Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How Many 311 Calls Does It Take To Get A Pothole Fixed? One Carroll Gardener Is Fed Up

How many 311 phone calls to report a rather large pothole does a citizen need to make before the City does anything about it?  That's what John Verderame wants to know.  Over several months, he has called the Mayor's non-emergency services number at least a dozen times to alert the Department of Transportation about the problem on carroll Street, between Smith and Hoyt Streets.  Instead of action, the hole just keeps on getting deeper. 
Verderame also walked into Assemblywoman Joan Millman's office right around the corner on Smith Street countless times to complain about the hazard. 
Just once did someone from DOT show up to take a look.  The worker took out a can of yellow spray paint and marked the perimeter of the sinkhole.  "So you will come out to fix it?"  Verderame asked hopefully.  The answer was "No."  Apparently, the hole wasn't deep enough to warrant repair...yet. "We have plenty of holes that are bigger than this one" the worker explained.
"How much bigger does it need to get?" Verderame asked me the other day when he saw me.  "I can lay in it."  And to prove his point, he actually did.  "Do you have your camera on you, Ms. Pardon Me For Asking? Take a picture."  So I did.
Let's see if this post and your demonstration will help get a crew out here, John.


Anonymous said...

Is the name of this blog "Pardon me For Questioning the NYC DOT's Technical Standards"?

The 311 call was met by a response, the pot hole did not warrant the expense or time when there are other more pressing needs (as the DOT worker apparently explained). But you're right, it did not pass the "lie down in a hole and take a picture test". I'm sure that Mr. Verdarami's engineering degrees make him more qualified to determine the order potholes get fixed (his strategy might be "Carroll Street first, since it's in front of my house") than do the DOT's engineers.

What happens when Joan Millman makes a call and this pothole gets fixed instead of one that really needs to be fixed (like the giant one on Court and Warren that could swallow a Volkswagen), and the one that needs to be fixed causes a motorcyclist's tire to pinch and explode, killing him? Then will you and Mr. Verdarami be happy?

This stuff is (should be?) beneath you.

Katia said...

Honestly, it should be beneath all of us to pay taxes for services not rendered.
Yes, there are potholes that could swallow Volkswagens and could kill motorists all over the city, but unless we point them out or demand repairs, even in difficult financial times, we allow the City and the DOT to get away with doing a sub-standard job.
The City doesn't seem to have a problem pointing out to homeowners that they need to fix a crack in their sidewalk.
Why shouldn't we point out that DOT is doing a half a**ed job.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me for whining.

Katia said...

Whiny? Why? For pointing out that our roads are horrible? What is the alternative? Just ignore it?
How does that solve problems?

Laura said...

Occupy the Pothole!!!

Katia said...

That's truly funny. I can see it now.

Anonymous said...

Whether a sink hole is large or small it can still be very dangerous for both people and cars. This sink hole has been here since July. DEP & DOT have been notified several times and the one time they came they said it didn't warrant fixing since it was not deep enough. Do we really have to wait until a car can fit into it or before someone falls into it. Now really!!!! By the way, the sink hole is not in front of Mr. Verderame's house; it's in front of a fire hydrant.

John Verderame said...

As a matter of record, I have called 311 twelve times about the sink hole. DOT & DEP came 3 times and said the hole doesn't warrant repair at the present time. I have also gone to Assemblywoman Joan Millman's office several times and she and her staff have also tried to help. We have all been unsuccessful in getting this hole repaired. It was then suggested to me by a few people to lay in the hole to show how bad and big the hole is. I hope someone out there can help in repairing this sink hole. By the way, in my opinion, ALL SINK holes and POT holes should be fixed reguardless of their size.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so that is the crux of the whining: you and Mrs. Kelly believe that every pot or sink hole should be fixed, regardless of size. Unfortunately, this is not a fantasy world. The DOT has a limited budget and, hence, must prioritize certain repairs over others. A relatively shallow hole on a lightly traveled (and slowly traveled at that) side street might not be prioritized.

Maybe they would have time to fix things if you stopped harassing them! (Not really, since I'm sure they're different departments, but still, maybe you're wasting people's time)

Anonymous said...

Can't people sue the City when they injure themselves due to holes and cracks in sidewalks/roads? (I ask because I know someone who twisted an ankle falling because of a hole in the road, and she won.) Don't these lawsuits cost the City money? Wouldn't it be cheaper for the City to fix things, especially when people repeatedly point them out for needing fixing?

Angie said...

EXACTLY!! Pardon me but can you tell me what is the purpose of 311? And I didn't know that being concerned was considered "wasting people's time".

Anonymous said...

Good point! And I didn't know that caring & being concerned was considered "harassing & wasting people's time". Some people don't recognized a quality like that of Mr. Verderami. I can't believe that someone living on this block would actually be against trying to get this hole fixed.
Katia..I have enjoyed your blog for the longest and plan to continue. It keeps people in touch. You're considered "good people".

Katia said...

Well, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is that DOT manages to ticket every car for parking violations in minutes. I counted about 4 of their officers in a radius of 2 blocks a few weeks ago. So to the people that complain about 'whining' I'd like to say: You wouldn't be so outraged by someone pointing this out, if it was YOUR vehicle that was damaged by that pothole.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, but this is the worst piece of drivel and whining that I've ever seen. No wonder politicians don't listen to people!

Jack S. said...

@9:05 You are insulting both people and politicians with that remark. Do you think that pothole would remain in front of a politician's house? This is not a cosmetic issue, but a safety issue.