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COLUMN: Maintenance vs. new construction
If you build it you have to maintain it. This should be the City of Nelson’s first rule. Before new streets are constructed or major changes to existing ones are contemplated the city should ensure that our current ones are safe and up to standards.
The underground utilities must also be inspected and repaired or replaced as required before any street is repaved or rebuilt.
Sidewalk repairs and trip hazard removals are carried out each year. Trip hazards caused by cracked sidewalks and ground upheaval are removed by grinding them level. In addition all overhead utilities require the same amount of care and attention.
The city is currently pruning trees to keep branches away from all overhead wires. Several large older trees have been removed on Behnson Street adjacent to Hume School before they fell down due to rot and/or high winds. Several trees have also been removed on Baker Street. These trees had become maintenance issues.
The Waterfront Downtown Plan is to rebuild Hall Street to make it the connection between Baker Street and the Waterfront. A major connecting road between these two areas is a good idea. This street’s pavement is in poor condition and should be repaved. The intersection of Hall and Vernon also has some safety issues which can be addressed during the construction program. Hall Street could be beautified keeping mind the needs of the present building owners.
The planners have recommended that the intersection of Vernon and Cedar Streets should be redesigned to allow two-way traffic on Cedar between Vernon and Front Street. This design will completely change this intersection. You will only be able to travel one-way from Vernon to the intersection of Park and High Street except that Cedar will now be two-way to Front Street. Traffic using High Street from the intersection of Nelson Avenue and Anderson Street will have to use Park Street to get to Vernon as the current road becomes one-way and is against them. I believe that these proposed changes will not help traffic flow in Nelson, will be very expensive to construct and I am having a hard time justifying this proposed expense.
In my opinion the road from Anderson and Nelson Avenue is a far better way to Baker Street than using the Provincial Highway. This route has very high traffic volumes and three traffic signal intersections.
I suggest we use High Street because there is only one stop and less vehicle volume all the way to the intersection of Baker and Hendryx Street.
Maintenance also includes the repainting of the Civic Centre Building. At a recent Council meeting it was decided not to fund an additional $10,000 towards the proposed Mural project at this time. The proposed mural which is also a paint job needs to proceed as this building has not been painted since 1935, except for the Vernon Street front wall. When is the right time to paint a 79 year old building?
Maintenance is as important if not more important than new construction. Change must be balanced with our taxpayer dollars.
— Nelson city councillor Bob Adams shares this weekly space with his colleagues around the table.