Turn potholes to profits

By Ron Leir

Potholes are everywhere: ‘tis the season.

It’s especially annoying in winter months when many of the state’s asphalt plants are shut or not readily filled with paving materials.

Driving through a series of these roadway gaps is a nightmare for motorists when considering the potential for tire dealers doing big business replacing the worn treads on your vehicles.

So what’s a fed-up driver to do?

Picket the municipal public works garage? Take employees at the nearest asphalt place hostage until the boss agrees to furnish sufficient materials to cover over the roadway ruts?

No, of course not.

Here’s my idea for a sort of solution:

Seal off the worst streets to vehicular traffic for, say, two weeks at a stretch.

Then, invite a bunch of those monster trucks into town to take on the worst of the bashed-in streets for the type of competitions you see at the meadowlands arena or any other car show venue of the kind you see on the tube or streaming live on your home computer.

Of course, the potential is there for enormous profit-making to benefit the town if the promotions are done right and – get this – the town could derive sufficient revenues, not only to buy the needed asphalt but there’d be enough left over to reimburse hapless drivers like you and me for the cost of replacing tires lost to those jagged holes in the road.

Set up bleachers for the public to watch (seating would, naturally, be an additional fee) and invite in those food truck vendors because your spectators’ appetites are only going to be whetted by the sight of those monster vehicles going at it so we must be prepared.

Not to mention the fact that, undoubtedly, this spectacle is something that MSG and other sports networks will want to cover so the town should hire the best entertainment lawyer around to draft a contract that will force the networks to pay a premium for the right to broadcast this event.

Think of it!

What an amazing precedent!

The town will be written up in the New Jersey League of Municipalities yearbook, will be highlighted in major sports publications, in National Geographic as an example of how urban terrains are ever changing.

Sky’s the limit.

And, after the competitions are concluded, what a simple matter will it then be for the town to arrange for installation of new underground water and gas lines since the street(s) will be more than ready to accommodate them at that point and the town will be saved the expense of excavating them!

So you can see, my fellow suffering drivers, if you only have enough patience to accept the inevitability of detouring around the roadway hotspots – particularly along Fish House Road and Central Avenue – it’s worth the wait to get what we want.

Any town administrator whose interest should have been piqued by my modest suggestion is reminded that as the originator of this wonderful promotion, I should be entitled to a cut of the profits.

But, given that it would clearly constitute a conflict of interest, I am willing to donate my share to the overall betterment of roadway rigor for eliminating any and all future potholes.

 

 

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.