Saturday, November 17, 2012

Strengthening the Argument for Planning & Communication

It’s a cool Saturday morning as I write this in Clarenville. The temperature is hovering at the 5 degree mark.   At this hour, on Harbour Drive, crews from a paving company are in the process of repaving damaged parts of the road. This “scratching and patching” as it is known, started Thursday morning.  Numerous pieces of equipment and numerous people swarmed over the road at the Huntley Drive intersection – at 8:30am.  10’s of vehicles, including school buses full of children were lined up to get in the single entrance way to Riverside school and 10’s of vehicles were lined up trying to get out. It was, for anyone caught in it, anarchy.

Exactly one week before Council crews were busy doing a similar road repair in the middle of the intersection of Memorial and Manitoba Drives – again at 8:30 am at the height of morning traffic, causing further traffic anarchy and making a dangerous situation for Council crews.
Arguably these jobs are necessary and have to be done some time. They will invariably cause delays for drivers, but would it be too much to ask that someone be tasked with considering when the work should best take place to a) provide the highest level of safety to workers b) allow for the best possible results of the work and c) minimize inconvenience?

Good sense and good planning by a person tasked with doing this planning would certainly go a long way to enhancing safety, ensuring quality work (pavement does not stick and bind well in cold weather) and minimizing pedestrian and driver inconvenience through communication.  I argued for these in my pre-budget consultation to Council – these couple of incidents support my point.  

Regardless if the work is Council or contracted the onus is on the Town to ensure that:

a) all work done meets these safety, quality and convenience standards 

b) and citizens are informed when and where the work will be happening.   

It’s our job as citizens to ensure that our elected officials do that.

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