Looking back on 2012 in Barriere

Accolades for Agriplex, Blooper Award for ‘downtown rock garden’

Stop sign at Post Office

Stop sign at Post Office

To the editor;

Well – as 2012 draws to a close we can reflect back on two events that highlight Barriere as a community of extremes.

The first event was the completion of the Agriplex, and Barriere ought to be awarded the Canadian Community Accomplishment of the Year Award (I just made that up) for that one. The cooperation and commitment required to plan, fund, and build this wonderful structure must be practically unheard of for a town of this size.

I am in awe of the folks involved in the creation of the Agriplex and marvel each time I drive by. What fantastic potential for our wee community.

The second event – the creation of the downtown “Rock Garden” – is at the other end of the scale. Canadian Community Blooper Award for that.

After the first big snowfall I was photographing the pair of rocks on the Employment Center corner and could almost see the residual steam rising from the snowplow operator who obviously came to a screeching halt to avoid the rocks.

It would have been so easy to continue right around the corner, but WHOA  THERE! Rocks ahead! Right in the middle of the street!

The Star/Journal made mention of these rocks in the beginning, when most of us thought they either fell off a passing dump truck or were put there to temporarily draw attention to the new four-way stop.

We all chuckled when they were described in the paper as being “A landscape feature in keeping with the rural character……” or something like that. We thought this was meant as a joke!

Besides interrupting the traffic flow departing from the post office, planting two stop signs practically in the middle of the intersection and eliminating the oh-so-handy handicapped parking space there, the rocks also act as a sort of ‘bird blind’ for children.

Imagine a small child stepping out from behind the rocks into the now infamous crosswalk. Sure doesn’t sound smart to me.

And are people actually using this crosswalk? Nope – not many. Same as before. They stop, look both ways, and when all is clear they hurry across in the middle of the block from the Post Office door to the Credit Union door.

No one in their right mind is going to step out into an icy four-way stop intersection, while four rural drivers try to determine just exactly who got there first!

So come on Barriere, clean up your act. Get rid of these silly rocks before tourists start flocking to Barriere to attend events in the new Agriplex;  otherwise we may gain international acclaim in an unintended manner.

B. Henry