Thunder Bay or Cone City?

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Rusted out streetlights were removed in May, now six months later as winter approaches, nothing has been done.
Rusted out streetlights were removed in May, now six months later as winter approaches, nothing has been done.
Rusted out streetlights were removed in May, now six months later as winter approaches, nothing has been done.
Rusted out streetlights were removed in May, now six months later as winter approaches, nothing has been done.

Cones? A City of Cones?

THUNDER BAY – Real priorities for the coming City Council have to include making Thunder Bay a safer and more tolerant city. Ensuring that the residents of the city receive the best value for tax dollars, especially in repairs to our infrastructure have to take a far higher priority.

Mayor Hobbs has said a focus must be on crime and dealing with social issues. Now it is time for action, real action and not just words.

Thunder Bay should be working with all parties in a manner that will help make our city better, but also help to deal with addiction issues in the communities across Northern Ontario.

Many people expressed their concerns on the city’s focus on mega-projects. Thunder Bay should be capable of doing the continued work needed for the Event Centre, but the major focus must also be on improving the rest of the city.

Additionally it should be a major task of City Councillors to hold Administration to account on actions and decisions presented to Council. There are areas where it increasingly appears that simple tasks are being left aside.

Coneville? Cones, Cones Everywhere

Thunder Bay in many ways has become a city of cones.

When there is an infrastructure problem, a bright orange cone is put there like a bandage over the problem. Far too often it appears those cones stay put for far too long. It is not unlike someone using a highlighter pen when reading who ends up with so much highlight that it loses its significance.

There are three cones on Brodie Street where street lights once stood. The lighting at night is now far darker than it should be.
There are three cones on Brodie Street where street lights once stood. The lighting at night is now far darker than it should be.

A good example comes in downtown Fort William where streetlights fell down last spring. Bright Orange cones were installed where streetlights were deemed unsafe.

On April 30th, the City moved to remove streetlights after a streetlight post fell narrowly missing a pedestrian at the corner of Victoria and Brodie Street.

Now six months later, all that has been done was the installation of Thunder Bay Cones where the lights once stood.

Six months later there remains no apparent action. The cones however are showing signs of wear and age.

That is making the downtown Fort William Business District darker, and less safe and appealing to people. It should never take six months to replace a street light.

Council should be calling hard on Administration to make sure the little problems are fixed.

Business guru Tom Peters once wrote “If there are coffee stains on an airline’s fold down tray, they don’t do their engine maintenance properly.” In Thunder Bay, the street cones perhaps are the coffee trays. that are a symbol that not all is well.

Those once bright orange cones, half a year later are seemingly a part of the landscape now, simply waiting for sidewalk plows to hit them this winter.

The surface of East Victoria Avenue was recently re-surfaced. The job left depressions in the paving at the corner of Brodie and Victoria Street East. That gathering point will make that intersection less safe for both drivers and pedestrians.

The City has promised to look at it next spring. Some work was done to extend the paving to where it was supposed to go, but putting patches on patches only means that the work will not last as long as it should.

Construction wise, Thunder Bay should perhaps be looking at how to maximize work during the short summer season. Far too often over the past couple of years, construction work is extended in to late October and early November.

That means in many cases the asphalt is going to be applied to surfaces that are cooler than they should be. That impacts adhesion and compaction.

The biggest task before the new City Council is likely not going to be the Event Centre, but rather to find ways to make our city safer, more efficient, and getting real value for tax dollars.

James Murray

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