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pothole.info

UK’s Mr. Pothole a Vivid Campaigner

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American motorists should know that pothole problems are not limited to the United States. Pavement is pavement, all over the world, as well as the inevitable potholes. Enough so that in the United Kingdom there is Mr. Pothole, who self describes as “the National Pothole Campaigner in the UK.” Mr. Pothole (a.k.a. Mark Morrell) tours the country, works his messages through social media, and is an organizer of National Pothole…

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Will Michigan Voters Decide to Pay More for Infrastructure?

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On May 5, 2015 voters in the state of Michigan will have the opportunity to raise their taxes – all in the interest of better roads, bridges and public transport. And unlike most referenda that fail at this, advocates for the measure believe this may be the exception. Proposal 1 is a binding vote to amend the state constitution, adding $1.25 billion per year for state and local road maintenance…

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“Infrastructure – if anything exciting happens, we’ve done it wrong.”

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Sometimes humor is the best teacher. So thanks to HBO-TV’s John Oliver, host of the comedy show “Last Week Tonight,” the topic of infrastructure may finally find some students. As this March 2015 clip explains, via Oliver’s satirical quips, infrastructure isn’t sexy. Especially the repair part, where potholes are filled and cracked bridge buttresses are repaired. These are the essential public works projects that don’t get ribbon cuttings. Consequently, we…

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Newest Pothole Repair Technologies at Work in 2015

By Uncategorized

With the highly anticipated arrival of Spring 2015 almost upon us, most of the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains will welcome warmer temperatures, grass instead of snow, and streets filled with potholes. Well, perhaps the potholes will not be welcome. But as sure as the sun will shine, there will be many, many potholes wherever there has been precipitation, freezing temperatures and vehicular traffic. Because those things are precisely…

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Boston Digs Out – To Find Potholes

By Uncategorized

With an accumulation of almost eight feet of snow so far in the winter of 2014-2015, the City of Boston is still trying to figure out how to make streets and public transportation systems operable. But the brutal, heavy-precipitation winter of 2015 in Massachusetts and much of the rest of New England will have an after-effect that may well last into the warmer, even summer months. Without question, there will…

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A Gas Tax Isn’t the Only Way to Fund Infrastructure

By Uncategorized

The semi-annual discussions on America’s infrastructure spending – including how to fix potholes, as well as bridges, tunnels, ports and public transportation – should be studied in economics classes everywhere. It has everything: supply and demand, the multiplier effect of government spending, the tradeoff of taxation against consumption, international trade/fossil fuel pricing and, of course, politics. And here we are in the first quarter of 2015, where there is lively…

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Why Are Most Wintertime Pothole “Repairs” Temporary?

By Uncategorized

With freeze-thaw conditions prevalent across much of the country, American motorists may wonder why potholes often linger until spring. The reasons are a combination of physics and economics. First, it helps to understand the consequences. In winter and early spring, drivers everywhere are plagued with blown tires, cracked wheel rims and alignment issues that happen when they drive into one of the millions of potholes that occur in both asphalt…

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California Pavement: Drought, Flood Threats and Green Solutions

By Uncategorized

The heavy rains on the West Coast in mid-December 2014 presented a mixed bag for the millions of people who live and work there. On one hand, the ample precipitation may signal the end of a devastating three-year drought. But the damage incurred by flooding and mudslides – with incidences of pavement ripped up by flows of water and earth – means it was a destructive event as well. Facts…

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Do Commuter Tax Benefits and Low Gas Taxes Create More Potholes?

By Uncategorized

It’s more than just a pun to say that federal policies toward transportation, road maintenance and conservation are moving targets. As we head into 2015, there are many variables regarding parking subsidies and gas taxes that are at odds with each other. At the top of the news is the price of gas, dipping below $2.00/gallon at mid-December 2014in some locales with a national average around $2.75/gallon. For most of…

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Less Driving = Stop Building New Roads?

