Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Road Ahead

I can't stand politics and I'm grateful I don't have to see those signs on the roads for much longer. Instead I'm looking forward to what will be happening with the roads of New Paltz over the next couple of years.

One thing everyone agrees about is that Phil Johnson has done a good enough job in his tenure to keep New Paltz safe. That he managed to tick off both developers and environmentalists while doing so is impressive - it's hard to get those folks to agree on something, after all.

What New Paltz needs now is a smooth transition to the next Highway Superintendent. Phil and the entire department can give a real gift to the community by being as helpful as George Bush was to Barack Obama. I don't believe everything I read, and I'm sure Phil isn't so petty as to harm his home town by being uncooperative, but I hope he bends over backwards to make this a smooth ride.

Mike Nielson has many ideas that could be years in the future because the cost is prohibitive or the technology isn't ready yet, but there are things he can do this winter that will save the taxpayers money and save our delicate watershed from the impacts of human encroachment. Stormwater Magazine's newest issue's cover article is on road salt, and many of the ideas in it can be used here and now. For example, there's no reason we can't prewet our roads with brine (salty water) ahead of a storm, which has been proven to reduce icing, or reduce the amount of salt in road sand, which doesn't really do much other than keep the sand from sticking together.

Our roads are one place where embracing new strategies can save money and the environment, so there is no need to be at loggerheads about how to move forward.


Anonymous said...

I not so sure of Johnsons ability to make a smooth transition for Mike. I hope that I am very wrong, but my intuition says it won't be a smoooth move.

Anonymous said...

The state of NY has been "prewetting" state routes in New Paltz ahead of storms for a year or two, and it seems to work. Mr. Neilson should consider doing the same.