The death of a 77-year-old cyclist who hit a pothole this week could have been avoided if the city was committed to fixing deteriorating roads, a mayoral candidate said.
Mike Vogiatzakis said he remains dismayed the city ignored his proposal in the spring to buy equipment from a New Jersey firm that has proven to permanently fix potholes.
"We had a company come into Winnipeg and prove they could fix potholes and showed us their technology," Vogiatzakis said. "This is technology we should be using right now to deal with this problem."
Vogiatzakis referred to a Sunday incident in the North End, where the man was tossed from his bike after hitting a pothole and landed on his head.
The man, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, was taken to Seven Oaks hospital. He was later transferred to HSC where he died from his injuries.
"I said potholes were going to cause a death and now we have one," Vogiatzakis said.
The funeral home owner brought a company to Winnipeg in March to demonstrate the effectiveness in winter of its hot-patch technology, which is being used in several American cities.
Vogiatzakis said Winnipeg officials dismissed the firm without considering it, adding, if elected mayor, he would purchase three of its machines and put them to use 24 hours a day, three days a week.
Vogiatzakis said the firm’s representatives committed to setting up a plant in Winnipeg to manufacture the portable units if he is elected mayor.
Vogiatzakis said the cost of the equipment ($41,500 per unit) would be financed by replacing the city’s existing methods, which he said aren’t effective.