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Resident of 'deficient' Windsor road says it hasn't been fixed in 50 years. City says there's no funding.

Jarvis Avenue has not been repaired since 1973, according to lifelong resident Chris Jacobson. Potholes and flooding are a common sight on the street. (TJ Dhir/CBC - image credit)
Jarvis Avenue has not been repaired since 1973, according to lifelong resident Chris Jacobson. Potholes and flooding are a common sight on the street. (TJ Dhir/CBC - image credit)

An East Windsor resident says the street his house is on hasn't been repaired since 1973 and the city says it doesn't have the funding to improve it anytime soon.

Chris Jacobson has lived on Jarvis Avenue all his life.

The condition of the street, which is cracked and full of potholes, was apparent when CBC News visited Jacobson at his home this week.

He says the City of Windsor promised to repair the road in the 1990s as part of a plan to develop the East Riverside area. But that work never ended up happening, according to Jacobson.

"Based on the amount of taxes we spend, it just feels like we're being neglected, ignored," he said.

Chris Jacobson is a lifelong resident of Jarvis Avenue in Windsor. He says the city promised a repair in the 1990s when the East Riverside Planning Area was being developed, but nothing came of it.
Chris Jacobson is a lifelong resident of Jarvis Avenue in Windsor. He says the city promised a repair in the 1990s when the East Riverside Planning Area was being developed, but nothing came of it.

Chris Jacobson is a lifelong resident of Jarvis Avenue in Windsor. He says the city promised a repair in the 1990s when the East Riverside Planning Area was being developed, but nothing came of it. (TJ Dhir/CBC)

Gutters are also an issue on the road, Jacobson said, pointing out the pools of rainwater collecting on the road and in people's yards.

"The whole street shoulders' fill with water so you can't see what you're driving into," he said. "Two-way traffic becomes a safety issue. It's impossible in the winter through any kind of moderate rainfall that we have on the street."

Other residents are also highlighting the issue on the 'Jarvis Ave. Bulletin Board' on Facebook, which Jacobson and his wife help run.

Water covering a pothole on Jarvis Avenue in Windsor. Lifelong resident Chris Jacobson says the lack of visibility of the road makes it dangerous to drive on.
Water covering a pothole on Jarvis Avenue in Windsor. Lifelong resident Chris Jacobson says the lack of visibility of the road makes it dangerous to drive on.

Water covering a pothole on Jarvis Avenue in Windsor. Lifelong resident Chris Jacobson says the lack of visibility of the road makes it dangerous to drive on. (TJ Dhir/CBC)

"They've made an investment," Jacobson said of his neighbours. "They raised their families here. You expect a basic level of maintenance to your street and they're just not seeing it."

Currently, pothole repairs are completed by the city through a complaint-based system set up with 311. Jacobson says whenever a complaint about a pothole on Jarvis Avenue is made, only the reported pothole is fixed and the rest are ignored.

"It's like whack-a-mole to get the potholes fixed," he said. "You have to give the exact location. They don't really do proactive searches for potholes."

Ward 7 Coun. Angelo Marignani says he can empathize with the residents of the street which is within his ward.

"You have to feel some sort of concern for the people who live on that road," he said. "They pay the same amount of sewer surcharge levies; same amount of taxes.

"They need to receive the same amount of treatment."

Marignani also acknowledges that Jarvis Avenue is not the only residential street that's in a catastrophic state of disrepair in his ward or the whole city.

$300 million needed to fix all deficient roads in city

Mark Winterton, the city's acting commissioner of infrastructure services, says he's aware that Jarvis Avenue's roadway is deficient but adds that there was never a petition that has come forward to improve the roadway.

"That road is what is called a rural cross-section -- without a curb, gutter and with deficient sewers...so in order to undertake that work, it will require a local improvement petition," he said.

It's like whack-a-mole to get the potholes fixed. - Lifelong Jarvis Avenue resident Chris Jacobson

Winterton says a petition never came forward when the improvements were being made in the area in the 1990s.

"We advised the residents of what was needed but a petition never came back," he said.

He says that while there is a plan and an environmental assessment has been done in order to move forward on fixing the road, "unfortunately funding for that road is not within the five-year budget".

Angelo Marignani, left, is the city councillor for Windsor's Ward 7. Mark Winterton, right, is the City of Windsor's acting commissioner of infrastructure services.
Angelo Marignani, left, is the city councillor for Windsor's Ward 7. Mark Winterton, right, is the City of Windsor's acting commissioner of infrastructure services.

Angelo Marignani, left, is the city councillor for Windsor's Ward 7. Mark Winterton, right, is the City of Windsor's acting commissioner of infrastructure services. (TJ Dhir/CBC)

Winterton says $16 million has been allocated to fix local roads in Windsor this year, but that to fix every deficient road in the city, $300 million will be needed from upper levels of government.

A motion proposed by Ward 6 Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac during budget deliberations Monday was carried which would ask Windsor, through the Association of Municipalities of Ontario as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to start advocating for more funding from upper levels of government to fix city roads.