Archive for the tag 'potholes'

Source: _chrisUK/Flickr

BETWEEN THE LINES: Since the snow and ice evaporated, most drivers probably assumed maneuvering along city streets would be trouble-free. But now they have to deal with another aggravating upshot generated by this year’s severe weather — a plague of potholes. They’re not nearly as harsh as the 10 plagues God smite on the Egyptians in Exodus, but the proliferation of gaps and fissures in the pavement are, nonetheless, plentiful and problematical.

Under ordinary conditions the city’s roads are rough enough, but after two months of wicked weather and frigid temperatures, those thoroughfares have taken a licking and keep on cracking, creating one final winter souvenir — an obstacle course that scars our streets. Drivers who don’t avoid those fissures typically experience unnerving jolts or, worse, costly vehicle damage.

The only roads likely to be worse than our pothole-peppered streets may be those pitted with bomb craters in war-torn Afghanistan.

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Source: furmancenter.org via gothamist

Source: furmancenter.org via gothamist

New Yorkers are born complainers. The tradition started in 1626 when the leader of the local Lenape Indians informed his people that he sold Manhattan Island for $24 worth of beads. You can only imagine grumbling as the Lenape packed up their things and headed for Staten Island. While someone could probably fashion a list of over a million complaints that New Yorkers assert on a daily basis, researchers at the Furman Center have boiled down the most frequently registered complaints issued by every neighborhood in the city.

By analyzing 311 data from last summer, the Furman Center produced the map seen above. While this map gives you a general idea of what New Yorkers are upset about, we thought it would be interesting to see what specifically people in our area have been griping about. Here is a break down for our local communities. Spoiler? People really need to stop blocking the driveways.

Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and Gerritsen Beach (lumped into one category by 311):

  1. Street Light Out
  2. No Access (blocked driveways)
  3. With licence plate (derelict vehicles; sometimes vehicles that appear abandoned or have parked in a space for too long)

Seagate and Coney Island:

  1. Loud Music/Party
  2. Vermin
  3. Pothole

West Brighton (a.k.a. Coney Island, from Ocean Parkway to the Steeplechase Pier):

  1. Vermin
  2. Broken Muni-Meter
  3. Water Supply

Brighton Beach:

  1. No Access
  2. Pothole
  3. Broken Muni-Meter

Homecrest:

  1. No Access
  2. Vermin
  3. Sewer Backup

Midwood:

  1. Ceiling (this is a complaint against landlords [including the MTA, in the case of train stations] for crumbling ceilings)
  2. Fallen Branches
  3. No Access

Ocean Parkway South:

  1. No Access
  2. Fallen Branches
  3. Dead Animals

Gravesend:

  1. Street Light Out
  2. Derelict Vehicles
  3. Pothole

Just driving along, enjoying the day’s nice weather coming in through the windows, maybe blasting some Tom Petty or something, and you’re careening around the curve of Gravesend Neck Road near Homecrest Avenue and life is good a-

Cri-thrack! Holy crap, what was that?!

Buddy, your day just got all kinds of screwed up. And your car’s axle, too.

Chaim Deutsch, aide to Councilman Michael Nelson, tipped us off to this mother-sucker of a hole in the road, on Gravesend Neck Road and Homecrest Avenue. Deutsch described it as a “road collapse,” and said he’s informed the Department of Environmental Protection – which is responsible for the water and sewage lines underneath – and the Department of Transportation. The NYPD 61st Precinct is also on scene to prevent you from having the kind of day I described above.

On a side note: has anyone else noted an increase in water and sewage line damage across the neighborhood? Just driving around last week, I spotted four – all already being dealt with – including the one in front of my home.

This is another pothole. It was easier to take a photo of since we already had the photo in our archives. (Photo by Allan Rosen)

What? The Belt Parkway has potholes? Newsflash!

Well, it’s no surprise to any of us, I suppose, that the Belt Parkway has more craters than Edward James Olmos‘ scabrous wreck of a face after a hunting trip with Dick Cheney. But the congested roadway was the darling of News 12 Brooklyn yesterday, when a magical pothole appeared “overnight,” sidelining “at least five cars” due to flat tires or broken rims during the morning rush hour.

“I hit another pothole on the Belt Parkway, as usual,” said driver Robert White. “Last time, I cracked my rim, crashed into the wall.”

According to the report, the pothole – located near Gerritsen Beach – should have been repaired by yesterday evening (the segment ran earlier in the day).

