DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The pothole problem in Dallas could be prolonged after Mayor Mike Rawlings announced that he wanted to discuss a possible postponement of a 2017 bond package that would help fund road improvements.
Rawlings is suggesting that the $1 billion bond package be delayed until at least 2018, citing concerns for the financial stability of the city. The Dallas City Council will discuss the possible delay with Rawlings at a council retreat which starts on Tuesday at Dallas Love Field.
In the meantime, the potholes are still striking a nerve with the drivers who continue to strike them, creating bumpy rides and blown out tires. Some residents liken the pothole problem in Dallas to old cattle trails.
“It’s the sad reality of Dallas that we’re just going to have to get used to this,” said resident Carol Bell-Walton.
Rawlings released a statement regarding the issue and assured that road fixes are still planned. “We will fund significant street improvements in the coming years regardless of when we pursue the bond package,” the mayor explained. “It’s important that we have a full understanding of the financial challenges we face as a city, particularly related to the Police and Fire Pension System, before we put a major bond issue up for voter approval.”
The city will already spend $40 million to fix 619 miles of road this year. But that is only enough money to keep the roadways from getting worse, not enough to make them better. The Street Services division repaired 37,656 potholes last year.
Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston does not understand how fixing the crumbling roads could be delayed any further than it already has been. “For people to suggest that there’s some other spending priority,” he said, “that isn’t what the people want us to do. That isn’t how democracy is supposed to work.”