Saturday, September 5, 2009

Use 311 for NOPA Potholes

Even on NOPA's relatively smooth streets, potholes keep appearing. It's not that these holes, dips, and rough spots never get fixed. Wear and tear -- especially on Muni lines -- take their toll. And NOPA's lurking, dropping sinkholes suck in the temporary asphalt repairs.

The worst streets in NOPA for potholes and other street defects? Divisadero certainly, and its makeover can't begin soon enough. Masonic has its share of hazards, and lower Central, from Fulton to Hayes, is all about recurring sinkholes. For bicyclists, the McAllister ride through NOPA is rough and bumpy even without gaping craters. (For a full review of pavement conditions in NOPA, see previous posts here and here).

The best way to get rid of potholes is to report them to 311, by phone or online. The Dept. of Public Works has a good record of getting the problems fixed within a few days, sometimes longer. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's Good Roads program has been monitoring city streets intensively for potholes since April of 2008. During that period, SFBCers have reported more than 1500 potholes to the city through 311. About 50 of those street defects were located on NOPA streets. And yet they keep showing up, such as this one circled in spray paint yesterday on Broderick at Grove. (Note: DPW provides the paint; we're not renegade street taggers. The paint helps DPW locate the hole and it also alerts cyclists of areas to avoid until the fix occurs).

NOPA cyclists: Join the SFBC Good Roads Crew the first Saturday of every month as we target a different neighborhood to identify, circle, and report every pothole, crack, ridge, and sunken utility cover we can find. A group of 6-12 of us meet up at 10 am and conclude by noon and then gather at a neighborhood spot for cold drinks and lunch. We're a very friendly group, and newcomers are always welcome. Check the SFBC Chain of Events and the Good Roads page for meeting spots. (note: no ride this holiday weekend; next ride October 3rd).

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