I was born and reared in Madera, and recently returned here after an absence of 40 years. Although I expected change, nothing could have prepared me for the changes that have taken place in my hometown.
What used to be the city’s center, downtown Madera, has been transformed into an area reminiscent of parts of Tijuana replete with the population from that town. And while driving anywhere in Madera, I sometimes feel as if I am driving in Mexico. Nine out of 10 drivers appear to be from that country and drive here as they drove in Mexico, atrociously!
For example, making turns onto another street across two lanes of traffic; waving half a dozen cars through at a four-way stop before proceeding themselves; and the most maddening, which I witness on a regular basis, waiting about three or four seconds before moving after a light has turned green.
Before anyone throws the race card at me be assured that my Mexican-American friends who are legal citizens of this country are annoyed as well.
Another change is the condition of the roads. In addition to the general deterioration of the asphalt on many roads, there are potholes the size of small wading pools, and seams 3 to 4 inches high across streets that I can only surmise were repairs but are like driving over curbs. Witness the seam on Gateway Drive between Yosemite Avenue and 6th Street. Many secondary streets are in better shape than the main streets in town.
If budgetary constraints prevent the necessary repairs, might I suggest that the city could raise funds by selling advertising space on the Madera water tower. (That would be) another change in my hometown, but maybe one thats time has come.