Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DOT gives complainants the runaround

From the NY Post:

They look like potholes. They eat cars like potholes.

But, in an amazing display of bureaucracy at its most annoying, officials say they can’t fix them -- because they’re wholly different holes.

Nearly a month after a former city official e-mailed 311 to report a pair of “potholes” on a busy Brooklyn street, the gaping craters are still there -- after the Department of Transportation determined they’re another type of “street defect.”

City inspectors came up with this important distinction during a painstaking, taxpayer-funded inspection of the two holes, which are about 40 feet apart on Flatlands Avenue near East 38th Street in Marine Park, according to the agency’s bizarre e-mail response.

“This is what gives government bureaucracy a bad name,” said former Taxi & Limousine Commissioner Fidel Del Valle. who reported the holes.

“It’s something that’s obvious, has an obvious solution, and they’re being officious.”

He’d e-mailed 311 shortly after spotting the holes -- which he described as “monster-movie-type-big” -- while driving near his house last month.

In the absurdly pedantic response, the DOT instructs him to go to its Web site for a primer on different types of “street defects.”


KG2V said...

I ALMOST understand this - but I get why the CITY draws a distiction. A cave in like that is usually caused by a failed sewer line (the dirt flows into the sewer, and it collapses from the bottom up, vs a pothole from the top down)

As they have a standard for 'time to fix' on a pothole, they don't want it counting AND fixing a sinkhole is a LOT more work, as what needs to be done is replace the sewer line - you know, the whole deal with them digging down, ripping up a LARGE section of the block (if not whole block or MORE) to replace the collapsed main, THEN they can fix a sinkhole (and the sinkhole goes against the DEP not DOT budgets)

Of course it makes no difference to the guy driving over, but

Snake Plissskin said...

Well they can't paint bike lanes and repair the streets, too.

Anonymous said...

Technically, the picture displays a sinkhole, caused by something collapsing underneath. It is much more dangerous and harder to fix.

Anonymous said...

It takes them way too long to fix these sink holes that are directly in drivng lanes. If they can't fix them right away they should at least put cones and barricades around it. Instead they just leave it and hope no one hits it. I'm amazed more people don't break their car on them.

Anonymous said...

Another non-story. DOT is totally reasonable here as KG2V so well explained. DEP is the responsible agency here, not DOT. For the Post to try make hay over this is, well, the Post's modus operandi. They're not interested in educating the public, just attacking their political targets and getting ad revenue.

Queens Crapper said...

So its too much to ask that DOT refer the problem to the appropriate agency?

No, this incompetence needs to be exposed.