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The Road Question

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Mr. Editor: - There has been mueh eaid about the public hlghwaya Ín th,e country, therefore I ■would like to expresa my views on the matter in your paper from a farnier's utandpoint. First I wlsta to say I have noticed for years past how willfully and shaniefully the people of Bome road districts neglect their duty, the law and thoir fellow men, and have oiten asked myself whose fault lt is for such grogs neglect. In some cases I can see part of the siegligence Hes at the door of the overseers and hlghway commissioner. In most cases lt may be contributed to thoughtlessness and carelessness of the people themselves. Therefore the present law ought to be made more stringent and obligatory. lt should giv; the township hlghway commissioner nuthority enough to make the offenders come to time. Tt is thought by Bome best to abolish tlie present system of wortdng the highway tax in rural district. lt has been said by prominent men that the present system of working roads has not made the public highways any better to travel than they were forty years ago. By abolishing the present system of working our public highways, nnd putting them under a general state law, as some saiggest, would naturally raise our roud tax without any benefit to the road, because such a Change would necessarily créate a state commissioner and probalily a county cornmissioner also. All of this extra eompensation for oiIfcers would not help the roads. Tn road districts whore the roads have been worked in accordance with the present law, of which tliere are several in Ann Arbor townships (and most likely in every township) the roads are good and are improving evcry year, so that one pair of liorses an draw all a g-ood wagon can carry. I remember in 1853, in the spring of the year, when I was a mere Iki.v six bushels of wlieat v;is all my father's oxen could haul to the mili. We do not have any such experience now. We can now haul during 11 months of the year, and carry rom 40 to 75 bushels of wheat to the mili wlth one team. I therefore thiuk and believe that ii wc can improve present road law, .so that the selfish, lawless, lazy, mean and unfaithlul residente ol any road district ean !■ eompelled to cithcr work or pay iheir road tax, that would be all that is needed to secure irood roada all oyfer the state of Michigan.. For instanee, in Washtenaw county, wlieai a road bed is wel! underdrained, sligbtly ridged wlth whcel scrapers, and then graveled, that matees a good road, and in my judgment and experienee is the eheapest and best road ior us to build. Some talk of macadamizing roads. I would like to see tlie advocates of macadamized roads give the cost of one mile of their nobby roads. It Is not so essential now ior such roads as il was in years gone by; before we had any railroads to carry our merchandise. We have railroads now in nearly every section of the 'land to carry everythlng to thB various pointa of deetlnation. I would have the present rond líiw amended. lst. So that on a written complalnt of five free holders in a township, or in an adjoining township, directly interested iu the road iu question, against an overseer or highway commissioner for neglect of duty, such olficer shall be lined. 2d. That the law be so fixod that citizens and taxp&yers be obllged to either worh or pay their road tax wben called ipon by thelr respective ovcrsoors or le subject to a fine. 3d. The hiíhway commissioner oí a township be appointed or clected for rhree years, subjecí to removal by the township board. 4th. A wagon, cart, plow or eciviper shonld be allowed one-balf of the time (actually used on the road) that a man or team is allowed. ."tli. Onder the present method of assessing every $800 of assesa -il valne should work one day or pay $1.25. And all i-oad taxi's for each year should be worked before the 25th day of June. Repairing, unexpected or additional road tax after the 23th of June, shall !■ leviexl by tlie oversoer, ro rata. Yours for a good road,


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Ann Arbor Courier