While vacationing in Europe this summer, I noticed some contrasts between European and U.S. management of city parks and public spaces along the highways. From Germany to Italy, the roads are pristine and well-maintained. The grass is mowed constantly along the highways. The same cannot be said for maintenance in the United States.
The streets in Georgetown, with a few exceptions, have partial repairs for potholes that can rattle your teeth while driving. We do have the Georgetown Business Improvement District’s flower pots along the main streets in Georgetown, but the flower plantings throughout the European cities are overwhelmingly beautiful.
Parks in Europe are constantly being maintained by public employees. In contrast, while the National Park Service does contract with maintenance employees in the Georgetown Waterfront Park, the maintenance of Thompson Boat Center has consisted of Band-Aid fixes rather solutions to the underlying structural problems.
The Park Service simply does not have the funds to fix the structural shortcomings. In March of this year, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, proposed legislation to fund a $12 billion maintenance backlog for the National Park Service. The prospect for enacting this funding for this maintenance backlog is speculative at best. More likely, Congress will resort to Band-Aids.
— Bob vom Eigen