Neighborhood priorities: potholes vs. bicycle patrols
We live in a nice neighborhood of Managua – it actually has a neighborhood association. Even though the house is rented by the Embassy, we got a letter from the association asking for input on next year’s priorities. The list paints a picture of life in our little area of the city: potholes, grazing cows and scrap-metal scavengers existing among the high-walled houses. I’ve translated the letter below. All parentheses are in the original letter.Dear Neighbors: Greetings. This letter is to request your suggestions for the projects we will implement this year. We want to know which ones are your priorities. Below we present to you a series of ideas, we hope you will provide us with your opinions and suggestions:
- Construction of a drainage canal outside of the neighborhood (the pond that we suffer through every rainy season)
- Contracting two men on a bicycle to ride around the neighborhood and confront any suspicious group (or person); it is worth mentioning that we did this in December and we believe that it worked somewhat because there were fewer robberies. At the same time, these men on a bicycle will not allow the cart-pullers to enter (unfortunately we have proof that they rob everything and throw trash in any vacant lot), the scrap-metal collection trucks, and cows.
- Paint and put signage on the streets.
- Light the booth at the entrance with a lamppost.
- Replace the “don’t throw trash” signs (the cart-pullers have robbed them).
- Maintain the roads (cover potholes).
Of the list, my vote is for number 1. There is a strip of road right outside of the neighborhood that is either a disastrous series of craters and bumps during the dry season or a small lake during the rainy season. I think the use of “pond” in the letter above was quite generous. The cows don’t bother me.