A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Beware of these two parking lot hazards

Written April 17th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

Well no, this pothole is not big enough to swallow a Volkswagen. But its pretty big. (In the background, the Winco supermarket.)

Over the last week I’ve read online complaints about a couple of Albany super potholes. On Monday I saw one of them while running an errand, and then I got on the bike in a rainstorm and checked out the other one too.

These particular chuckholes were not in city streets, though that’s where you usually find their kind. No,  these were in parking lots, or on driveways that are part of big parking lots.

One was in the middle of the lot between Bi-Mart and the Sizzler restaurant. The other was in the lot between Kohl’s, Winco and Taco Bell, in the entrance to that lot from Airport Road.

According to her Facebook report Sunday, a woman hit the one near Taco Bell after dark, causing one of her tires to go flat. She was alone and “freaked out,” she wrote, and a couple of guys in a “white truck with tires in the back” were kind enough to help her deal with the flat.

The parking lot there is split among two or three properties. The hole (pictured at the top) seems to be near the line between two parcels but on the 6.4-acre property of EJR Properties LLC, which has an Albany address.

The other pothole in this story, filled with rainwater Monday, was in a driveway across the lot that serves Bi-Mart, Sizzler and other businesses.

The property is owned by LRG Santiam Albany LLC, whose principals are based in Walnut Creek, Calif.

The California company last year applied to the city to split the almost 7-acre property into five lots, and the tentative subdivision was approved in September.

Maybe the weather has something to do with why these holes in the pavement have not been filled. But the properties’ managers might want to place a few traffic cones to warn drivers to avoid these hazards in the dark. (hh)

And here’s the hole in the asphalt between Bi-Mart and the Sizzler restaurant.

19 responses to “Beware of these two parking lot hazards”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Thanks for the pothole story, Hasso. I still like the “could swallow a VW beetle” description. I have owned several VW beetles over the years and can imagine what it would be like to hit one of those potholes with one. I think it is disgusting that these companies, hiding behind their LLC (limited liability corporation) status, don’t keep up their properties which are used by customers. (I hope the word “disgusting” isn’t too graphic” for your new rules. Words such as worrisome or aggravating are not descriptive enough, and I am not naming names, so no single person is being attacked.)

  2. Bob Woods says:

    The businesses on the properties that have potholes that need to be fixed ought to answer whether they are pressing their landlords to keep up the property by taking care of the potholes.

    If the potholes ore on public roads you can call/email the city or county and they will put them on the list to be filled, and they will get filled.

    Maybe next time folks should tell the Sizzler or other businesses that you’ll take your business elsewhere if they don’t get their parking lots fixed.

  3. Area Shopper says:

    Some of those potholes have been there for over a year. 30 years ago there was one like that at a Fred Meyer. A woman broke her ankle stepping into it and got a $80K settlement + medical bills. The stores will get sued for vehicle or human damage….someone is in charge of lot maintenance. They should get it fixed now while it is cheap to do so.

    • Noone says:

      I agree with the companies hiding behind LLC’S if their families got hurt they would step up to the plate but until they are sued they won’t do anything and that’s sad.

  4. Dianne Sanders says:

    I had to buy a whole set of tires ($1,000 for all wheel drive car) because I hit the pothole in the Winco/Taco Bell parking. Scared the _________ out of me when I hit it. Something needs to be done to get this fixed.

  5. Anony Mouse says:

    What did Scooby-Doo say when his van hit a pothole?

    Rut Road.

  6. MarK says:

    There’s one in the parking lot for Safeway (next to Applebees). For at least the last couple of years it’s been filled with the bases of traffic markers. Pretty ingenious, but ridiculous that it’s been there so long.

  7. Marie Strupith says:

    Check out Grocery Outlet and Safeway parking lots and their potholes. Very hazardous.

  8. Kathie McCullough says:

    Worst road conditions I’ve seen since I moved here in 2005..pot holes on major roads and minor ones… get them fixed !!!!

  9. J.H. says:

    Hasso, go on Sherman street between shell gas station and Towne pump there is 2 right there on city street that need to be looked at. Just as bad as the winco one.

    • Bob Woods says:

      So call Public Works and report it if you have seen it.

      • Anony Mouse says:

        The best managed cities are proactive, not reactive.

        It sounds like the City of Albany needs to launch a pothole palooza (google Salt Lake City).

  10. Carol A says:

    So the Bi-Mart lot was rezoned? That’s unusual, isn’t it?

  11. Melody says:

    I hit the Winco hole 2 weeks ago in my new car and popped the front tire and rim. Made iit to Les Schwab and had to replace the tire. I researched and Kohls owns the lot and was responsible. When I sent photos, claim and receipt to Kohls they reimbursed me. I could not believe Their solution was to throw a little sawdust in the hole for a fix.

  12. Hannah Field says:

    I’m the woman who hit the pothole! Glad to see more coverage and surely wasn’t expecting it, but totally on board. The two men in the white truck helped me immensely. Otherwise, I would have had no idea what to do, unaware I even had a spare tire anywhere in my car. I would be happy with gravel or cones. I just know more young women or any young people are bound to hit this pothole and in my situation, I felt really alone and helpless. I was worried I damaged my front end, jerked my alignment, blew a tire, maybe worse. I got lucky. The city won’t do anything about it because it is private land. Whoever I can call, I will. It’s a simple fix, but still, nobody wants to. It’s really disheartening.

    • Cap B. says:

      Call Kohl’s about it or go see them. Melody, who wrote a comment, says Kohl’s owns the lot that stretches over to Winco and also to the fast food places.

  13. Debbie Ferguson says:

    What is it with filling potholes with sawdust?? Like that’s going to fix it!

  14. Kevin says:

    Rain storm, and a few bags of quick-crete will fix em in about 30 min.


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