Dangerous pothole

I am a resident of Cave Creek who rides a road bike.  The dangerous road obstacle in question regards a road hazard on Cave Creek road and New River.  This particular section of road is supposed to be maintained by the city of Carefree.

Being that the large pothole there is at the bottom of a downhill grade where a cyclist can easily be doing over 35mph, I routinely have to jog into the auto lane to avoid it.  Noteworthy is the fact that there is always loose gravel surrounding it.  As I ride three days a week, this is a constant concern to my seventy-seven year old safety.  In fact, a few weeks back, one wheel was bent making it no longer safe to use and yes, I almost went down! 

As a result of this nearly serious accident, I immediately telephoned the city of Carefree.  I was connected to Gary Neese (road maintenance) who claimed that it would be taken care of immediately, which was not done.  During this time, I stopped and talked to two different road crews doing repairs on New River Rd., not more than fifty feet away from the pothole.  Both crews stated that they would naturally repair it immediately.  When this was not done, I again contacted Mr. Neese who told me that it was on the calendar of jobs to be done ‘soon’.

A couple of weeks ago, I again contacted Mr. Neese and explained to him my near fall at the pothole.  His answer to this was, he told me how ‘sorry’ he was.  That was it.  When I told him I could have wound up in a hospital, he stated that he was glad I was OK, nothing more. 

Realizing that I was getting nowhere with Mr. Neese, I then called the Mayor of Carefree – John Crane.  He told me that he too was a cyclist and he’d get right on it.  Naturally, I didn’t hear back from him and the pothole is still there to this day.  So, I called him a couple of days ago to find out what was happening if anything.  He told me that he’d had it street swept, which it was not.

Mayor Crane informed me that the pothole repair was due to be done next April or May and that he was happy to be of ‘assistance’, which is laughable.  When I again told him that someone might be injured as I nearly was, he told me that he hoped such an event wouldn’t occur.  He also told me that he’d inspected the pothole twice and that indeed it is a danger to a cyclist such as myself.  When I further asked him about the cost of replacing my bicycle wheel, he told me that replacement costs of over $100 plus would not be covered by Carefree.  Again, he told me ‘sorry’.

A footnote to this is I once lived in Encinitas, CA.  On an adjoining road in the city of Carlsbad, we had the same thing occur there.  That city within hours immediately placed cones around their pothole, which was repaired in two days!  They also reimbursed our damages.

Should you have any questions regarding my interaction with the City of Carefree, please give me a call as I will be happy to discuss your concerns.

Jeff Leader