hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Round Here, Round Where?

It is I believe received wisdom that unhappy is the land on which oil is found.  Oh, well, there's all that economic development/devastation and all that money of course.  But apparently, no matter where you go, you find oil discovery comes with deteriorating social conditions and corruption on a large scale.  Think Saudi Arabia, Texas, probably North Dakota and Alberta nowadays.  Oil just doesn't seem to bring out the better side of humans.

It's unlikely that oil will be found in Point Roberts, so we won't have that to add to our other problems.  But we do have the peripheral problem of the money generated from oil via gasoline.  That is, we have the gas tax slush fund.  Well, not exactly a slush fund since I believe such funds are traditionally part of the corruption aspect.  But perhaps more like found money.  It's some kind of prize and it's OURS, and they (the holders of the slush fund) won't let us do whatever we want with it.  And so, we sit around and try to think about things they might  let us use it for.  It burns a hole in our pockets, I think, or at least in some of our pockets.

Personally, I want a chunk of it for a parklet in front of the new library and extending over to the Community Center.  It would constitute Road Beautification, which might pass muster.  But I've been given some discouragement with respect to that definition of what gas tax moneys can be used for: roads.

So, we can't, apparently, just pretend the money isn't there and we really don't need any more roads here.  It appears that people brood about this pot of gold (getting up to a million dollars now) and that leads them to think of things you could do to a road.  Currently, there is actually a proposal to build a roundabout at Benson and Tyee in order to deal with the dreadful traffic jams there.  Or with the people racing down Tyee who haven't been pulled over by our sheriffs who hide behind nearby buildings.

It has even been suggested that a roundabout would add beauty to that corner, although perhaps such beautification would render the idea unapplicable under the gas tax rules.  I cannot exactly pinpoint what makes me think such a proposal is so nuts.  First of all, it would take a lot more room than that corner currently has available.  Second, it would require massive education for local drivers and a lot of explanatory signage for visitors.  Third, there are a lot of bicycles down here in the summer, not to mention horses.  Do those work well in the roundabout excitement?   Nobody wants to get off for Teller, so it could just be In, Out on the Opposite Side, or a return to the border.  It's easy enough to turn left on Benson already.

But I see that there is a desire to spend that money.  I have an alternative vision.  I doubt if Canadians would be driving down to see our Roundabout, but what about a Viaduct or a Raised Bridge.  Would that not draw tourists?  Once you get it up in the air, it could be really big, 3, 4, 6 lanes.  One for Icelandic ponies exclusively.  Just think about it a little and the idea may grow on you.

In the meantime, the Community Advisory Committee which seems to be backing the roundabout proposal is meeting this coming Tuesday evening.  Go and see what they are thinking; suggest a viaduct/raised bridge.  The Chair, I believe, is opposed to the roundabout idea and he says (in the APB) the Voters Association is opposed to it.  But this new idea could be something awesome.  Maybe they'd like to spend the money on a skyway road!

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