Saturday, March 13, 2010

Potholes and what you can do

Posted By on Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 7:24 AM

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So our family jumps in the car late Friday afternoon, heading for Denver to celebrate my son's birthday with the rest of our clan. We're driving past Coronado High School on Fillmore Street, actually going less than the 40 mph speed limit, when suddenly I see what looks almost like a cave in the road.

OK, it's really just a bad pothole, but it's also not just one. In the next few seconds, we unavoidably go through them, jolting and jarring the car, our bodies and even our teeth with a force that feels more like one of those quick little California earthquakes (I know that feeling from personal experience). I'm seriously worried about the status of my car's shock absorbers.

Ironically, at that exact time, I was hearing national news on the car radio, making fun of Colorado Springs for "not even being able to pick up trash in city parks," then dealing with PETA's idea of putting cans in local parks (surely you heard that story, so I won't repeat it here, other than including a photo of one of PETA's lettuce-adorned models).

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Later, around the various lights where Fillmore crosses over Interstate 25, we encounter more of the potholes. And they're bad. I remember that the city was making a big deal a week or so ago about reporting any bad potholes so city crews (yes, they still have a few employees) can try to fix them. OK, but come on. Many thousands of cars pass through those areas every day. Surely somebody has reported those problems, right?

No way to know, just that those dangerous conditions are still there. When we returned later Friday night, I was very careful getting off I-25 at Fillmore. But even on the westbound lanes of Fillmore, there were additional potholes around Coronado.

Then I remembered encountering more rugged spots downtown, especially on Colorado Avenue in the vicinity of Tejon Street ... within sight of the City Administration Building. But those aren't being fixed.

Anyway, I figure thousands of others have the same frustrations and experiences, so I've gone to the city's Web site and retrieved the reporting information, straight from springsgov.com. But to save you the trouble, here's the important stuff:

Citizens may report potholes the following ways:

· Pothole Hotline (leave a message): 385-6808

· E-mail: streetdivision@springsgov.com

When reporting a pothole, callers should provide detailed information such as street name, direction of traffic flow (north bound, south bound, etc.), nearby cross streets, landmarks such as nearby buildings, side of the street, location in the street and distance from the curb. Due to the huge influx of calls expected, citizens should not expect a personal reply to their request.

We definitely don't care about the return call. No personalized customer service needed. Just some fresh asphalt in the right places, please.

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