Willi Fanning is an exception to his fellow residents on Allbay Road in Sidney.
He is no doubt one of few people to regularly traverse the tucked-away road on the north edge of Roberts Bay on a precision road racing bicycle, complete with lightweight rims and ever-so-narrow tires.
The condition of the pavement on Allbay in the section near his home is rutted, cracked and interspersed with potholes, all of which force him to ride on the wrong side of the road to reach his house.
Having complained about the road condition in the past and seen crews do intermittent patch jobs, he’s upset that the Town of Sidney’s work schedule doesn’t include a repaving of the roadway until 2015.
“I think I’m living in the best area of Sidney,” he said, “but the condition of the road is terrible.”
Even when he drives his van on the road, he added, the bumps leave him all shook up.
Fanning has sprayed around some of the deeper holes with brightly coloured paint, to give drivers and cyclists the heads up about the ruts and holes. The paint only lasts about as long as one good rain and gets washed away, he said.
Fanning’s neighbour Jim McLeod, who lives next door with his 91-year-old mother, said she is leery about walking on the street due to the condition of the pavement.
“Her doctor has told her to go walking for her health, (but) she doesn’t want to go out there with a walker. It’s tough, because her mobility is not so good,” McLeod said.
Sidney’s administrator Murray Clarke was surprised to hear Fanning had gone to the media first with his concerns.
He clarified that the work plan doesn’t call for complete repaving of that section of Allbay Road until 2020, five years after storm, sanitary sewer and water lines are designated to be replaced.
The plan does call for a patching of the top surface on sections dug up for the various lines. But Clarke was prepared to be accommodating, saying that if a group of residents feel the work should be done now, the municipality would send a crew out to have a look.
“If it’s warranted, we’d just refer it to the engineering department (for repairs),” he said.