Main Street, Portage Road Crumble as Council Chaiman’s Street is Repaved


Council Chairman Andrew Touma ge ts the job done – at least when it comes to paving his own street ahead of dozens of other more trafficked and needy streets. Or as Touma amply proves, “Poli tics begins at home.”

While Portage Road, Main Street and even sections of Pine Avenue look as though they’d been shelled by unfriendly artillery, and city crews working feverishly to erect “ROUGH ROAD” signs to warn motorists of the potentially dangerous driving conditions on these major arteries, residents on little traveled side streets have for the most part resigned themselves to the reality that whatever paving problems exist in front of their houses are of low priority.
Most residents anyway.
Niagara Falls City Council Chairman Andrew Touma, cousin of Mayor Paul Dyster’s campaign manager Craig Touma, lives on College Terrace, a block long street going nowhere, really, with eight or 10 homes lining it.
This month, city crews worked overtime to repave it, along with a one block section of Madison Street that links College Terrace to College Avenue and the rest of the world.
Madison Street itself is only two blocks long, but only the portion leading to Touma’s street benefitted from repaving. Residents told the Niagara Falls Reporter that there was no difference in the condition of the paving between one block of Madison Street and the other.
The condition of the city’s main thoroughfares has been a boon to auto repair shops, which have done an excellent business in replacing shock absorbers, ball joints and even repairing snapped axles. It’s made things more difficult for city cops on the beat, however.
“It’s hard to tell whether the person’s driving drunk or just swerving to avoid the potholes,” one officer told the Reporter.
Dyster has never particularly cared about street paving, being more interested in staging rock concerts and beer blasts and building his gigantic train station. Earlier in his administration, a 44-year-old husband and father of two, Kevin Johnson, tragically died when his bicycle fell into a pothole here.
We don’t know whether Council Chairman Touma rides a bicycle or not, but the brand new paving in front of his house means that, if he does, and he sticks very close to home, he’ll never have to worry about meeting the same fate as Johnson.


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