Astoria Councilman Wants Potholes Repaired Within 5 Days

By Jeanmarie Evelly on March 7, 2014 10:26am 

 Potholes at 31st Street and Hoyt Avenue in Astoria. City Councilman Constantinides introduced a bill last week that would require the city to repair potholes within five days of when a complaint is made.
Potholes at 31st Street and Hoyt Avenue in Astoria. City Councilman Constantinides introduced a bill last week that would require the city to repair potholes within five days of when a complaint is made.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly; Office of Costa Constantinides

ASTORIA — A Queens lawmaker is looking to pave the way for speedy pothole repairs.

Astoria City Councilman Costa Constantinides, who took office in January, introduced a bill last week that would require the city's Department of Transportation to repair potholes within five days after a complaint is filed.

"When people call 311 for a basic city service like potholes, they should see results," the councilman said. "That’s something I heard about generally during the campaign — people wanting government to be responsive. I thought this was part of that."

Constantinides said his bill would build on Mayor Bill de Blasio and the DOT's recently announced campaign to battle potholes in the wake of this winter's extreme weather, where snow, salt, ice and plows have wreaked havoc on the city's roadways.

The mayor said last month that the DOT has filled a record-breaking 113,131 potholes this year, and he will be allocating an additional $7.3 million to the agency in the coming executive budget to help speed up road repairs.

Constantinides said that while the mayor and the DOT have been doing a "great job" filling potholes quickly this winter, the city currently does not have a mandated timeline for when the work needs to be completed after a complaint is made, which is what his bill would codify.

"They’ve been very responsive to our needs, but having this time frame [will] give people added piece of mind," he said.

According to a DOT report, the average time it took the agency to fill a pothole in 2012 was 1.4 days, though past years had a longer wait — the very snowy 2010, for example, saw an average response time of 10.8 days.

Constantinides said one of Astoria's biggest pothole problem spots is Hoyt Avenue at 31st Street, where he said constituents from a nearby senior center have complained to him of having trouble crossing bumpy roads.

"I walk to work quite frequently from my home to my office and I see potholes," he said. "It's something people have been talking to me about."

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