Last updated: March 14. 2014 12:52PM - 1643 Views

Loose pavers like these on East Union Street, Wilkes-Barre, dot the downtown landscape, signalling a certain inattention to detail and possibly posing a hazard. Could the blocks be collected and re-used?
Loose pavers like these on East Union Street, Wilkes-Barre, dot the downtown landscape, signalling a certain inattention to detail and possibly posing a hazard. Could the blocks be collected and re-used?
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Would it be a good idea to …


… collect the stone pavers that have popped out of the ground throughout downtown Wilkes-Barre and find new uses for them?


Tree growth since the pavers originally were placed between the streets and sidewalks have, in too many spots, created a potentially dangerous situation. Some jut from the ground at awkward angles, posing a tripping hazard. Others are loose, conceivably allowing the blocks to be easily picked up and tossed playfully or, worse, with bad intent. Elsewhere, the pavers appear to be impeding the healthy development of the trees they encircle, piercing into trunks and roots.


We didn’t carry our paver concern to City Hall officials or raise the issue with the people who steer the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District. We want to know what you think.


A landscaping issue might not immediately rise to the top of most people’s priority lists when looking at the issues confronting the city. Yet, the appearance of a cityscape signals a lot about whether the place is on the upswing or decline, reflecting the collective attitude and ambition of its residents. Are they involved or oblivious? Determined or dejected? Tidy or trashy?


Tending to these out-of-place pavers and similar aesthetic matters would indicate people care.


Conceivably, a Scout or other volunteer group could spend a weekend scooping up the loose, brick-shaped pavers and depositing them at a central storage site, say, the city’s Department of Public Works yard. Presumably the pavers were part of a former downtown improvement project and are the rightful property of the city. In any case, return them to their owner and then determine if the pavers can be devoted to another project or be sold to the public.


Do-it-yourselfers pay good money at home and garden stores each spring for pavers to fashion walkways, patios and garden borders. Better these pavers be put to a good use in the Wyoming Valley than continue to form obstacle courses along city streets, don’t you think?


Have you ever noticed areas of Wilkes-Barre where pavers have been heaved from the ground and wondered what could be done? Do you think collecting and re-purposing them is a solid idea? Or are you beginning to think we might have rocks for brains? Give us your feedback by sending a letter to the editor or by posting comments to this editorial at timesleader.com or facebook.com/timesleader.


Likewise, share your ideas for improving the community and making area residents’ lives better. Maybe we’ll spotlight your suggestion in a future editorial and ask readers, “Would it be a good idea to …”

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