re-elected and that's all he's really concerned with.
. . city engineer Pete Steblin supported the change, noting the Oxford widening will likely be delayed due to tight finances.

"Shaving and paving is a reasonable option," he said, noting the road is in rough shape and a new surface may buy the city more time before it needs to rebuild the road.

Shaving and paving, or removing a layer of asphalt and then repaving, is a short-term fix with a lifespan of three to five years.

Dropped from the list of priorities in favour of the Oxford Street fix-up would be the shaving and paving of sections of Wonderland Road between Springbank Drive and Southdale Road.

Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell agreed with the change.

"It's a very major event, but it's also a major roadway and we may not be able to get to it (for reconstruction) for another five years anyway," said Gosnell, council's budget chief.

[..] The Oxford Street move was welcomed by Doug Alexander, co-chairperson of the Hunt Club's organizing committee.

He said the club hasn't lobbied for repairs to Oxford, but "it will be nice to see it done . . . as long as they aren't tearing up the road in August."
It is rumoured that visitors will be provided with city escorts to prevent them from ending up outside designated areas - just imagine if someone accidentially found themselves in the east end or anywhere downtown apart from the interior of the JLC. We wouldn't want to spoil the impression the city is trying to foster by showing them the reality of council's acheivements.


Mike said...

The city should rename that stretch of road "Potemkin Way".

Anonymous said...

Why not fix the gum problem while at it.. check out - it could save mopney on clean up bills.