Impressions from Spains
To the Editor:
I recently had the good fortune to spend several weeks in Spain visiting friends. One of the many memorable impressions I observed was the quality of their highways and roads; the roads there are as smooth as glass. The 2,000-year-old streets of Barcelona and Malaga were far superior to the streets of my Edgewood neighborhood. Spain is well known to have high unemployment, low salaries, and has been on the threshold of default for the past several years, registering only a few degrees warmer that its Mediterranean neighbor, Greece.
How is it that such a country can sustain its 2,000-year-old infrastructure better than our country, which likes to think of ourselves as the most powerful and successful country in the history of mankind? Also, I am left to wonder where exactly has the $20 million highway funds Cranston voters approved not long ago been spent? Certainly those funds were not spent in my Edgewood neighborhood.
Our current city administration, similar to administrations before them, seems to have simply kicked the can down the road, a bumpy road. Perhaps, before leaving office, the folks in city hall could give the mayor of Barcelona a telephone call, asking how with a near third-world economy, and with a shrinking tax base, they can afford to repair and maintain their roads better than an American working-class city like Cranston. Barcelona’s mayor is Ada Colau, its first female mayor.
Another impression worth noting is the absence panhandling in Barcelona, an issue that our mayor seems to be quite concerned about lately. Also, what little panhandling I saw was mostly elderly women, not the 20-somethings commonly seen here standing by highway intersections.
Perhaps Mayor Fung will drop a dime on Mayor Colau and ask for her advice on how to improve roads and minimize the panhandling in Cranston. Her address and telephone number is:
Ada Colau, Alcalde de Barcelona, Placa Sant Jaume 1, Barcelona, Spain 08002 (telephone 34-934027000).
P.S. In all fairness, several years ago, the city did an excellent job re-paving a section of Broad St. Unfortunately, National Grid subsequently made several underground utility repairs, and that same section of Broad St. has more craters than the moons surface. National Grid should be mandated to restore the road surface when they finish underground repairs. Now, the first response from DPW chief Ken Mason is repairs to Narragansett Blvd. cant be made because National Grid has planned repairs, but he cant provide specific details. National Grid denies the claim that there are plans to dig on Narragansett Blvd. So the band plays on.