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4:07 PM / Wednesday February 8, 2023

12 Apr 2019

Spring has sprung… potholes and trash

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April 12, 2019 Category: Commentary Posted by:

By Andrea Lawful Sanders

What in the world is going on in these “Wakandan” streets?

If you have been out driving on the roads in Philadelphia lately, you would notice that your cars have been meeting a fate worse than an overdue oil change – potholes.

Not those tiny ones you can skip over that register as a  “2” on the Richter scale, but those that are so large, they can eat your tire and axle in one giant gulp!

It is excruciating on the wallet and your heart, because while that thing grins at you, the poor car is rendered crippled, looking bereft and stunned.

I have met people who encountered a pothole, paid hundreds to replace the tire, only to land in another one a few days later. 

It feels like Groundhog Day on repeat, except none of it is funny. 

I saw a pothole that was so large one night, I pulled my car over and took a picture because of its sheer size! Did I say there were no cones or caution signs around that monstrosity? All I could do was say a prayer and hope that folks were not distracted by their phones when they turned THAT corner, because both axles will be stuck, and the ensuing bill will make you want to throw your whole car away.

According to the news reports, city residents are filing complaints with alacrity about the amount of potholes that are everywhere, and they (the city) had the nerve to say that  they are frustrated, too, because the more potholes they fill, the more they learn about, and they can’t keep up with the demand to fill them.

I see them out there with what I call “cute” machines, spraying asphalt into these giant holes and patting them down.

I would dare say that those holes need the kind of thick asphalt that will stick closer than an irritating neighbor who is always in everyone’s business!

So, what must we do, beyond trying to dodge the monstrosities without killing others and ourselves in the process? Those things are obnoxious!

Speaking of obnoxious — some of you are just nasty! There I was, driving down Broad Street, when a bag was unceremoniously thrown from the vehicle in front of me, filled with trash. 

Who are these people? Is a trash can that difficult to find? The streets are often littered with debris as a direct result, and it is unsightly!

Come on, people! A clean environment leaves one feeling good and it is healthy for us.

When I first moved into my new neighborhood, I was stunned to see litter everywhere. Armed with a trash picker from Amazon (less than $15) I began picking up the pieces of trash I found around my property. One day, I got so frustrated, I cleaned my entire block.

Imagine my pleasant surprise, to see another neighbor join me with her own trash picker, and suddenly our street looked much better! It is a pleasure to turn the corner and see a clean environment.

When people see that you are making an effort, it also gives them pause about dropping their trash in front of your house – most of the time.

We have got to do and be better. Stop waiting for the cavalry to come and clean up our neighborhoods. I see the city has trash cans in strategic places along busy stretches of main arteries, but those receptacles are often overflowing with trash, which means they need to be emptied more frequently. 

I wish we could have the streets cleaned like the time the Pope was visiting, or when we are trying to attract a major event here.

Alas, we are often like the stepchildren who are only paid attention to when “company” is coming.

Be that as it may, if we challenge ourselves to clean up our blocks without waiting for National Clean Up Day, this city would look MUCH better. There are another 364 days where we can take some pride in where we live. It truly is the decent thing to do, because rodents will migrate and take up residence with said trash.

I don’t know about you, but I am not built for any of what can be easily avoided simply by choosing to dispose of your trash properly and keeping your pet food stored in airtight containers.

Raccoons have begun bringing their entire families to feast on said food, on open porches.

Can we just do better by thinking through a few things? My heart thanks you in advance.

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