Thursday, February 20, 2014
By Alec Hamilton : Assistant Producer, WNYC News
Mayor de Blasio took to the streets of Maspeth Queens, shovel in hand, to face a familiar foe.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
That friendly tuxedo clad road inspector is singing a message of municipal upkeep. Imagine some of these choice lyrics set to Frank Sinatra's My Way:
"As now potholes appear / and if you fall, then you'll be hurting / don't worry friends, help is here / we'll take your calls, you can be certain."
"At work our days are full / inspecting all our paths and byways / and more, much more than this, at work in hiiiiighways."
"We lay each tarmac course, / not when it's wet, but on a dry day / and more, much more than this, at work in hiiighways."
Watch the full video for four minutes of robust crooning in the service of pothole patching courtesy of the Worcestershire County Council, U.K.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - Jim O'Grady, WNYC) New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has taken to You Tube--land of lip-syncing teens and musical cats--to tell New Yorkers it's filling potholes as fast as it can. The authority has recently drawn attention to a video it produced and posted that profiles one of its two heavy-duty Road Patcher trucks.
MTA Bridges & Tunnels spokesman Charles Passarella stands near what looks to be an entrance to the Whitestone Bridge in either the Bronx or Queens and explains how the truck fills small-to-medium-sized potholes by spraying crushed rock and liquid tar through a nozzle. The material is different from the hot asphalt that human crews use to patch larger holes.
"The truck is controlled with a remote-controlled joystick," he says. "And basically, what it does, it performs the same function as the hot asphalt except you don't have the guys out on the roadway."
Everything works smoothly in the one-minute video, which has more than a thousand views and four "likes," before a deep-voiced narrator intones "This team can fill in over one hundred potholes a day, keeping roads smooth and drivers safe."
New Yorkers probably need reassurance after a winter that saw nearly 47 inches of snow and eight inches of rain fall on the city. MTA Bridges and Tunnels says it has filled "more than 4,000 of the pesky craters" since mid-March.
The New York City Department of Transportation, which also fills potholes, doesn't seem to have posted a video about its efforts but it does maintain a website called The Daily Pothole on which it keeps a tally of road repairs.
NYC DOT spokesman Seth Solomonow said the agency also uses Road Patcher trucks but that they work a little slower than a human crew. If there's a pothole-filling version of the legendary laborer John Henry, he has not yet been bested by a machine.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
By Casey Miner
(San Francisco–Casey Miner, KALW News) Have a bumpy ride to work this morning? You’re not alone. A new report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, finds that the country’s road infrastructure is in terrible shape – and California’s is particularly bad.
Of the top 20 worst areas identified in the report, eight are in California, and three of those are in the Bay Area, including San Francisco/Oakland (counted together), San Jose and Concord.
Bad roads aren’t just uncomfortable; they’re also expensive. Nationally, substandard roads cost the average driver $400 a year over and above the normal cost of owning a car; in the Bay Area it’s more like $700-$750. With more than two-thirds of their roads in poor condition, San Jose drivers pay the most, but San Francisco/Oakland drivers aren’t far behind.
With the economy in its current condition, things aren’t likely to improve anytime soon: TRIP estimates that the state needs an extra $4 billion a year in road investment to keep them in shape. Nationally, it's $39 billion. For context, that's 80% of the Obama Administration's budget for its proposed infrastructure bank.