Motorcyclists calling on the city to fix potholes
By Caley Ramsay Global News
EDMONTON- There’s no doubt Edmonton’s roads have seen better days. City officials say Edmonton is on par to have a record amount of potholes this year.
And while driving through the pothole-ridden streets is frustrating for most motorists, what about those who only have two wheels on the road?
“Everything you hit is bone-rattling,” said motorcyclist Danny Hughes. “Some are just like craters around here. If we’re not careful we can blow a tire just in two second flat, if you hit it the wrong way.”
“We’ve only got half as many wheels on the road and these potholes are huge. If we go into one of those and we tweak a front wheel, there’s a really good chance that we may go over the bars, fall into traffic, get run over,” added Ian Tomlinson, who works in the service department at Argyll Motorsports.
Tomlinson says he’s already seen quite a few bikes coming into the shop in need of repair, particularly with front-end suspension problems. He’s concerned for the safety of his fellow bikers and says the city needs to do something about the state of the roads.
“It’s something that has to be addressed,” Tomlinson explained. “It’s affecting the safety of our motorcyclists out there.”
City officials understand the concerns motorcyclists have, and say crews are doing everything they can to fill potholes as quickly as they can. So far this year, city crews have filled about 450,000 potholes; Edmonton’s annual average is 420,000.
“I think we’re on pace to hit over 600,000,” said the City of Edmonton’s Director of Roadway Maintenance Bob Dunford, who added that the worst year for potholes in Edmonton was in 2007, when the city filled about 595,000 potholes.
However, Dunford says simply filling potholes isn’t the answer to Edmonton’s problems.
“Filling potholes makes the roads safe. Does it make them smooth? No,” he said. “Paving operations are up and running and that’s the solution.
“We’re looking at, probably, in excess of 800,000 square metres of road will be paved this year. Which is a pretty good amount. That’s a very high amount.”
As for Hughes, he just hopes the answers come sooner, rather than later.
“I love to ride,” he said. “You only get how (many) nice days as it is in the city, and we’re dodging potholes left and right.”
If you’d like to report a pothole, you can do so on the City of Edmonton’s website.
There is also a webpage dedicated to submitting pothole damage claims.
As of June 15, 2013 the city has received 1,492 claims for pothole damage from Edmonton motorists. Of those, 660 files have been dealt with: 294 claims have been paid out while 366 have been denied. The city says it has paid out $140,761 in damages so far this year