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Increase the Gas Tax – Or Monitor Vehicle Miles Traveled?

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In the past month, for the second time in the two-and-a-half-year-old Obama Administration, discussion of a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) scheme to supplement or replace the gas tax floated up – and then disappeared rather quickly. As reported in Transportation Weekly in early May, about $300 million would be allocated in the Transportation Opportunities Act to study a VMT system. Such a miles-traveled program would charge motorists for actual use…

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Maryland Gov. O’Malley Wants $800 MM for Infrastructure

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Linking the quality of roads, bridges and rail to his state’s global competitiveness, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has told business leaders that the state needs to find a way to raise $800 million addition dollars to invest in infrastructure. The Democratic governor’s remarks were made in early May before the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. His comments regarding this increased investment in infrastructure were within a list of what he called…

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Potholes: How They Happen, How We Try to Fix Them

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A pothole by definition is a problem. No one intends for a pothole to form and exist – they are not here by intent. Unfortunately, the technology does not yet exist to build impenetrable pavement because all roads are subject to inevitable atrophy. The best we can hope is to minimize pothole formation for as long as possible. To know the best ways to fix potholes – and prevent them…

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Potholes Were – And Still Are – Shovel Ready

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President Obama wants to blame Republicans, but a major opportunity to repair infrastructure was missed in 2009 President Obama threw the lowly pothole into the lofty debates on the future of our country on April 18 when he suggested that Republican-led budget cuts will further the crumbling of infrastructure, leading to “potholes everywhere.” Really? Mr. President, the potholes are hardly the sole fault of the Republicans. With all due respect,…

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Show us your potholes on the Pothole.info Facebook page

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They’re everywhere and they never seem to completely go away. They make us mad, damage our cars and often are cause for rerouting. “They” are potholes. So it’s time that there be a full accounting of potholes everywhere. If you live in a northern climate, you know that winter and spring bring a whole new crop. If you live in a warmer, southern climate, there are plenty of potholes there all year round. Rather than just ride over and past them, take a photo and post it here on the Pothole.info Facebook page – and be sure to let us know where it is and how it affects you.

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SeeClickFix: More Potholes Fixed, Money Saved

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With any business start-up, there is the lingering question of “if you build it, will they come?” And even if they do, will it mean anything? But that is not the worry with developers, investors or users of SeeClickFix, the phone app enabling citizen engagement in pothole abatement. Citizens are coming, local governments are responding – and the potholes are getting fixed. The surprise is that all these volunteer pothole…

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New England Potholes: How They Fix Them With Uncertain Funding

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Massachusetts Gov. Duval Patrick in Mass is proposing a major funding increase to fix streets and bridges – including and especially the potholes – in the aftermath of the winter of 2010-2011. Patrick is asking the state legislature to increase the pothole budget from $155 million to $210 million. Meanwhile, a citizens group joined with several state mayors to ask that the number be pushed up, closer to $300 million…

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Will Iron Ore Byproducts be the Next Pothole Repair Material?

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Pothole.info continues to be the go-to source of information on potholes and how they affect our lives. According to television news reporter Mark Albert on KSAX-TV in Minneapolis, “The website Pothole.info says, ‘drivers will spend $330 each year repairing your car from these hazards.’” That was the bad news. But there may be better news on the prairie horizon, says Albert. He notes that the potholes in the Twin Cities…

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How Road Salt Leads to Rough Pavement (Sometimes)

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That pothole your car hit sometime in the past week: can you blame it on salt used this past winter? If you live in Los Angeles, where potholes-per-mile are among the highest in the nation, the answer clearly is no. Los Angeles does not use salt. Never has, and probably never will. When the roads ice up in Los Angeles County, it is so rare an event that the city…

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A Musical Tribute to the Potholes of Connecticut

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The producers of the Colin McEnroe, specifically Patrick Skahill and a group he assembles featuring Captain John Holt and Chion Wolf, peppered the program that aired on March 7, 2011, “Potholes Are Unbearable,” with a couple of songs that pay a rhythm and bluesy tribute to that ubiquitous scourge of streets everywhere. This first is soloist Chion Wolf with her own ode to potholes: I’m drivin’ down Main Street Got…

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Massachusetts Pothole Gets a Facebook Page

