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More could be done to keep streets smoother

Staff Report • Jan 4, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Johnson City’s taxpayers deserve a smooth ride when they travel on city streets. Unfortunately, it’s been several generations since fresh asphalt was spread in some neighborhoods of Johnson City.

The Public Works Department has tried to do its best with the city’s meager resurfacing budget, but alas repaving crews seldom make a dent in the 400 miles of roads the city maintains.

Obviously, one solution is to increase the tax dollars going to the city’s annual resurfacing budget. Doing so would allow Public Works crews to repave each city street every 20 years or so. Even that schedule is not great, but at least it’s better than resurfacing a street every half a century.

No one likes potholes, but it’s particularly infuriating to learn that some of those responsible for creating these cracks and crevices are not doing all that they should to repair them. City officials should demand that construction crews for cable, telephone, gas and other utilities return streets to their previous condition once their work is complete.

It’s unfair to taxpayers when one of those streets is not properly patched after being ripped up for utility work. The city must hold every utility (and itself) accountable for meeting street repair standards.

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