I was talking on the phone with a buddy the other day about last Thursday’s council meeting and the city awarding a multi-million dollar contract to pave and beautify a portion of Ringgold Road.
I told him that the city is going to spend more than $6 million to add a 10-foot wide sidewalk on one side of the street and a five-foot sidewalk on the other side. The amenities will allow cyclists and pedestrians to more comfortably and conveniently go up and down our commercial corridor.
“How many people you see riding bikes up and down Ringgold Road?” my friend asked. “Who walks up and down the highway?”
Good question. From where I sit, the people I see riding bikes in and out of traffic are those 30-year-old punks who are in some “pseudo-gang” who are up to no good. Walkers? Last couple I saw on foot appeared to be homeless and were engaged in an animated discussion. I would go so far as to call it a disorder.
My friend had a better idea about spending millions on roads in our city. “Pave these darn bumpy streets that are all over the place,” he said.
Who comes up with these ideas to “improve” our city anyway? I’ll lay some money down it ain’t our elected officials. It’s staff, and by staff I mean the city manager, grant folks, and other people way up the food chain.
No, this was not current City Manager Chris Dorsey’s idea. I’m not even sure it was his predecessor Scott Miller’s idea. This plan was hatched in the fall of 2014 when Andrew Hyatt was in charge.
Apparently, once these things get rolling – the city got a $950,000 state grant – it’s hard to stop them. And, who gets left holding the bill? You and I, dear readers, the taxpayers of East Ridge.
Know this: It might be too late to put the breaks on PHASE I of this project. That ship done sailed. However, ridiculously expensive future expansions that are a waste of funds can and should be stopped. How? By the council not approving PHASE II, PHASE III and so on.
There are better ways to spend millions of dollars on roads in East Ridge that would serve the taxpaying public and improve the quality of lives of the motoring public.