I’ve been on a mission, A MISSION I tell you, for all of us who drive on 91st Avenue between 99th Street and Saskatchewan Drive, to get potholes filled.
How serious was my mission? Serious. Here’s yours truly on the CBC News: Potholes
You may remember, back in the early early Spring, we were dealing with a Fiat-sized pothole. I had called the City at 3-1-1. I submitted an online request to have it fixed. Weeks later after nothing was done, I called them to follow-up and they claimed that it was filled. After silently going through all the cuss words in alphabetical order silently in my head and practicing all the Zen meditations I know, I told them it had not. Because my original ticket had been closed (because they thought it was filled), I was advised to submit a new request. After silently going through all the cuss words in alphabetical order silently in my head and practicing all the Zen meditations I know, I did. And nothing happened for weeks. I called again. The next day this happened:
Crew arrived and stood in the hole. I think they were in awe of the size of the thing. They certainly didn’t have enough goo to fill it, so they left, and came back the next day, and the crater was filled.
I did cause a bit of a fuss in social media, because that seems to get people’s attention. It did in this case, and I thought the case was closed.
But this is Edmonton, and a new pothole grew in the same spot. Smaller this time, but it formed and was difficult to navigate around with all the cars and trucks parked on the street. So with every confidence that the City wouldn’t let me down twice in the same year, I submitted an online request to have the new pothole fixed. I waited weeks. It wasn’t filled. I let it go. I wasn’t in the mood to create a fuss anymore.
Then earlier this week I hear scraping sounds and look over the balcony and what do I see? This!
Heroic seniors from our neighbouring condo. Braving the busy corner they brought out a shovel and broom, and swept up road debris into the hole. They did a pretty good job. It was good enough that it stopped cars from bottoming out in the pothole.
I went downstairs to thank them, and to see if they had called they City. They had, and were as frustrated as I was. They took matters into their own hands and solved the problem.
I couldn’t resist sharing this with social media, and our City. It got attention. And fast. Next thing you know I’m talking with CBC TV’s Gareth Hampshire and next day with CBC Radio’s Rick Harp.
The morning I was interviewed by Gareth Hampshire, the City crews arrived and were filling the small, the medium, and the large potholes on our street. They even filled a few in the alley. If I was standing there with my mouth open, I think they would have been more than happy to fill it too. The City claims this quick response was purely coincidence, and had nothing to do with media intervention. That raises an eyebrow, but whatever. It’s done. For now.
The main thing is, I want the City to know I’m reasonable. I understand they have other priorities – I was told arterial roads are one of them. I’m okay with that. But if you are telling us to call 3-1-1 or complete an online Report a Pothole Form, be transparent. Thank us for reporting it, then tell us it might take X-weeks to get it done. In this political climate, accountability is a big deal. Be accountable. Hold your contractors accountable.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about potholes.
Next week, my rant may be to the Empress spice people. Why on earth would they put celery seeds in a spice bottle with huge holes on the top? Now, the fact that I had a few sips of wine prior to opening and using the bottle of celery seeds may….. may….. have something to play in this, but I ended up with a volcano shaped pile of celery seed in my pasta sauce this evening. I picked out as much as I could. Sploshed in another glug of wine, gave it a stir of happiness, and put it on simmer. It smells delicious. But watch out Empress spice people. You are on watch. 😉