Reader: Pothole Patrol? You Can Tell It's Election Season!

Reader: Pothole Patrol? You Can Tell It's Election Season!
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Springtime in the Rockies, and potholes are popping up all over. According to Denver policy, once a pothole is reported on 311 or via pocketgov, it should be fixed within three work days — though not necessarily by Mayor Michael Hancock, who went out on March 27 to illustrate the repair job that Denver crews will be doing around the city over the next few weeks.

One of our writers (anonymously) reported a pothole near his home; it was indeed repaired within four days (city workers took off March 25 for the César Chávez holiday). But readers suggest that's just a drop in the asphalt bucket. Other areas that need attention? "The whole street of Evans," says one. Speer and 26th Avenue, offers another.

And Phil takes a wider view:

 I avoided about 60,000 today???

Says Joy: 

Denver's potholes are the pits.

Adds Amy: 

The state of the roads in this city is disgraceful. There are potholes all over.

Recalls Melody: 

I got a flat off a pothole several years ago - as did about five other cars. We were all pulled over at the same time, changing flats. I contacted the city and even wrote a letter to the mayor, and no-go. They wouldn't pay for it unless the pothole had been previously reported, which they said it hadn't (not that I had any way to confirm that).

Responds Timothy: 

if they didn’t spend that much effort on potholes every year, you’d need a 4WD just to drive in downtown Denver. We all love to overlook the monumental amount of money and time we have to spend every day maintaining the infrastructure of a society.

Replies Chris: 

Using public workers for his campaign ads the same way the governor used school children for his policy pitch earlier this week. Democrats don't care about anything except being reelected and getting paid.

Concludes Linnea: 

You can definitely tell it's election time!

To fill in any holes in our pothole knowledge, we contacted Nancy Kuhn, spokeswoman for the Denver Department of Public Works, to learn more. For starters, how many potholes are there in town?

"We do continual tracking, and as of March 20, we were at 10,090," Kuhn replies. "In 2018 total, we filled 63,652. Every year, we fill between 60,000 and 100,000 potholes. Some years, I think we've been over 100,000, or just around 100,000, but as long as I've been part of this program, we've been in the 60,000-100,000 range."

To do that work, the city spends approximately $2 million annually on pothole repair and as many as eight crews are filling potholes each day. "These are our street-maintenance employees, the same group of folks who plow snow and do other things on Denver streets. On snowy days or rainy days, you'll see less pothole filling because it's not weather permitting," Kuhn notes.

As for damage to vehicles? You can file a claim with the city on the Denver City Attorney Office's file-a-claim page. (No three-day action is promised on that.)

Where have you found potholes? Have you reported them to the city? Were they filled in? Post a comment or email editorial@westword.com.

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