Potholes Persist After Brutal Winter Hits Budget-Crunched City

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It wasn't just the long and brutal winter that's exacerbated the pothole problem in New York City -- worker response time to fix the pits on city streets slowed this year to an average of 5.8 days.

    That count, between July 2010 and February 2011, is a 35 percent increase in response time from the 4.3 days during the same period last year.

    The delays may be largely attributable to the five-day furloughs that hundreds of road repairers had to take this year, according to the Daily News.

    The city managed to save $1 million through the furloughs -- but then had to put $2 million into its road repair budget to hire emergency pothole repair crews.

    Bronx city councilman James Vacca, who chairs the City Council Transportation Committee, said he wants to introduce legislation that forces the city to tighten the 30-day period it has to fill a pothole.

    But the city's already recognized the need for a quicker response to pothole complaints: the furloughs have been ditched in next year's proposed budget, and the DOT says it's increased staffing for repair work by 10 percent between 2010 and 2011.

    A spokesman for the Automobile Club of New York told the News that New York City faces unique challenges in road maintenance.

    "Our infrastructure is old, we get battered by bad weather in the winter, and all year we've been battered by an inordinate number of trucks," Robert Sinclair said. "Pity the poor New Yorker whose car has to take a beating."