Your tax dollars at work. No, really!

The stretch of Brannan between 9th and Division is between me and many of my destinations, and for at least six years, it's had a very nasty collection of potholes: less potholes than long, thin chasms on the gap between the asphalt and the concrete. I've lost at least two bike tires to them over the years.

So, on Feb 27, I thought "what the hell", and emailed saying, basically, "hey, how about patching those."

On or about Mar 15... THEY DID.

Maybe this is just a coincidence, but, damn. I almost wiped out from the shock of it alone!

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12 Responses:

  1. carbonunit says:

    As you well know, from when your DNA audio streams broke, people rarely report that sort of thing. It probably was your email that spurred them into action.

  2. lnghnds says:

    I think once it's reported they're more exposed to lawsuits. Supposedly in NYC some ambulance chasers hire people to go around a find all the cracks in the sidewalks and report them so they can more easily sue the city.

    • tangaroa says:

      That reminds me of the time I worked for a government agency to upgrade their road sign inventory system. After a couple years of vague "it's not good enough yet" with no requirements, I finally went three steps up the chain of command and found out why the project was being blocked: legal bullshit. Basically, the government gets sued every time there is a car accident. Keeping with the 30-year-old featureless error-friendly system gives the government the excuse that their system is too outdated for them to maintain the roads adequately. As it was explained to me, incompetence is somehow a valid legal defense against a charge that they were not maintaining the roads. That, and handing over an undocumented chunk of data for discovery will scare people away. Implementing a system to make the government more competent would also mean massive losses in lawsuits when the lawyers can look at the government's shiny new reports and say "by our standards and not yours, you should have known this was going to need fixing".

  3. lindseykuper says:

    I almost wiped out from the shock of it alone!

    Man, there should be a name for the kind of cycling hazard that arises from the jolt of no longer having to avoid some different, but suddenly non-existent, cycling hazard.

  4. defenestr8r says:

    maybe you should try emailing that same address and ask for an all ages license for the dna.

  5. hatter says:

    That's a curious phenomenon. Too many friends in the UK have reported similar surprise at speedy results from different local councils fixing email/web-reported potholes. Sounds like we need to vote the world's highway maintainance departments to a position of greater responsibility.

    the hatter

  6. ultranurd says:

    I want some kind of citizens pothole brigade in Boston, sneaking around in the dead of night subverting union labor and filling in potholes. (Apparently in Boston, utility companies are allowed to dig 6-inch wide ditches down the middle of a street to lay new cable or whathaveyou for several blocks, fill it with low quality tar, and then let it turn into a tiny asphalt canyon.)

  7. vidog says:

    About 6th months ago, my girlfriend emailed the San Francisco DPW about some icky sludge that had been leaking from behind a city-owned retaining wall onto the sidewalk all summer. To our amazement, the sludge stopped leaking shortly after the email..... maybe they really do read that stuff?

  8. morrisa says:

    I reported a sudden, large sinkhole on a major road near my house that I'd been avoiding for about a week. When it was fixed just as quickly as it appeared, the dark macadam patch looked SO different from the pothole, I thought I was coming up on some debris in the road. I almost swerved into a truck to avoid it. I saw the truck, gritted my teeth, stayed in my lane, rode over the patch, and almost fainted from delight at the frictionless smoothness.

    Cities can't prevent crime, but they all seem pretty eager to fill potholes. You should also report illegal dumping to your local public works dept. If SF is anything like Oakland, you'd be surprised how fast those abandoned refrigerators full of garbage bags and crack needles will disappear once they're reported.

  9. strathmeyer says:

    Story would've been better if it would've ended with you suing the city.