To the Editor:
I came up to Northern NY recently to visit family and friends, as I have many times before, I had to get off of I-81 and make the long, slow trip on US Route 11. I thought it was bad under normal circumstances, nothing could have prepared me for what I encountered in Canton. I truly felt as though I was driving off road in the mountains with DC traffic that I’ve become so accustomed to. It took nothing short of 90 minutes to get through Canton on Route 11. I grew up in NNY, but I’ve long since forgotten all the back roads and opted to stick with the route I knew well.
When I finally got home and told my parents of the delays I experienced in Canton, my Mother shook her head knowingly and said, “You know, the worst part is they’re not even making Route 11 any wider through town, they’re just working on water mains, curbs and other minor stuff.”
I’ll take her word for it, but given that it’s pretty clear upon visual inspection that the roads will not be any wider as evidenced by the sidewalks apparently retaining their normal width, I have no reason to think she’s misinformed. When she told me that the NYS DOT expected that project to last two years, I about lost my mind. Two years, and how many millions of taxpayer dollars (including mine) are being used for this debacle?
YES-Eleven wants to “improve and enhance” Route 11 as opposed to going after the I-98 connector highway between Plattsburgh and Watertown? Are you people out of your mind? You want to force all your fellow citizens and townspeople to endure this ridiculousness in every small town dotted between Watertown and Potsdam? At the rate they’re doing business in a one mile stretch of Canton, enhancing Route 11 could be a 15 year project. Channel 7 News’ John Friot was there filming a story for his company, and told us that he’d already talked to numerous students who had missed classes at both SLU and SUNY Canton on account of the delays.
Please tell me that among you, there is someone that has at least a shred of common sense, because you need to put them in charge. You’ve got people spitting on flagmen in downtown Canton out of frustration for the delays, cussing and hurling insults, and I can hardly blame them. Especially when I saw a flagman hold up traffic for three minutes while a front end loader brought a large TV down Canton’s Main Street just so a couple of construction workers could grab and load it into the back of a personal vehicle. (Presumably someone had left the TV on the curb for collection.) Yeah, that’s a great use of my taxpayer dollars, so these guys can run around and shop for five-finger discounts in curb side junk piles.
I-98 can’t get here fast enough, and YES-Eleven will go the way of the Ivory Tower North Country Citizens for Responsible Growth (NCCRG) who stupidly fought WalMart for years. How are those guys doing anyways? Oh wait...