Southern Brooklyn

See A Pothole? Call… Who?

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 / [email protected])

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?

Comment policy


  1. Publicity stunt.

    Union workers should do it ONCE and do it RIGHT.

    They patch up the pothole in-order to re-patch it again later.

    Is spending $20K a pot hole better than spending $30K to repave the area?

  2. I don’t know how Kruger’s office works, but if you try calling Nelson, you have to know the name of the person you want to speak to and Nelson is not on the list. You also need to pray that the person you choose is not answering another call, because then you can only leave a message. If you want to speak to a human, you just have to redial and pick another name and pray again. Calling his office is just about as efficient as DOT is in filling potholes.

  3. Nelson is the ONLY councilman that I am aware of that has a 24 hour response.

    You can just dial to speak to the operator. (I think)

    Never had any problem reaching anyone at Nelsons place.

    Cybrowitz or CybroPOTS is another story.

  4. I hit a pothole on the Belt (Westbound) while coming back from BJs on Erskine Street. It ripped out my tailpipe and muffler. $304 to have it fixed. I filed a claim against the city for reimbursement. Hope they pay me. Also, by where I work on Wall Street, there are potholes, really bad – like the one in the picture above. City “repaired” last weekend and it looks like they threw in the asphalt and stepped on it with their feet. It is all ragged and the edges haven’t been filled correctly and it curves inward.

  5. Bloomie wants you calling 311, so your call can be added to the tally of calls 311 responds to when it comes time to release statistics. Best bet is to call everybody, let them sort it out!

  6. Water gets in the cracks.

    Water freezes

    Water expands the crack

    And the SAME pot hole comes back

    City come back

    And the cycle repeats

    Over and over and over again

  7. America built the streets during ww2 to outdo the germans streets. we used oil to do it, and that only lasts 50 years. our complete infrastructure wasnt built to last. the systems falling apart. the rich are stealing the money, the people watch tv and believe the news, everything’s ok.

  8. I agree that 311 is useless because they do nothing but forward the complaint. However, I’ve never had a problem with the 311 operators. They are doing their best. The problem is that the system is not set up right. No one has any oversight. Any problem you report, they tell you will be handled in 30 days. When that date passes and nothing happens, nothing is triggered. When you check back, all you get is “Response is Overdue.” When you complain again, the next response is: Response Due in 10 days.” When that date passes, and you call back you are told you can file a complaint against the agency and that may be ignored too.

    You should not have o keep calling back to get a response. The agency needs to receive automatic warnings from the Mayors Office and then a human needs to find up what is going on. I repeat the system should not be set up so that you have to keep calling back repeatedly to get action.

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