Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday July 3 2015
9:41 PM EDT
2014-08-11 at 21:32

Rural roads

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

Dusty rural roads led city council to look for answers after a deputation Monday night.

Joyce Pedri came to city hall representing residents of Government Road west of Mapleward Road saying that the conditions of the road have been unbearable this year.

While the city has graded the gravel road several times, dust suppressant has only been laid down once. People have had to stay in their homes with the windows closed because of the dust from vehicles. Those who do go near the road have been hit by flying rocks.

It's also damaged vehicles. Pedri herself has had to repair the windshield of her car three times in the past year. It's also causing visibility issues, disputes between neighbours and isolating the people in the area from each other she said.

"That road is our community,” she said.

Coun. Trevor Giertuga said people on the road have been promised since amalgamation that it would be paved but that hasn't happened. With a majority of the city's 200 kilometres of gravel roads in his MacIntyre ward, Giertuga said it's now at the point where people call him to get the roads maintained because the work will get done much faster than if a member of the public complains to the roads department.

"I'm not sure if there are two different lists," he said.

Government Road has seen homes go from 12 to 45 since the Pedri's moved there 34 years ago. Those homes have added more to the city's tax base but the area hasn't seen any increase in services Giertuga said.

Coun. Mark Bentz also wanted to know why some parts of the road are paved while others remain gravel.

"I think it's certainly something we need to put our minds to," he said.

Council will receive a report on the city's gravel roads during the first quarter of next year.

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sawmillsteve says:
Come on seriously.....can't you find something more important to complain about. I live in the country, its dusty, road is rough most of the time.....don't see me whining at city council meetings.
8/12/2014 2:08:02 PM
prismacolor says:
Is there any story regarding City matters that you guys CAN'T link the event centre?
8/12/2014 12:21:05 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
Sorry. City council has been preoccupied with the marina and events centre. Remember a majority support an events centre not road work including council. Have you people thought about riding your bikes rather then your vehicle? But it is election time. Good luck.
8/12/2014 11:56:39 AM
anvil of crom says:
I can feel a bit of sympathy for the residents needs.
But where does one draw the line? When do you make the choice to pave an existing gravel road? I would think its a very expensive option to pave a gravel road, but then again long term maintenance may be less.
My point, in the city you have a much higher density of houses per road frontage, then in the country. I wonder if going from 15 to 45 houses is enough?
To my point the unpaved section of Government road past mapleward up to townline road just short of 4 km long, with "45 houses". 10 houses/km
An example of a very bad paved road in town that was recently paved I use Carl avenue. Carl is just over 1 km long BUT has about 116 houses. 116 houses/km.
Like many rural residents they buy homes for the lack of housing density. So is paving money well spent? or is this a lavish accommodation for residents that bought on a gravel road in the first place. There are no guarantees,Sorry Joyce but to be fair its a No from me
8/12/2014 10:49:18 AM
nads74 says:
1) the road was in WAY better shape up until 2008.
2) we pay the same taxes for those on the paved part of gov't rd
We asked that there be better maintenance or a tar and chip seal. Not once was it asked to be paved.
8/12/2014 1:45:21 PM
anvil of crom says:
The city needs to maintain it better , I am all for that. There also may be a traffic element to why certain roads are paved and while others with the same house density are not. I cant speak to that as I have none of that data. I use the house/ km example as something anyone can grab onto.
8/13/2014 2:37:20 PM
tiredofit says:
Let's see... the city has spent how many millions preparing for a "event centre" which the Feds have clearly stated there is no money for. How many km would that have paved in this city? Oh wait, some miracle is going to develop and the Federal Money Faerie will find it...

Let's spend the money fixing our crumbling infrastructure, give up on the enormo dome already.

