Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The potholes of Harbor Drive

23-year-old sailor killed

Jamie Scott Powell. The city says he was speeding when he lost control of his motorcycle.
Jamie Scott Powell. The city says he was speeding when he lost control of his motorcycle.

The City of San Diego had been warned numerous times about potholes and dangerous road conditions on Harbor Drive near the Naval shipyard. Those complaints specifically stated the potholes and depressions in the street were especially dangerous for cyclists and motorcyclists.

On March 14, 2014 their fears came true when 23-year-old Navy sailor Jamie Scott Powell was driving his motorcycle back to the Naval shipyard on Harbor Drive near the intersection with 28th Street and hit a road depression near the railroad tracks. The impact ejected Powell from his motorcycle. He flew into oncoming traffic and was struck by an oncoming SUV. He was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital.

Powell's family later sued the city. The civil trial is set to begin on July 24.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Attorneys for the city will spend much of the trial addressing the numerous complaints it received about that specific stretch of the road.

In documents I was able to obtain there are citizen complaints which date back to 2006. Many of the complaints mention the danger for cyclists and motorcyclists.

"I can’t believe how terribly uneven the street is, bumps, cracks, splits on Harbor Drive going east ... so many motorcycle[s] drive this route that someone could get hurt. Any new biker rider [sic] could just spin out and hurt themselves. Road needs to be evened out," wrote resident Marie Daugherty on February 13, 2009.

On September 21, 2011 another resident suggested scraping up or "repaving whole section, [it's] a safety hazard to cyclists and motorcyclists especially...One of the worst."

After one such complaint, a city staffer informed the resident that funding for street repairs along Harbor Drive was on backlog.

"This street section has been evaluated and added to our unfunded concrete street reconstruction list where similar projects compete for funding based on need," wrote city public works staffer, John Scampone in January 2012.

In its defense, the city says Powell was speeding when he lost control of his motorcycle. In addition, according to a court document filed by the city, public works employees had repaired several potholes at that location.

"Prior to decedent's accident, the city received complaints about potholes [at that location]," reads the trial brief. "The city promptly patched these potholes...the accident site was last inspected prior to decedent's accident on August 23, 2013 and no potholes were found at that time."

But according to that inspection report, while the worker was unable to locate any potholes he did found the stretch of road to be "a bumpy ride."

In addition, according to other documents filed by Powell's attorneys, new potholes had appeared at the time of Powell's death.

"[I]n March 2014 there were four potholes in Lane No. 1 of the approach where portions of the asphalt [near the railroad tracks] had popped completely off of the underlying concrete. There were also three asphalt cracks in Lane No. 1 of the approach: one in the center lane; one bisecting the lane; and one running parallel to the tracks."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Switchfoot BRO-AM Beach Fest, Uptown Rhythm Makers, Cobby Brzeski, Chest Fever, Elvin Bishop

Fests, tributes, and more in Encinitas, Balboa Park, Bankers Hill, Little Italy, Solana Beach
Jamie Scott Powell. The city says he was speeding when he lost control of his motorcycle.
Jamie Scott Powell. The city says he was speeding when he lost control of his motorcycle.

The City of San Diego had been warned numerous times about potholes and dangerous road conditions on Harbor Drive near the Naval shipyard. Those complaints specifically stated the potholes and depressions in the street were especially dangerous for cyclists and motorcyclists.

On March 14, 2014 their fears came true when 23-year-old Navy sailor Jamie Scott Powell was driving his motorcycle back to the Naval shipyard on Harbor Drive near the intersection with 28th Street and hit a road depression near the railroad tracks. The impact ejected Powell from his motorcycle. He flew into oncoming traffic and was struck by an oncoming SUV. He was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital.

Powell's family later sued the city. The civil trial is set to begin on July 24.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Attorneys for the city will spend much of the trial addressing the numerous complaints it received about that specific stretch of the road.

In documents I was able to obtain there are citizen complaints which date back to 2006. Many of the complaints mention the danger for cyclists and motorcyclists.

"I can’t believe how terribly uneven the street is, bumps, cracks, splits on Harbor Drive going east ... so many motorcycle[s] drive this route that someone could get hurt. Any new biker rider [sic] could just spin out and hurt themselves. Road needs to be evened out," wrote resident Marie Daugherty on February 13, 2009.

On September 21, 2011 another resident suggested scraping up or "repaving whole section, [it's] a safety hazard to cyclists and motorcyclists especially...One of the worst."

After one such complaint, a city staffer informed the resident that funding for street repairs along Harbor Drive was on backlog.

"This street section has been evaluated and added to our unfunded concrete street reconstruction list where similar projects compete for funding based on need," wrote city public works staffer, John Scampone in January 2012.

In its defense, the city says Powell was speeding when he lost control of his motorcycle. In addition, according to a court document filed by the city, public works employees had repaired several potholes at that location.

"Prior to decedent's accident, the city received complaints about potholes [at that location]," reads the trial brief. "The city promptly patched these potholes...the accident site was last inspected prior to decedent's accident on August 23, 2013 and no potholes were found at that time."

But according to that inspection report, while the worker was unable to locate any potholes he did found the stretch of road to be "a bumpy ride."

In addition, according to other documents filed by Powell's attorneys, new potholes had appeared at the time of Powell's death.

"[I]n March 2014 there were four potholes in Lane No. 1 of the approach where portions of the asphalt [near the railroad tracks] had popped completely off of the underlying concrete. There were also three asphalt cracks in Lane No. 1 of the approach: one in the center lane; one bisecting the lane; and one running parallel to the tracks."

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Gonzo Report: TV themes take the stage at The Jazz Lounge

For a brief but mystical time, we all become the Brady Bunch
Next Article

Watching the world go by in El Cajon

Intersection of Mollison and Broadway provides a peek at humanity
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.