Letter to the Editor
In the recent Meaford election the cost of maintaining roads was a big issue. That got me to thinking. What if a wealthy person (let’s call him Max) lived in an isolated shack far from Meaford. Let’s suppose he drove to Meaford every day to have a coffee and read the free newspapers and use the free wifi at one of the local coffee shops. He would say, “Better keep those roads open because I need my coffee and keep them well maintained because my time is valuable and I don’t want stone chips on my car. It’s brand new and I paid a lot of money for it.”
Forty years ago I lived in the wilds of Balaclava. Back then they only “opened” the roads in winter for the school buses. Nobody expected to come and go freely if there was no school that day. It was even worse if a school bus did not come down your road. If someone needed an ambulance the plow would be sent out to escort it. Forty years ago people took that into account when they decided to move into the country.
Nowadays people’s expectations are much higher and that’s fair enough. We are all like Max in some ways. We want what we want and if that causes other people grief that’s not our problem. We are sure that we deserve it (whatever it is).
The solution, of course, is toll roads, similar to the 407. Gravel roads would be free. Then just as residents of urban Meaford have to pay for their own water and sewer, so rural residents should have to pay for their own roads. I realize this will make the Maxes of Meaford unhappy but if you live down a country road and don’t consider yourself wealthy (Max sure doesn’t) then just be happy that you have been subsidized for as long as you have or perhaps it may turn out that you will be paying less under a toll road system. Or maybe we should just leave things the way they are.
Bill Moses, Meaford