Monday, April 02, 2007

Not your usual pinup calendar

While many of us debated over whether to put up nature calendars, movie-themed calendars, or one of those little fact-a-day calendars at our desks, other folks involved in Maine legislation and government found themselves given a new option that few had expected available. Jon McKane, a Republican Representative from Newcastle, Maine, remarked on it in the Bangor Daily News:
Face it: Maine's roads are not a pretty picture
By Jon McKane/BDN Staff
Monday, March 26, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

As legislators, we receive calendars — a lot of them every year — from a variety of special interest groups. One of the most unusual this year was the calendar from Pike Industries. The picture for each month was simply the picture of a road that needed repair. These are roads with deep fissures, cracks, potholes and sinkholes. They include every type of road, from our interstate highways to our main streets. They are in the cities and up in the mountains. And their condition is pathetic.

January’s calendar picture is of Route 106 in Leeds, soon followed by I-295 in Topsham. In March we have Commercial Street in Portland and then we go to Rt. 77 in Falmouth. There are 12 pictures in the calendar but there is certainly enough "ugly road" subject matter out there for calendars for the next century. Pike Industries wants our roads fixed.

And who could blame them? Our roads are a disgrace. Yet every year Maine’s highways and bridges are given nonessential status in favor of other budget priorities. Our transportation budget has shrunk from 25 percent of total state revenues in 1975 to a mere 10 percent today.

It is unlikely that Pike Industries will run out of "bad road pictures" for its calendars any time soon.

Rep. Jon McKane, R-Newcastle, serves on the Legislature’s Insurance and Financial Services Committee.
[for full article please click here: Source]
Potholes are a part of spring in Maine. In 2003, AroundMaine did an article on the technical side of the issue: A Bumper Crop of Frost Heaves and Potholes. Surprisingly I didn't find much on Flickr or other websites about Maine potholes. Maybe we're just used to having them around.

However, on Wednesday, March 21st, a tractor trailer driver blamed a pothole when he lost control of his vehicle in an accident that shut down traffic on the interstate. [click here to read full article: Source] Photo shown is a staff photo by Andy Molloy from the story, with the caption, "The northbound lane of Interstate 95 in Augusta, just north of the Augusta Civic Center at exit 112B, was closed early Wednesday morning following an accident involving three tractor trailers and a car."

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