The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

April 3, 2009

Pothole City


Such is the poor state of affairs in our Winterpeg, with the unbelievably long, cold winters and the spring thaw, that potholes are an annual hazard which I have never seen this bad.

I'm driving north on Route 90, also known at different portions as Kenaston Boulevard or Century Street, from my south Winterpeg neighbourhood to my office at the newspaper I work for.

I'm in the middle lane of a three-lane, horribly kept up major thoroughfare that runs north and south just west of downtown.

It's a major truck route for truckers coming up from the U.S. and it's a chronic eyesore and a traffic disaster.

I'm in the middle lane because I want to avoid the two lanes on either side of me, which I know are more prone to potholes.

I am driving defensively during rush hour, wary of the danger to life, limb, car suspension etc. that they pose.

In one nano-second, a pickup truck just ahead of my car in the left lane hits a pothole covered by water, spraying it all over my windshield and completely and utterly blinding me for a moment.

But not before I had seen a lane-wide chasm right in front of me, too late for me to slow down for and avoid.

Blinded and bumped simultaneously by water and my own pothole hell, I apply the brakes and quickly turn on the windshield wipers.

Still moving, but my windows now clear, I find myself in the right lane instead of the middle lane.

If there had been another car there, I would have been in a collision or I might have been hit from behind. I wasn't, and continued on to work.

When I got there, I hatched an idea for a story and video presentation. It's all over our front page Saturday and on our website.

I suggested it at the Friday morning news meeting: Our own pothole cam on our website.

I described my own incident and suggested we send our video editor, Tyler Walsh, out on the road to film that series of pot-holes on Route 90.

And that we package it with a story in our Saturday paper on potholes in Winterpeg this spring, which has been a brutal spring weather-wise, making the pothole problem worse than it usually is.

Our vid team did not film the particular stretch of Route 90 that I almost died on (yeah, so I'm exaggerating) but they did film another less busy road.

That vid is on my sidebar, over there on the right, because I couldn't figure out how to post it right into this story. Just click on it.

If you want to go right to our website to see the vid in its proper size, which would be a lot better, click on this:

It's funny and amazing, really.

And while all this was going on, I heard some Canada geese honking Friday afternoon, a lonely, cold, no doubt befuddled mating pair, wondering what the heck they were thinking flying back up here early to mate in THIS grey, gloomy, cold place.

If they were out of sorts, I can empathize.