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Red-StaterWisdoms explores the differences between the Red and Blue states on social, personal and political issues.

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Dirt Roads Versus Paved

Dirt Roads Versus Paved
Originally uploaded by Sally Ann.

Whenever a crowd forms in Lindley, no matter what time of year, the debate over dirt roads versus paved almost always comes up. Invariably, the dispute is between those who live on dirt roads and those who live on paved. Each has vast amounts of experience to back up their arguments. Dirt-roaders complain of dust, potholes the size of Kansas and impassable roads during the spring and winter seasons. Pavers complain of irresponsible drivers speeding along threatening life and limb, and just try to keep a cat alive on a paved road. Both sides have valid points; however I only mentioned a few.

A few years ago a team of Lindley citizens in conjunction with Planning Board Members rewrote the Zoning Laws and created a more defined Comprehensive Plan for the town. In essence, after polling the citizens of Lindley it was determined that Lindley should remain "rural". The rewriting of the Comprehensive plan closed the doors to any development that would alter Lindley's historic rural nature. Although it's not an obvious connection, in many ways, the issue of dirt roads versus paved is part of that ideology.

Dirt roads are ideologically connected to rural thought as paved roads are fundamental to progressive thinking. There is definitely more to this argument than dust versus speed.

Technology being readily available in the form of the Red-StaterWisdoms blog, we can have a "panel discussion" about dirt roads versus paved. This would be an important dialogue, especially if Town Officials will engage in the discussion. It is my understanding that the Lindley Highway Superintendent has a plan, but does it coincide with the "will of the people?" The larger question is: What is the will of the people? Hopefully in the coming weeks, if citizens and Town Officials participate in the discussion on the blog, we will investigate all sides to this debate. As it stands right now, many citizens are unsure of the town's direction concerning our roads. I believe that's why the debate continues.

A few questions for Town Officials to begin the debate:
1.) Does the Town have a Comprehensive Highway Plan?
2.) If so, what is it?
3.) If there isn't a Comprehensive Highway Plan, as a town do we need to collectively come together to decide whether or not the issue of our roads should be approached in the same focused/organized manner just as the team did when they rewrote the Comprehensive Plan to legally align the town's consensus to remain rural?

I will act as moderator of the debate, and present questions, if needed, to further the debate along and make sure all key issues of the debate are brought forward.

For transparency purposes, all Town Officials responding to the debate/questions should attach their names to their comments.

Let the discussion begin. Keep it clean and honest!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't kid yourself.I think most of our dirt roads are posted as 42 or 45 miles per hour.. I live on one and I can safely say there are those who ignore the speed limit. How they dare go so fast is beyond the comprehension of most of us. Wish I knew they were ,if I dared, I'd like to go by their house real fast and stir up a cloud of dust. If the dirt roads were paved, it would only be an excuse to go faster. So paved road residents, just be glad you don't have to eat the dust of the reckless people who drive dirt roads. We have speed and dust to boot.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Marc said...

Sally- A lot of questions in addition a lot of pros and cons. I understand the town stil receives chips aid to help with road improvements, but I also understand that every year the town receives less in aid with no gurantees that there will be any aid in years to come. I guess you need to look at the initial cost of paving a mile of road now with the rise in cost of emulsions not to mention the stone, you also need to know the cost yearly to maintain the paved roads that need resealed and chip stoned yearly for several years until a good top is established, then you need to look at the possibility that the state aid can be cut at any time leaving the maintenance exspense burden solely on the towns shoulders. How will they pay for maintenance? Raise taxes? What other alternative would they have? Next lets look at the cost of regraveling, this needs to be done yearly also but the availability of gravel is scarce in our area. The Highway Dept. has been trucking gravel from Savona to patch rough spots in our roads, this is something else to look at rough dirt roads can be graded, but rough paved roads need cold patched. The cold patch is hauled from either Watkins or Bath, and its price fluxuates with the price of oil, I also understand that as soon as a road is paved it automatically raises our taxes because your home is more valuable being on a paved road. Another thought, the amount of gravel that is lost every year from our roads from erosion and being blown off with those familiar dust clouds. Just look at road shoulders, and remember the road used to be higher then the shoulders. Alot of gravel is lost yearly even if we're lucky enough not to have any natural disasters. Okay another thought the speed limits on the dirt roads were not set by the Town or Highway Dept., the Highway Dept. asked for speed limits on on our roads and the state mandated what the limits were.
P.S. I agree they are excessive for dirt roads these are some thoughts to ponder or maybe a starting place for your questions I hope it helps with your discussion.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Marc said...

Sally- I cant understand why there has been no feed back on this subject i expected 4 or 5 comments a day!

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Yeah...don't know why no one has an opinion on this matter.

10:32 AM  

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