We live in the relatively new Village One area, which features underground utilities and lovely smooth, paved streets—or it did until now. So what’s going on now? Those of us who live here are stranded either at home or elsewhere between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM on various days this week as these still quite serviceable streets are being given a new “slurry coat” for some reason or another which none of the neighbors I’ve spoken with see as a priority.
The feeling by many in the neighborhood is that the money generated by the Measure L tax, which passed in 2016, must be burning a hole in the city’s pocket as areas not needing resurfacing are being resurfaced, while other areas (such as the streets near Downey High off Coffee Road) were slurry coated several months back, looked quite nice afterwards, but subsequently had construction crews there again busily tearing up the newly coated streets to re-do either sewer or water lines (or both) leaving the entire area worse off than BEFORE the slurry coating, with uneven pavement, chunks of asphalt, rock, and other material breaking loose at the perimeters of the patches, and we haven’t even hit the rainy season yet! Though that’s, indeed, a local annoyance for the residents in that vicinity, what really bothers me is that nobody seems to be in charge of coordinating these projects to prevent this illogical work schedule!
Are we so awash in funds that this lack of planning is deemed adequate? As a taxpayer on three properties in Modesto, I think not.
The July 7, 2018, Modesto Bee reported the county apparently collected some $40 million dollars in its first year alone and will continue to collect these taxes for the next 25 years (beginning April of 2017.) Let’s hope someone capable is handed the reins before another dime is spent tearing up something that’s already had money spent on an “improvement,” as nobody in their right mind frosts the cake until after it’s baked!
Today as I headed down to Tully Road for an appointment, I wondered at places if I would need a 4WD vehicle as West Granger (and various side streets) are in much more dire need of attention than those of Village One. In fact, if one doesn’t drive slower than 20 mph, your silver fillings can start feel like they’re loosening and you can almost feel your kidneys bounce around, providing all the thrills one finds in touring a Third World Country. I had to wonder why the “easy streets” were being tended to first while the streets with greater needs were left untended as winter approaches.
After speaking with several area gardeners (who requested their names be withheld) as well as deliverymen who travel the streets of Modesto, I learned that there are many streets with more severe potholes than West Granger, and the gardeners know from whence they speak as they must carefully secure their lawn care equipment in their trailers to insure it’s not damaged as they travel from job to job (and axle problems were also mentioned as worrisome.) The delivery men (who also requested their names/companies’ names not be used) in the areas where we own property also weighed in as to the varied street conditions depending on the areas of town where they’re making deliveries. It all prompted me to wonder whether there is favoritism at play here (one would hope not since ALL taxpayers have skin in this game!).
The main issue for many of these daily drivers lies with the fact that they are independent contractors and must keep their vehicles, their very livelihoods, in good repair in order to work and poorly maintained streets are, indeed, hard on these vehicles and their budgets!
Who, pray tell, is doing the planning and coordination of these ill-timed projects? Drunken sailors on binge shore leave? But that’s probably not fair to drunken sailors as at least they might be able to keep their priorities straight!
From what I understand, each city gets a share and may allot that annual sum as they see fit, but apparently the folks in Modesto (and let’s start at the top with the Mayor whose loyalties I am beginning to question) are playing favorites with respect to who gets what repaired when. According to reports, each city gets to apply its share of funds where it’s deemed most necessary.
I voted for Measure L. I didn’t vote for the Mayor. Is his failure to oversee how these projects are prioritized part of the problem? Maybe yes; maybe no; but Houston, we definitely have a problem! Entire sections of town need attention. If you doubt that, just do as I did and ask any delivery person, or any garden care company that hauls a trailer full of equipment which routes they prefer and you[‘ll quickly learn which streets to avoid. There are many city streets in sad repair and definitely far from smooth, so I question prioritizing slurry coating perfectly serviceable streets before tending to those that have been neglected for years.
Given that this thus far oddly planned series of repairs is going to extend into the future over more than the next twenty years, it would be prudent to have someone in charge who’s capable of coordinating a more efficient and cost-effective program for those Measure L funds. If this money isn’t handled in a capable, professional, logical, step by step manner, you can bet the voters will not be keen on approving another funding measure given the slip-shod timing of repairs many have witnessed to date.