he saga of this thing is f**king incredible," begins Wyatt Gaines, Source Weekly production manager and Bend east-sider. "It all started in the winter when this thing was a 6-foot icy gash in the road. You had to drive to the right — almost onto the curb — to try and avoid sliding into this thing." Gaines continues, as a misty gaze overtakes his bearded face. His tone quickens as he transports himself back into the dead of the 2016-17 apocalyptic winter, and the deep ruts in the pavement at the corner of Division Street. and Reed Market Road.—the Source's staff pick for "Best Pothole."
"You know the Oregon Trail?" Gaines asks.
I slowly nod in artificial agreement.
"Well, it's like this pothole emulates the deep wagon ruts of the old Oregon Trail — it's that bad.
I silently applaud his descriptive illustration and distinct historical reference.
"I ended up just saying F**K it and avoided that area all together," he sighs, "I went up to Third Street instead."
Gaines knows a thing or two about potholes: he went to art school in northwest Portland — a city where there's even a pothole "help" line. Once reported, crews organize "Patch-a-thons" — a new initiative to fill the numerous potholes caused by this season's many winter storms.
All well and good, but what about Bend and its pothole dilemma? Well, there's been relief, with a cash injection of $5.2 million going toward street preservation—a 50 percent increase from the last budget. And have you noticed the slick repaving of those downtown streets done in the dead of night? Judging by your onslaught of fiery Facebook comments, no, no you haven't.
Everyone likes to whine. Seattleites have rain. Portlanders have Californians. Canada has the United States. Bendites have potholes, and.... Californians. And when your tires are eclipsed by a pothole, teeth rattling while a Californian flips you off for driving too slow, we sometimes have warranted complaints.
But if you really think we're bad, don't move to Portland.
It's currently expecting a backlog of 1,000 potholes.
And those are the reported ones.