They come in a variety of shapes, are several inches deep, and can cost hundreds of dollars in car repair bills: potholes, the bane of every driver's commute. In an effort to eliminate some of them, the District of Columbia is launching its annual Potholepalooza.
Along one stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the Anacostia neighborhood of southeast D.C., the road looks like it used to be riddled with potholes but has been patched up with globs of asphalt. It's not a smooth ride, but resident Anthony Johnson says it's a minor improvement.
"They are getting better," Johnson says. "They have started working on it, but they have been bad for years. That's nothing new. There are still a lot of them that's not done."
Johnson says the District's Potholepalooza, which filled 5,000 potholes during a single month last year, is much needed again.
"See that truck over there? I want to keep it for a little while," he says.
Potholes are car killers. Portia Perkins says her friend hit one pothole on Pennsylvania Avenue in southeast that wound up blowing a huge hole in her bank account. "It messed up her muffler, and so she had to get that fixed," says Perkins. "It cost her a couple thousand dollars."
The city is asking for help in locating potholes. Individuals can email repair requests, tweet them to @DDOTDC, call information at 311, or use the District's new smart phone app. The DDOT says it will work to repair identified potholes within 48 hours; normal response time is within 72 hours.
After hearing this report, a WAMU listener who identified herself as Karen said in an email, "I hit a pothole the morning of 4/12/2012 on 15th just north of Euclid, NW. I was going about 15-20mph and the force of the impact cracked my oil pan and knocked the alignment out. The car was towed and the repair was approximately $1,100."
Listen to this story here: http://wamu.org/news/12/04/15/dc_brings_back_potholepalooza