Know of any other awful potholes in the neighborhood? Share the locations in the comments!

Thanks to local broker for the tip.

This garbage can-sized sinkhole on Hubbard Street was ignored for nearly six months, despite numerous complaints to 311, until Sheepshead Bites posted it last year.

Potholes. Freakin’ potholes.

Pedestrians don’t like them because they can cause trips. Drivers don’t like them because they can damage cars. The city doesn’t like them because they have to fix them.

Oh, wait, apparently, the city doesn’t have to worry about them. Because they never have to hear the complaints. Because they simply vanish from the 311 system.

One of the most common complaints to 311 is a pothole service request. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has issued the results of an investigation conducted by his office into the efficiency of 311, logging 280 specific pothole complaints around the borough. Nearly half of those – 134 – were made using 311′s online complaint form. Stringer’s office then followed up on the complaints by making calls and inquiring to the status, using the service request reference numbers given at the time of complaint.

Shockingly, every single one of the online complaints vanished from the system, along with nine percent of the phone complaints.

“It would appear that online 311 pothole complaints are, in fact, falling into a black hole,” Stringer said. “The fact that these complaints are being lost raises questions about what other types of calls may be falling through the cracks.”

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Drivers beware! A massive sinkhole has formed on Knapp Street, near Avenue Z.

We first heard about this yesterday from a reader, but we were waiting to get out there and snag a photo ourselves. But then that scallywag over at GerritsenBeach.net beat us to it. So we just stole it and figured we’d put it on a site that people care about.

Just kidding! Thanks for doing the work for us, Dan!

By the way, Dan adds that this formed over the course of a week. I wonder if anyone called 311 before it gave way.

Photo by Allan Rosen

We all know this winter has been brutal, and it left our roads so pockmarked that it’s beginning to look a bit like Sarajevo, circa 1993. However, elected officials are coming to our – and our car’s – rescue.

Or are they? The cadre of politicians and city services competing for pothole complaints keeps growing, and we’ve got to wonder if it’s helping or hurting.

“Keep a piece of paper handy,” Senator Carl Kruger said in a press release. “The next time you experience that familiar bump in the road, pull over and call my office.” ((718) 743-8610 / kruger@nysenate.gov)

That’s right; instead of shouting expletives, Kruger wants us to think of him. It shouldn’t be too much of a shift for many of you.

Marty Markowitz is also accepting pothole complaints. That’s in addition to 311 and local Community Boards across the city.

But according to Mayor Bloomberg, these politicians ought to back off. Bloomberg boasts the Department of Transportation has fixed up about 45,000 potholes since the day after the December 26 blizzard, and is slated to fix about 2,000 in February alone, albeit on a delayed schedule (DOT is saying that repair crews will take three to four days, as opposed to the usual two).

So, with work moving forward, we’re left wondering if having four people to call – not to mention, you can always give complaints to your city councilman – are duplicative services helping or hurting New Yorkers in their battle against potholes?

THE COMMUTE: The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) will insist the reason we have so many potholes is due to the weather.  Of course, constant freezing and thawing of the roadway is the major cause of potholes. But there are other contributing factors that DOT does not want you to know about because, unlike the weather, they are in the city’s control.

Read about different causes of potholes, ways the city can reduce the problem, and what you should do if you damage your vehicle.

Courtesy of Frank Messano

Neighbors are now reporting that the Hubbard Street sinkhole – a four-foot-deep curbside pit – was repaired last night. After Sheepshead Bites’ story hit the net one week ago, the issue spurred on Bay News and News12 reporters (I mean, where else are these guys going to find stories?), and the city hustled to get things done.

“After five months and many calls, I can now rest knowing that some poor child will not fall in and get hurt. My thanks to all concerned,” Frank Messano wrote to us. Messano lives on the block and tipped us off to the story.

Two large DOT trucks showed up to the sinkhole location, on Hubbard Street between Avenue Z and Shore Parkway, at around 7:00 p.m. yesterday to do the repairs.

An enormous sinkhole roughly three feet wide and at least four feet deep continues to plague residents of Hubbard Street, who say they’ve been complaining to the city since May.

“When a small child or a passenger falls in, it will be too late,” neighbor Frank M. wrote to us in September. “After eight (8) notifications since may 2010 to 311, 911,assemblyman and small vehicle that reports holes. Not ONE THING has been done.”

Keep reading about this sinkhole and others like it that have been plaguing Sheepshead Bay’s streets.