Rattled drivers getting to region



Rattled drivers getting to region
September 23, 2009

By Katie Strachan
The Oshawa Express

Oshawa residents are fed up with Ritson Road and they want the region to know about it. But it appears the region may just be listening. Hundreds have logged on to Canadian Automobile Association’s (CAA) website to cast their vote for the GTA’s worst road, and Ritson has managed to hang on to second place since the annual campaign began in August. And all that voting may pay off, after all the region’s works department is seeking approval from regional council to relocate funds from the 2009 budget for the rehabilitation of the rattling road.
The repairs would be made to the road from Bloor Street to Toronto Avenue and would cost the region roughly $534,000. The money would be relocated from the 2008 and 2009 Roads Capital Budget, states a region’s works committee report.

Emergency asphalt repairs are being completed this month in an effort to ensure the road functions properly through the winter months and early spring next year, says the report. Anumber of voters say road patches are simply not good enough.“The city just patched this road up as an attempt to hide the problems underneath. Hopefully this is just a temporary fix, it seems like they are rebuilding roads that do not need repair but those that do they leave
alone,” writes one. Another says the patches will simply be torn up by the snowplow causing even more problems for drivers. The region has planned for road rehabilitation, watermain and sanitary sewer reconstruction to be completed this fall. However, surface asphalt won’t be placed until 2011, explains the report. A second contract is proposed for 2010 for the reconstruction of Ritson Road from Toronto Avenue to the CP Railway bridge overpass.

This contract includes intersection improvements at Ritson Road and Dean Avenue/McNaughton Avenue, watermain, sanitary sewer and storm sewer reconstruction from south of Viola Street to Toronto Avenue. This contract was originally proposed for 2009 construction but delay in utility relocations has pushed the project back. And that could have some Oshawa drivers even more shook up.“I moved from the area 17 years ago and Ritson Road has just got worse every year since, it is in such disrepair I don't know that it should
be classified as a road at all. They really should put up large signs reading‘use at your own risk’ like the logging roads have,” writes one aggravated voter. Another says it cost $900 to make repairs to the car from a Ritson Road pothole.

But the wrecked road has more than drivers frustrated. Bernie Gotham, an Oshawa resident, says he hasn’t been able to drive in 10 years but he recently felt the affects of the crater-filled road on his power wheelchair. He was crossing the street at Ritson Road and Pentland Avenue when the footrest of his wheelchair got stuck in a large rut in the pavement.“The result was that both feet were jerked off the footrest and I came close to sliding from my seat
Had I done so, I would have been helpless,” he says.

“As if that were not bad enough, the rest of the crossing is appallingly rough. How anyone is able to negotiate this crossing in a manual wheelchair, I cannot imagine.” Gotham says he mentioned the incident to his occupational therapist who said she had a similar incident on Ritson Road when training a patient to use a wheelchair. The report was recently approved
by the region’s finance department and will be in front of regional council today. To cast your vote for Ritson Road or another Oshawa road that has you fuming, visit www.caasco.com.
Voting will close at the end of the month.





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