Toledo’s symbolic sinkhole

Public works spending primes the pump; it creates jobs.


It doesn't mean that it’s a trend, or that there was negligence, or that someone is to blame. But the Toledo car and driver in the sinkhole should give pause.

Last week, two sewer pipes and a 6-inch water main broke on Detroit Avenue. A woman in her vehicle fell 10 feet from street level into a gaping sinkhole. The incident made national news.

It raises questions: Should voters take seriously a mayoral candidate who opposes raising water and sewer rates so that Toledoans can have an up-to-date water treatment system, especially if that candidate is not offering a better alternative? Is the incumbent city administration paying enough attention to street maintenance?

Recent economic figures show only glacial downward movement in U.S. joblessness. Virtually every major economist agrees that the slowdown in the recovery has been caused in large measure by reductions in the public work force. When will the nation wake up to the need for public-works spending?

The national infrastructure crisis — crumbling roads and bridges — is well documented. Public works spending primes the pump; it creates jobs and jump-starts the economy.

Why not recognize these realities and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure? Why not do it on a bipartisan basis? If we don’t, we are likely to see many more cars in sinkholes — and many injuries.

One thing is for sure: Toledo does not want to be nationally known for not taking care of its public infrastructure.