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A national research organization argues that automotive trends – vehicle miles traveled per capita, car ownership rates and drivers licenses – are in recession, and that plans to build new highways should be scrapped. Instead, researchers recommend repairing the roads we have, fill the potholes and support alternative means of transportation. Are they right? The answer might be as mixed as the United States is diverse. Indeed, as a group…

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Freeze-Thaw Cycles: Expansions and Contractions Cause Potholes

By Uncategorized

It might seem that the extremes of weather – the “polar vortex” freeze in the U.S. and Canada during the winter of 2014, or the triple-digit temp heat waves in the American southwest regions in recent summers – might cause the most damage to asphalt and pavement. But in fact it is the oscillations above and below 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) that are the primary culprit in creating…

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Millennials Buying Fewer Cars – But That Doesn’t Mean Abandon the Roads

By Uncategorized

A 2014 survey by the WISPIRG Foundation – Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group – found that shifting attitudes about transportation and car ownership are having an effect on where the Millennial generation chooses to live and work.  In effect, the study shows younger adults want transportation options beyond cars and highways – and that Wisconsin is failing in this respect. Instead, the state is building more and bigger highways, a…

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Buy Broken Asphalt? The Pothole Store Has Some to Sell

By Uncategorized

Once upon a time there was the Pet Rock. Today, we have crumbled asphalt, the detritus of pavement gone awry, turned into “pothole-pourri” ­– packaged and sold online through a pothole-theme retailer. In case that sounds like an entrepreneurial effort to turn something unpleasant into something a little more fun – and perhaps profitable – then yes, you are correct. Online retailer Dave Stern of Chicago is doing just that…

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Montreal’s “Roadsworth” Art Will Last as Long as the City’s Pavement

By Uncategorized

For anyone visiting Montreal, it is difficult to miss the artwork of Roadsworth, a.k.a. Peter Gibson. That’s because the artist’s canvas is largely asphalt and his “gallery” is the streets and parking areas of the city. When Gibson first because painting from stencils, which he designs, it was in support of bicycling, somewhat mimicking the road markings that define bike lanes. But then he took it many steps further: streets…

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Missouri Voters Solidly Reject Road Repair Referendum

By Uncategorized

Advocates for road repair and other infrastructure funding in Missouri were handed a solid defeat at the polls on August 5, 2014 with the rejection of a voter referendum that proposed to raise the state sales tax, which would provide funds earmarked for highway construction projects. Voted down by a 59-41 percent margin, the tax would have raised $5 billion for transportation projects over ten years. The Missouri Department of…

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Obama Sounds Alarm on Infrastructure Funding

By Uncategorized

Highway Trust Fund Running on Empty Repairs to highways, bridges and transit cost more than the gas tax takes in – and the HTF is set to run dry around August 1, 2014. The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is running out of money this summer. For the states tasked with infrastructure upkeep this will mean a graduated cutback in money, beginning as early as August 1, according to the U.S….

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Fox News Memphis Features Pothole.info On Air

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The Spring 2014 pothole epidemic is being felt in the mid-South, including Memphis, Tennessee where station WHBQ-TV/Fox 13 brought on Pothole.info reporter Russ Klettke to provide a national perspective on what Memphesians are experiencing – the worst pothole season in recent memory. As seen in the clip, aired May 1, 2014, anchorDarrell Greene takes a keen interest in the city’s current state of road affairs, specifically the potholes. Greene led…

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Potholes 2014: Brunt of the Polar Vortices in Northeast US

By potholes

Reports from cities, counties and state departments of transportation in the northeastern United States – all significantly affected by the harsh conditions of the winter of 2013-2014 – tell us at least two things. One, that potholes now seen after the departure of the last ice and snow in mid-April are abundant. Two, that the costs of fixing those potholes are enormous.

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Pothole History a Good Reference Point in New Jersey

By Uncategorized

Where do serious pothole reporters turn to for historical pothole information? Pothole.info, of course! But seriously, Jessica Masulli Reyes cited our site in her article, “Ka-thump! It’s pothole time,” published in the New Jersey Herald (NJHerald.com) on March 21, 2014. She largely references our own deep-dive research into the history of potholes, which stretches back to the Roman Empire when all those roads and aqueducts needed their own infrastructure maintenance…

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How has the “Polar Vortex” affected your roads?

By Uncategorized

It might seem that the extremes of weather – the “polar vortex” freeze in the U.S. and Canada during the winter of 2014, or the triple-digit temp heat waves in the American southwest regions in recent summers – might cause the most damage to asphalt and pavement. But in fact it is the oscillations above and below 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) that are the primary culprit in creating…

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