City Report Delivers Reality Check

Whitmore ParkOn Thursday the Public Works Committee examined a report on Regina’s road and bridge network. As the report outlined, the city currently faces a $261 million backlog in work that needs to be done. At present we spend $15 million a year on road maintenance. Eighty per cent of that money is spent on 20 per cent the road network that carries most of the traffic. That would include main arterials like Albert, Broad, Victoria, Lewvan, etc.

Regina currently has 926 km of asphalt roads, 59 per cent of which are classed as residential. It’s those roads (like the one above in Whitmore Park) that, as they age and wear out, are creating a massive backlog of needed repairs. The report added that 85 per cent of the arterial network was in fair to good condition, while only 45 percent of the residential network was in fair or good condition. And in the last 20 years that network had “deteriorated significantly”.

If Regina continues at its current pace of spending $15 million a year on road maintenance, the report concluded, the backlog of overdue work will grow to $523 million in 2033. It also needs to be remembered that every year Regina is adding more kilometres to its road network as the city continues to tack on new subdivisions in outlying areas. So the situation will only get worse.

No matter what sort of lifestyle we lead, everyone who lives in Regina benefits from our road network. Cyclists use the road; transit users use the road; when we go to stores to shop, we purchase goods that were delivered by truck; we rely on police, fire and ambulance services to protect ourselves and our homes, etc. So it’s only right that all citizens contribute to road maintenance through taxes.

But people who live in low density neighbourhoods, and those who insist on driving over-sized vehicles on long commutes, obviously exact a heavier toll on our road network than those who lead more sustainable lifestyles. A way needs to be found to hold them accountable for the true cost of their lifestyle because otherwise everyone, no matter how frugally they try to live, seems destined to absorb a hefty property tax hit in the next while as we step up maintenance on our crumbling road network.

More needs to be done at the provincial and federal level, too, to provide revenue-generating options for municipalities in recognition of the shift that’s occurring toward urban living in our country. But overall, the report offers a much needed reality check on Regina’s 1970s era, vehicle-dependent, suburban lifestyle.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your inferior human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

3 thoughts on “City Report Delivers Reality Check”

  1. Great post GB!

    We could fix all the roads for the cost of 1 coliseum… COR council priorities.. right.

    Going on your #’s , this is what I got ; Ron’s Math.

    Road total
    41% = 389 Arterial km
    59& = 546 Residential km

    85% of Arterial = 331 km Fair to Good
    45% of Residential = 246 km ”

    58 ( 15% ) km Arterial & 300 ( 55% ) km or Residential road aren’t mentioned, if they are

    ; worse than fair ,or better than good..

    What % of the $15 million goes into the actual surface repair material, ( how many kms do we get… new vs. repaired ? ),not the wages / fuel & vehicle maintenance..?

    What is the base cost of 1 km of new road anywhere?

    I’ll guesstimate $1 mil. So 15 km.

    Lets do 10 Residential & 5 Arterial kms..

    That works out to a rough 3.33% of Residential, & 9.6% of Arterial work .
    Not a Hell of a lot …

    If the cost(s) are more than $1 mill/per km ; Then we get a F++K of a lot less..

  2. Roads? Pfft! That’s too real. Let’s focus on the good news stories, people: Our ‘booming’ economy, our new culture at City Hall this decade, and keep the development dollars where they belong – Paving evermore crappy new roads to the crumbly sand castle pit that is Harbour Landing & Grasslands. Whitmore Park and Hillsdale is the new North Central yo.

  3. We have all lived here for a very long time and know what issues we have had with Regina roads (dodge city). But once again the serious infrastucture issues have taken a back seat to more important projects and election promises like:

    – No property tax increases if you vote for me (Fiaccco).
    – We need a new football stadium (suppose to be 278 million – we shall see).
    – We need 30 million dollar city plaza.
    – 10 million dollars in additional salaries for 80 more managers at city hall instead of repair crews and police on the streets.

    And here’s the real kicker … 224 million (we shall see) wastewater treatment plant, will now be a P3 in which a foreign company will have a green light (thanks to the NO voters) to suck hundreds of millions of dollars out of this community.

    Please note that when you talk of Regina roads it’s not just re-paving, most of the city’s underground infrastructure requires the replacement of 80 year old sewer and water lines. Band-Aid temporary road solutions as we all have come accustom to in Regina will not work.

    261 – 523 million … try about a billion dollars to start with.

    Suck it up and pay up Regina, you allowed it to un-fold before your eyes,

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