From potholes to a fresh smell of ... well ... sewage in the air, the residents of Potholeboro are a little up in arms. On the one hand, I can understand it -- you’re driving along Western Avenue when all of a sudden -- WHAM! -- followed by that unpleasant sound of a flat tire, all because you’ve hit a pothole that was so deep that it ripped your tire right off the rim. It’s lousy; there’s no arguing that. But we do live in the Northeast and potholes are a fact of life. Usually they are a true sign of spring. But this winter has been long and hard (and it still isn’t over) so we get to enjoy the potholes for a little longer than normal. I’m not sure what can be done -- I don’t know what the conditions have to be to fix these things -- but rest assured, the town knows about them and they have a plan of action.
Oddly enough, I haven’t experienced any problems with potholes. Yes, I’ve seen them, and yes, I’ve successfully avoided them, but overall I’ve been lucky. I saw one pothole by Brattleboro Union High School that had at least three different pieces of cars marking the hole. That was scary -- actual pieces of automobiles laying around the hole along with bright orange traffic cones and barrels. It looked more like a sinkhole and less like a pothole.
There you are, driving down the road -- and bam, you hit a pothole. Then you get out to survey the damage and as you take a deep breath you inhale a less-than-pleasant odor. There’s no mistaking it -- the smell covers about a one-mile area around our little downtown. Sometimes it’s worse than other times, but when it’s bad, well, it’s bad. I’ve been dealing with this smell for the better part of a year and where I’m located it’s been particularly bad. There is a facility in town that does massive flushing of its facility -- 1,000 of gallons at a time, I’m told. When that happens, it forces a sour milk smell into the air that mixes with sewer and, frankly ... let’s just say it is very unpleasant. Still, I’m one of the luckier ones in my neck of the woods. Some of my neighbors have the water sucked right out of their drain traps allowing that smell to permeate their homes.
Once again, I know that our town is working on the problem and have made several attempts to try and fix it. Alas, almost every morning when I leave my house I get a face full of funk to start my day. Then I back my car out of the driveway and drive down my road, weaving around the potholes. I’m not one to usually complain about such things, but you can only push the "They’re doing everything they can" button so many times before you start wondering, "Are they doing everything they can?"
Let me answer my own question using my own travel logic: When I travel and the weather is bad, I don’t get worried if my plane is leaving as scheduled. Why? Because my philosophy is that the people flying the plane are on the plane as well and most likely wouldn’t fly it if they thought they were going to die. Apply my theory to our little hole-filled stinkville and one would assume that the folks in charge are banging into the same potholes and breathing the same air that we are. Moral: they are aware of the issues.
What’s the takeaway here? These holes in town stink! I would love to see some time and effort focused on the fixing of these issues, but I really don’t know what it entails so I have to use my travel logic for now and trust the system. We may hit a little turbulence before things get smooth, but they will. They always do.
Still, how far do we have to climb before the air is clear? What the hell is up with that?