Pothole Porn: Is it Albert Street? Or the lunar surface?

The City of Ottawa is busy building new dedicated bike lanes along Laurier Avenue, a street I never ride on. I’d rather the money were spent maintaining the streets to make them safer for cycling.

I’ve already complained to the city’s 311 service about the road conditions on Scott Street and Albert Street. So far, no response.

The asphalt is so bad along these streets that it’s impossible for cyclists to stay to the right of the lane. We often have to pull out into the centre of the lane to get around these hazards.

Sooner or later, someone will hit one of these potholes and go flying, then call her lawyer. In Montreal recently, a cyclist injured in a pothole crash successfully sued the city for $200,000.

Here are some of the worst offenders on Albert Street, as of this morning. Imagine riding over these in anything but a dune buggy.

UPDATE (June 20, 2011): Since this post, the city has done some pot-hole filling on this stretch of Albert Street eastbound. They did a great job filling in the holes between Preston Street and Booth Street. However, only about half the holes between Booth and Lorne Ave N. were filled in. Many, including a 10-metre long stretch of pure chaos, remain unfilled. Not sure if they ran out of time last week or whether the work crew just did a half-assed job of it.

FURTHER UPDATE (June 21, 2011): The remaining potholes along this stretch have been filled in. Nicely done, City of Ottawa. Thanks for listening.


4 thoughts on “Pothole Porn: Is it Albert Street? Or the lunar surface?

  1. Ah, yeah. Albert Street’s a classic. (This is why my tires are two inches wide. . . ) Main Street’s another good case. I think I’m in agreement: bike lanes are great, but streets you can actually safely ride down might, maybe, come first.

    I did a post this spring in which I came up with a rating system for the potholes on south Bank Street: http://theincidentalcyclist.blogspot.com/2011/02/potholapalooza.html – just to entertain myself as I wobbled past, around, and through them. . .

  2. Albert is bad but there are lots more like it. When drivers complain about unpredictable cyclists, part of the problem is that cyclists have to weave around these craters into the middle of the lane.

  3. Every year, I’ve complained about the potholes and cracks on the Scott Street Bridge and then going eastward on Albert to Empress. Some get fixed: not enough, of course, and the smaller, unfixed ones just get bigger. Like you, I made the standard complaint this spring: no action yet, although other potholes on Scott Street near Hilda got fixed.

    Those 4-5 blocks of Albert need a full repaving, but that’s not happening because the city wants to save money and wait until the LeBreton Flats/LRT development requires it. It’s just like Wellington Street West was allowed to deteriorate until it was completely dug up a few years ago.

    These are a serious hazard. I end up taking the lane for several blocks because it’s just unsafe to ride near the curb.

  4. Wow, can we get you to do something about the crowded buses next? Maybe speed up the light rail project?

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