Neglected by our county for years, the surface of North Circle Drive — from Village Center Drive in downtown Idyllwild to South Circle Drive up at “Four Corners” — is in an appalling state of disrepair.
Vehicles continually jounce and bounce over cracks, crevices, gouges and mini-gorges. The clatter of vehicle suspensions being tested — especially of pickup trucks with loads and loose tools — can be conversation stopping, and a great many pickups travel North Circle Drive daily.
It’s been like this for years and it’s getting worse.
North Circle Drive is a main artery in Idyllwild. It stretches from Highway 243 in the west to South Circle Drive in the east, a distance of about a mile. Scores of businesses are located along the unsightly length of North Circle, many of them seeking to attract tourists — the lifeblood of so much of Idyllwild’s economy. The state of disrepair is a walking hazard to visitors and locals alike.
The Town Crier moved its office from Village Center Drive to the street-front office in Oakwood Plaza on North Circle Drive in June 2013. A year later the TC moved 100 feet or so west to the old Ponderosa building, also on North Circle Drive, where it remained for six years. During that time, the paving and the clattering noise it creates, went from bad to worse. Only spot patches showed any attempt at repair, and the patches themselves have become old and in disrepair along with the rest of the street. The TC office is now in Strawberry Creek Plaza, after seven years on North Circle Drive.
“I do not recall any effort to repave the length of North Circle Drive during the entire time the Town Crier maintained its offices there — and it needed repair the whole time,” said Becky Clark, co-publisher of the Idyllwild Town Crier.
That patch of North Circle Drive where it meets Highway 243 in front of Village Hardware is in equally deplorable condition.
I recently walked North Circle Drive, from Village Center Drive to Four Corners, making a nonstop video recording the whole way. That video can be viewed at the Town Crier’s website. Some still photos, also from that walk, appear in this week’s paper.
(Jack and Becky Clark are the married co-publishers of this newspaper. Of course, the Town Crier will gladly publish the county’s response to this editorial, if one is received.)