Yeah yeah, I know, the infrastructure will always need fixing, you are correct, but if we can fix just a little more than planned with the wasted money, it's more savings down the road.
8/12/2014 8:57:47 AM
djs says:
So many of the rural roads are dirt roads. What part of our tax base is allotted to the upkeep of these roads? How does it compare to what is allotted to the roads in town? If one lives on a dirt road, one needs to learn to slow down. You cannot drive the same speeds on the country roads that you drive on the highway--any idiot knows that much. As for the dust, there was a story about a guy who recycled cooking oil on the dirt road to keep down the dust...and it worked....cheaply. Maybe Thunder Bay needs to look at this option since paving and upkeep of roads, whether in town or in the country, is not a high priority with this council.
8/12/2014 8:41:16 AM
TerryK says:
hmmm. you want to live in a rural area, the road was gravel when you moved there, yet you whine about the dust. interesting.
8/12/2014 8:37:04 AM
canuckchick1980 says:
Did you read my comment? Yes the road was always gravel - as I said, I never minded - the road was kept, dust was at a minimum, and there was no washboard. I am not necessarily asking for it to be paved, just to be kept as it has been in the past.
8/12/2014 12:19:22 PM
nvjgu says:
One more thing. That dirt road is probably better than most city streets, least they get graded.
8/12/2014 8:28:39 AM
nads74 says:
It doesn't get graded...that's why we are so bothered. The road maintenance is horrible every since the McIntrye yard closed in 2008.
8/12/2014 1:38:46 PM
the rink rizz says:
Dirty roads for a dirty town.
Screw it lets keep are taxes down.
8/12/2014 8:17:47 AM
nvjgu says:
While there at it pave John St at Algonquin to High St, Court St is pathetic, Hudson Av, Water St(pathetic), High St, Oliver road at High St. Fix pot holes that have had orange cones placed on them all summer all over the place. I could rime off 40 other streets just in the north end of town that need to be completely dug out, not just pave over cracked pavement. The roads in this town are bad enough to wreck the suspension of any car. Other Town's are bad but I'm not talking about other town's. You reading This Mr. Mayor. I left on a road trip to S Ont. and as soon as I got on the highway I never encountered a bad road any where. Hamilton, Guelph, T.O. Woodstock, London, and every St and road in between until I turned off the highway into Thunder Bay, Pathetic. City should be ashamed of themselves. This town is looking bad. Not just the Streets. North and south cores look like the slums of Detroit.
8/12/2014 1:26:43 AM
Kam River says:
nvjgu is so right:
During the term of this council most of our main streets are falling apart.
This council has been wasting our hard earned money on the Mayor's Events centre which most of us hope will never happen.
Under this council the only neigbourhood that counts in around Marina Park. where is council has their million dollar hockey sticks.
8/12/2014 8:08:15 AM
smartguy83 says:
Odd because Toronto often takes up the majority of the spots on Canada's worst roads list.

That being said you have to exercise some caution when saying negative things about the mayor.

You have to at least recognize that previous groups have left the mayor with a MESS to clean up in the infrastructure department. If you can't admit that then you are lying to yourself. He is doing a good job with regards to infrastructure and people need to realize this.
8/12/2014 8:48:14 AM
Royalflush says:
Well, you can't have everything. You want good roads, or bent poles with lights on 'em? Its eitner smooth , paved roads, or a majestic hockey rink. You cant have both! So make up your mind!
8/12/2014 10:50:38 AM
canuckchick1980 says:
I would like to commend Ms. Pedri for standing up for us residents of Government Rd.

I have lived on this unpaved stretch of road for over 12 years, and this summer is by far the very worst I have ever seen it. Having to drive on the opposite side of the road to avoid the washboard (one day post grating), inhaling copious amounts of dust while running,my children coming home blowing out noses full of dirt, a cracked muffler and windshield are some of the things dealt with. I never minded living on a gravel road, or thought it would be necessary to pave it before, but something should be done.

Mr. Giertuga please pay attention to your constituents and fight on our behalf!
8/11/2014 11:08:55 PM
Commonsense says:
If these residents want to have any hope of getting their road paved next year, then they should be encouraging their ward councillor to press for Administration to prepare this report earlier.
A report "in the first quarter of next year" means it will be too late to have the road paving in the 2015 budget.
Perhaps the City has been delaying paving due to the many new homes being built, and the necessary big trucks?
Has the ward Councillor been consistently requesting that Administration include paving this road in annual budgets? That is something residents of this ward should be asking about this road, and the many other unpaved roads in this ward.
8/11/2014 10:44:27 PM
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