The bad streets where you live
Road repair backlog means fixes for some streets years away
Stroll along Baby Point Road and you’ll likely be awed by lovely stone-facade homes and lush gardens.
Take a drive or bike ride along the same street and you may find yourself distracted — the pavement is marked with bumpy potholes, loose pebbles, and cracks that spread out like cobwebs.
“It’s not the greatest,” says resident Teresa Lebinski. “Going on a bike today, it was pretty bumpy.”
It’s a common concern in this neighbourhood, says local councillor Sarah Doucette, who identifies Baby Point Road as one of the worst roads in her Parkdale–High Park ward.
“We keep fixing … but there’s only so much you can fix,” says Doucette. “We’re getting a lot of complaints around that street.”
Unfortunately, as in the case of Baby Point Road, residents across the city are essentially being told to get in line. The road is not on the 2012 list of approved capital works road projects.
Faced with a $300 million backlog, only so many projects can be prioritized for each construction season, says John Mende, director of transportation infrastructure management.
“The $300 million is beyond what we’re able to fix,” he said, adding the department spends all $200 million budgeted each year for road rehabilitation.
A lack of funding isn’t the only contributing factor to the repair waiting game.
“There are some cases where we know the road has to be fixed, but we can’t do it immediately because of other work that others might be doing,” Mende said. “Because the last thing we want is for us to fix the road and then Toronto Water goes in in a year to cut it up to repair their sewers.”
Though it’s not on the list of repair projects for 2012, Mende said staff is aware Baby Point Road needs a resurfacing.
“That’s on our list of the streets we need to address when the funding becomes available,” says Mende. “That’s not a comfort to the residents, but it’s not programmed yet.”
While Baby Point Road will remain bumpy for the time being, another local road is expected to get some long-awaited attention.
Doucette says she was relieved to see that Pacific Avenue, between Oakmount Road and Annette Street is slated for a major road resurfacing this year.
It’s gone beyond the point of simple repairs, said Doucette.
“It’s just pothole alley, and we’ve filled every pothole we can and we just can’t any more.”
Doucette, who travels regularly on Pacific Avenue to pick up her daughter from a friend’s house, says it could pose a safety hazard.
“And when you get to the point where people start swerving (to avoid) a pothole that’s no longer filled, it’s dangerous as well.”
However, residents may want to put their hopes on hold. Pacific is listed as second priority for 2012, which means it could be bumped to 2013.
Deferrals or accelerations of utility programs coupled with emergency road resurfacing can also change up the priority schedule, Mende says.
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