Category

Uncategorized

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Less Driving = Stop Building New Roads?

By Uncategorized

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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….

Read More

Fox News Memphis Features Pothole.info On Air

By Uncategorized

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

New Transportation Secretary Emphasizes Safety, Efficiency and Future-Focus

By Uncategorized

In a rare 100-0 vote in the U.S. Senate, new Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx was confirmed in June 2013. The now-former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina told BetterRoads.com that his top priorities are overall transportation safety, improving efficiency and performance of existing transportation systems and building a system that answers future needs and requirements.

Read More

Yes, YOU Can Fix a Potholed Driveway

By Uncategorized

Fixing potholes in an asphalt or concrete driveway might seem hard, but it’s not. Even better, it does not require exotic equipment.   For this post, we take a break from the ongoing pothole battle in the streets to discuss a problem that is completely under your control, the potholes in your driveway.   A do-it-yourself advice website called Lifehacker.com recently fielded a question from a homeowner who wants to…

Read More

Cities Turn Spring 2013 Pothole Repair into a Special Event

By Uncategorized

Citizen reporting becoming a seasonal rite   Owing perhaps to a certain mentality that says “fix it now,” several American cities are approaching pothole repair in the spring of 2013 as a special event. Maybe it’s just another version of spring cleaning. Or, perhaps it is due to the fact that the mild winter of 2011-2012 allowed some reprieve with the return of harsher snow, rain and freeze-thaw cycle conditions…

Read More

Edmonton, Alberta Potholes Cost $12 Million Extra in 2013

By Uncategorized

Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) is the most northerly city in the Americas with a metropolitan population of more than one million people. So perhaps the fact that it has 600,000 potholes waiting to be fixed in the spring of 2013 should be no surprise. But the City of Edmonton Roadway Maintenance Director, Bob Dunford, told the Edmonton CTV News that 2013 was extraordinary. “We never broke the 600,000 mark. We hit…

Read More

Potholes As Art – in Russia and the U.S.

By Uncategorized

In the U.S. and elsewhere, the way to get public officials’ attention to municipal woes such as potholes, broken streetlamps and playgrounds in disrepair is quite modern: phone apps such as SeeClickFix (nationwide),Street Bump (Boston), San Diego 311send the complaint directly to the government agency in charge. Almost everywhere as well, the standard 3-1-1 phoneline is in operation, albeit without the benefit of GPS or smartphone camera shots.

Read More

LaHood Takes Parting Shots at Infrastructure Funding

By Uncategorized

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the realm of infrastructure. Or, at least insofar as talking about infrastructure.   It began with outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the former Republican congressman from Illinois serving in the Obama administration since 2009. In a February 6 interview with Diane Rehm, the syndicated National Public Radio host (based out of WAMU radio in Washington, DC), LaHood spoke about his concerns regarding…

Read More

Hurricane Sandy’s Effects on Atlantic Seaboard Roads, Pavement Widespread

By Uncategorized

Hurricane Sandy’s massively damaged the infrastructure in NY, NJ, NC, CT and RI. Rapid repair of roads, bridges, water and sewer systems will reduce net costs.   The images from Hurricane Sandy’s wrath in northeastern U.S. states include many of streets inundated with water as well as beachfront highways completely destroyed by storm surges. The loss of life, with nearly 100 storm-related deaths reported and the full tally not yet…

Read More

Early Summer Heat Wave Buckling Pavement

By Uncategorized

The Weather Channel predicted above-average warmth for the Southwest, Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast back in April (of 2012). The fact that highway pavement is buckling in all those places from heat – already in June – is proving that forecast to be on the money. That’s because scorching summertime temperatures in the 90s and 100s (Fahrenheit – in Celsius that’s about 32 to 38 degrees C and higher) have come…

Read More