I’m a single mother of a young child. I work two jobs to keep a roof over our heads and the bills paid.
On the morning of May 9, it was a Thursday like any other (before construction started on Range Road – with construction comes other challenges). I live in Northland Trailer Park, and if you’ve ever been down that section of Range Road, you’ll understand when I tell you it feels like the city has forgotten us.
I drove to work. I avoided the potholes and dodged the obstacles that I knew existed. Do you drive down your street like this? I went home for lunch and now wish that I hadn’t.
When I drove back towards Mountain View, the road just seemed to dip and swerve like normal with the normal amount of potholes and obstacles, until my car nearly came to a dead stop in the middle of the road almost directly in front of Crow Street.
I got out of the car and saw that I had hit a frost heave that hadn’t been visible while driving. My car had significant damage: the front end was cracked and pieces were dangling. Instead of driving away and letting others suffer the same fate, I immediately called the city to let them know what had happened.
I was asked to take pictures of the area to prove that there wasn’t any signs warning of road conditions; to take pictures of the damage to my car; and to provide them with two estimates. I did all of these things. The estimates show that the damages are around $4,000. I sent them to the city that same day. I then went to the police station and filed a police report since the damages far exceeded $1,000, this report was also sent to the city.
My car is the only way that I can get my child and myself to prior engagements. It was in my best interest to do all I was asked.
The first response I got back was that the city was going to look into it. I waited patiently.
The first lady that I spoke with at the city was no longer returning my calls and emails. I was passed around and had to speak to three or more different people, being routed to directors and the like. With every new person came the retelling of my story. The final director I spoke with explained to me that the city was not willing to pay for the damages to my car. They told me that they deem the damages “an act of god” and compared my damages to rock chips in others’ windshields, saying that if they paid for the damages to my car, then they would have to pay for everyone else’s.
After weeks of nothing, I was then advised to just pay for the damages myself and then take the City of Whitehorse to small claims court. Financially, this is not even a reality nor a possibility for me.
I’ve been dealing with this unwanted stress for almost six months, I’m driving a vehicle that isn’t safe and it’s nearly winter. How would you want the city to behave if this had happened to you?