Residents should speak out on streets

Published 9:56 am Monday, June 22, 2015

I had the pleasure — or should I say displeasure of driving down Fifth Avenue from Broadway to Frank Hall a couple of weeks ago. I could not believe how bad that road was and that it has been allowed to remain that way for years.

I read the letter the other night regarding the fact that the city has no intention of fixing the flooding problems in that area when the street is fixed to “look pretty and safer” for out of town people coming into town. Well, if any of those people had to drive on some of our city streets, I bet they would turn around and not come back again, particularly if those streets lead to areas that flood during large rainfalls and the city knows it and will do nothing about it.

You can bet dollars to doughnuts that if someone from the City Council lived on one of the streets in this town under such disrepair, they would get their street on the list to be redone quickly. I don’t know how many streets are in such bad shape as this, although I know there are a few in that particular area that are just as bad. I also know Park Avenue near the hospital is bad, but they’re not on the list to be repaired until next year. Why is it that Lakeview Boulevard was chosen to be repaired this year? I’ve driven on that road and it is nowhere near as bad as these other streets are. Maybe we need some citizens involved in the selection of which streets get repaired when; after all, they live on some of these horrible streets. Every one of the residents on those streets should have been sitting up at City Hall making their voices heard. If my street ever becomes that bad, I’ll be at every City Council meeting and in their offices driving them crazy. There is no need for streets to be getting this bad and certainly no reason that streets that are continually flooding are not repaired in some way. I realize that there will always be situations where heavy rain and flooding will cause problems, but if these are happening consistently, there have to be by this time ways to fix them. That’s what road builders do, they solve problems like this. If the problem is a pipe is too small, put a larger one in. If there’s a slope stopping the water from flowing, then find a fix for it or buy some of these people out that have to live through this type of flooding. I did listen to the City Council meeting suggested in someone’s letter a couple of weeks ago regarding funds that the city received to buy out flooded homes in the south Albert Lea area, but didn’t hear that part. That was probably my fault that I missed it. If that information is true and the city was given funds to buy out residents in this area who experience continual flooding and this was never done. Then the city either needs to buy these residents out now or give the money back to the federal government before someone notifies the federal agency that these funds were given, but nothing was ever done with them.

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Now, if you haven’t driven down on Fifth or Seventh Street or Newton, or any street in that area, get in your car and go there, or you can even go to Park Avenue and check that street out. You may have your own street that is just as bad, or maybe worse than these. If you do, start screaming at your councilman, the mayor, the city engineer. Let’s get these streets fixed.

If we want to make an impression on people wanting to move into this area, nobody cares what the City Hall looks like. they care what the infrastructure of the city is, and this type of infrastructure is enough to tell people wanting to move here that the city government doesn’t care about its infrastructure. They want their downtown to look pretty and they want South Broadway to be inviting to people coming in and wanting to use it for a bike route. Believe me, those people on bikes will never want to travel on those side streets. I guess that’s why they want to make the main streets better looking, that way people can’t see how they’re ignoring the side streets of this community.


Kathy Diaz

Albert Lea