NY Q&A: State of New York City’s Roads

April 2, 2012 Updated: April 2, 2012

NEW YORK—New York City’s streets are still recovering from the damage incurred by the harsh winter of 2010–11. At a City Council overview hearing of the state of the city’s streets on Monday, the council’s report showed the Department of Transportation (DOT) repaired 305,001 potholes in fiscal year 2011, up slightly from FY 2010’s figure of about 295,300.

In FY 2011, 72.3 percent of the city’s streets got a good pavement rating, up from 70.8 percent in FY 2010.

One problem the council found was that cave-in complaints often got lost in a bureaucratic tangle. When 311 received complaints of cave-ins, DOT would often be notified instead of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DOT would notify 311 that the complaint is not within its jurisdiction and unless the complainant followed up, the case would close without action. The council recommended that DOT directly notify DEP in such cases.

The Epoch Times asked New Yorkers how they rate the city’s streets.

Alvaro Velosa, Skateboarder, West Harlem, 24, Student

Epoch Times Photo
Alvaro Velosa (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

“They are definitely patchy, because I will be riding down the street [on a skateboard] and there will be a series of ten metal or iron sheets filled with rocks all over them, and you are bound to get slammed by one of them. One of those little rocks will just stop your wheels and just throw you to the floor. So you have to look out for those. There are also all the cobblestone streets, which I am a fan of, but for skateboarding or biking you have to look for alternate routes, but that is just part of it. But the potholes, those sheets, and unkempt construction sites are the ones that kind of get you. I feel pretty comfortable [skateboarding]. When I am skating on the street I just think of myself as another bicyclist and I just follow their rules and the way that they’re thinking, so I just feel like I am part of that flow, too.”

Noah Hilsenrad, Cyclist, Brooklyn, 34, Graphic designer

Epoch Times Photo
Noah Hilsenrad (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

“Manhattan is a lot worse then Brooklyn, it’s really a lot of potholes, it is really rough. I think that they have been improving them generally for bicyclists, there are a lot more bike lanes. But overall in Manhattan the roads are not very good, they need quite a bit of repair. There are areas, though, like the West Side Highway where they have dedicated bike lanes, where they really made an effort, but if for instance you want to go uptown your only option is really Sixth Avenue or Third Avenue, and neither of them are very good.”

Emmanuel Gboloo, Taxi Driver, Manhattan

Epoch Times Photo
Emmanuel Gboloo (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

“Comparatively I think they are alright. I think they are fine compared to parts in Jersey. I think it is good enough to keep it running. There are potholes after it rains but repair work is being done correctly and in detail. I don’t drive on the freeway much unless I have a passenger. It is cheaper in the city and more economical. I think the city does a pretty good job of fixing the roadways in Manhattan since most of us work in Manhattan. Maybe the outer boroughs might take a longer period before repairs are done. Within the city I think it is pretty good. From 96th Street to Wall Street they do a pretty good job.”