Off Beat: Aching along Oakley Lane
Yuba County's roads are always a subject of intense fascination for people who have to drive on them, especially in the foothills, where ruts take their toll on unsuspecting motorists.
In some parts of the valley, it may not be much better.
The Board of Supervisors earlier this month received a missive from Grady Windham, an Oakley Lane resident. Oakley Lane is just outside of metropolitan Wheatland, and, as Windham wrote, "is a well-traveled thoroughfare, with a lot of farm, school bus and commercial traffic. It is a commuter route from west Wheatland Road to Route 65."
Grady's letter is well considered and reasonable. He's not a screamer.
"I have lived on Oakley Lane for over three years," Windham wrote. "When I first moved here, I noticed the lane was in dire need of resurfacing/ regrading. Within two months, a vehicle towing a trailer lost control, due the roughness of the road, and spun out (happened while I was standing in my driveway — no one was hurt.)"
So there's a first-person account of a tragedy averted on Oakley Lane. Can it get worse?
According to Windham, who wrote that he checked with the county, repaving for Oakley Lane was approved, but remained unfunded because monies were devoted to redoing the adjacent Lewis Road, which is a bit closer to Wheatland than Oakley.
On the plus side, according to Windham, the county does regularly fill potholes, but "that creates another issue: The road surface, which is already rough, has added irregularities, making the road worse," he wrote.
The letter continued, "Over much of the road, the shoulders are sinking/collapsing, which causes vehicles to pitch to their right and water to accumulate. A common result is for vehicles to drive the center of the road, dodging the undulations and irregularities (myself included — don't tell the CHP). Even the abutment of the concrete at the Dry Creek overcrossing is developing a 'lip' due to settling asphalt. I could go on, but this gets the point across."
Indeed, it does get the point across. More money would certainly help, but that seems unlikely.
One more thing: Windham said he likes to run. He runs on Oakley Lane.
"It is killing my feet," he wrote, adding that "I would almost rather run on the gravel of Dry Creek levy road."
Yes, he wrote levy.