Potholes create havoc for Ottawa cyclists as well as drivers

Drivers aren’t the only ones dodging potholes.

Cyclists have to keep “a very close eye on the road, as some potholes are three to four inches deep,” said Citizen for Safe Cycling president Hans Moor.

“You also have to anticipate fairly far ahead, as usually you need to move away from the curb. Many potholes appear close to the curbs where you cycle.”

Areas to avoid include Baseline Rd., which is “pretty bad currently, as well as the area on Rochester near the Queensway. But there are many more places. It is often the same place, year after year,” he said.

Motorcyclists are also at risk.

“It can be very dangerous…especially as you’re turning, either on a curve or you’re turning left or right and hit one of those, and down you go,” said paramedic spokesman J.P. Trottier.

While paramedics don’t track the number of cyclists injured due to potholes, Trottier said it doesn’t mean they haven’t been.

When a cyclist is on the ground, “usually, people who witness it call it in thinking they got hit by a car,” he said.

An average 180,000 potholes are filled by city staff each year costing roughly $4.8 million annually.

The city receives 2,000 claims each year from people looking for compensation for an injury or damage.

That number includes cyclists, city spokeswoman Nikki Eaton wrote in an e-mail.

Provincial government standards require the city to fix a pothole within four to 30 days of knowing it’s an issue.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/03/21/potholes-create-havoc-for-ottawa-cyclists-as-well-as-drivers

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