Pothole That Caused Bus Crash Was a Problem for Months, Neighbors Say
HELL'S KITCHEN — A massive pothole that sent a charter bus carrying a Canadian dance troupe careening into scaffolding last week has been ignored by the city for months, local workers and residents say.
The pothole, near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel at West 41st Street and Dyer Avenue, has been there since at least January and is well known to people who drive through the area. At about 8 inches deep, it's surrounded by other, smaller potholes that have long caused buses and trucks driving through the intersection to bump up and down.
"By calling this a 'pothole,' it is severely understating the almost sinkhole-sized collapse in the street that has been there and has been ignored by the city," said David Weisbrot, who drives in from New Jersey four days a week and regularly contends with the pothole.
"You could swim in it after it rains," added Ed Santiago, 39, who was walking home from work past the pothole last week.
Last Thursday morning, an Optimum Rides bus carrying a group of teenage dancers from New Brunswick's Dance Zone Studio hit the pothole and crashed into scaffolding at the intersection.
Staff at the bus company said the driver lost control of the bus after hitting the huge pothole. Two people from the bus were treated for minor injuries at St. Luke's hospital.
"That pothole has been there for the longest [time]," Steven Incekara wrote on Facebook in response to DNAinfo's story about the crash. "Why does it take someone having an accident before any attention is given to these issues? Completely unacceptable."
Staff at the Metro Apartments, a hotel that sits on the corner, had complained about the pothole for months before the crash, bringing it to the attention of City Councilman Corey Johnson's office, officials said. Metro Apartments declined to comment.
Neither the Department of Transportation nor Johnson's office responded to requests for comment.
According to Weisbrot, the pesky pothole is regularly surrounded by New York City traffic agents and occasionally has white plastic barricades around it, but has never been repaired.
"I found it hard to believe the city didn't know about it," Weisbrot said.