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Letter: Minnesota's pothole problem

No West Central Tribune reader or contributor needs to make the public aware of our pothole problem in the state of Minnesota.

All it takes is a drive down many of our roads and highways to tell us that something has deteriorated below the chassis of our motor vehicles. Our highway dimples have grown to large depressions and seem to have rapidly increased in number over the last several years. And some holes have a tendency to inflict injury on a passing car or truck, tires and steering alignment taking the brunt of the jolts.

I feel especially sympathetic toward motorcycle riders by realizing the danger involved in a tire getting caught in a long erosion of road material or bumping over a deep hole. Though I still keep my driver's license motorcycle endorsement, I am afraid to acquire another motorized bike for fear of ending up as a road statistic.

Short of increased legislative funding for road repair or replacement in a staunchly dollar-conservative, Republican-controlled bicameral body, let me propose -- tongue in cheek --several proposals: 1) just like the Adopt-A-Highway program where families or civic groups can commit to keep a stretch of road litter-free, we could move toward an Adoption of Potholes concept to temporarily sand-fill the largest holes until the asphalt and tar people get there; 2) construct a special web page dedicated to alerting drivers to localities where extreme caution needs to be exercised; 3) pester our legislators for emergency funding to erect "Potholes Ahead" road signs just like our "Bump Ahead" caution signs; and 4) encourage the use of more ultra-light airplanes and other flying machines.

The possibilities are seemingly endless. I would like to hear more of them. I wonder how many motorists have been stopped for suspected impaired driving, and all they were trying to do is dodge potholes! Times have changed -- now when you dodge one hole, you end up hitting two other holes.

Randall Wehler