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It was only a matter of time: A pothole in Brockton, Massachusetts has its own Facebook page. What’s more, it has fans: More than 500 as of March 15 (we thought it appropriate to visit it on the Ides of March). Under “Basic Information,” the pothole with the Facebook identity of “Alger Street” describes itself in frank terms: I am one of the meanest, ugliest roads you’ve ever seen. I…

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Pothole.info to appear on WNPR, Hartford, CT

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Our Senior Reporter, Russ Klettke, will be appearing on the Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR, Connecticut Public Radio. The show will air live on Monday, March 7th, at 1 PM EST. The topic will of course be potholes, and several other relevant guests will join the discussion. CPTV / WNPR Web Site: http://www.cpbn.org/ Listen Live: http://www.cpbn.org/listen-live

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Seattle Grapples with Pothole Paloozza 2011

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In a city known more for grunge bands, coffee, rain and Nordstrom’s, there emerges a new phenomenon that has the citizenry buzzing. Yup, it’s potholes. All that rain – and this winter, a good dose of snow as well – has to go somewhere. Where there are cracks in the pavement, that includes in and under the asphalt, leading to a proliferation of potholes that required filling 91 percent more…

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Can One Chicago Pothole Miracle Be Repeated?

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The election of Rahm Emanuel to the mayor’s office in Chicago without a runoff – he garnered 55 percent of the vote in the February election, enough to save voters and the city the hassle and expense of a runoff election – is regarded as a minor miracle in this most political of cities. And that’s a good thing, because the cash-strapped metropolis, like so many others, can use the…

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Carmakers to Potholes: Bring It On

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There are two ways to attack the pothole problem. One is to fix the potholes. The other is to drive a car that is tougher than any chuckhole that comes its way. With current technology and resources, neither is 100% possible. Potholes are inevitable, even if there are smarter and better ways to build and maintain roads today. Come winter and spring, in almost every town in every climate, there…

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An End to the Utility-Cut Bump? Micro Trenching Emerges as Kind to Pavement, Motorists

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The New York City Department of Transportation and motorists on Staten Island, New York experienced last fall what has become a common problem in an increasingly wired world: A utility cut was made to a recently repaved stretch of road. The cut was filled with temporary-patch asphalt, but it was deteriorating rapidly just weeks later – and drivers were not happy. This has happened countless times in recent years, as…

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Pothole Cratered Highways, Coast to Coast Potholes and Beyond

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In the business of potholes, when the weather is coldest is actually when things really heat up. We are talking heated emotions over damages to vehicles from potholes. And heated pressure on road crews and politicians. Sometimes, a hot asphalt mix is used to repair the potholes found in highways to fix them. But in the coldest environs, a temporary cold patch mix is more often used for pothole repair….

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Car Insurance Tracking Devices: Setting Rates According to How You Drive

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Car insurance rates are typically set according to drivers’ ages, occupations, credit scores, home ownership and levels of education, in addition to moving traffic violations and accident records. It has never been practical to observe how exactly a driver would, say, handle an open stretch of road at 3 a.m. Or for that matter, how he or she might negotiate a pothole-ridden boulevard in rush hour. Not until now, anyway….

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Pothole repairs confound Illinois cities, counties

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Chicago’s most trusted meteorologist, Tom Skilling, dares to guide the 8 million people in the greater Chicago metro area through some of the country’s most harsh and unpredictable weather. From his perch as chief weathercaster on WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune, he is the point of first consult every morning for those who plan to venture outside – spring, summer and fall, but most especially, in winter. The frigid season…

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Citizen Pothole Reporting Via Phone Apps Take Off, But Can Street Maintenance Departments Keep Up?

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The most modern of innovations, smartphone apps, are rapidly becoming a means to fix one of humankind’s oldest problems: potholes. And why not? Regardless of whether you were a fan of Isaac Asimov or the television show “Bewitched,” the futuristic/magical ability to point at a problem and fix it instantly (well, almost) is instinctively appealing. To do that, there are now several apps that combine the basic smart phone tools…

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First Cold, then Snow, then Potholes – The Cycle of the Seasons Begins Anew for 2011 in Philly, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

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The storms that hit the Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington D.C. area in mid-February 2010 were largely predicted by the Farmers’ Almanac, months before they happened. Editor Sandi Duncan acknowledges their predictions were a bit off – they didn’t expect it would land as far south as it did, which was attributed to a stronger-than-expected El Nino effect – but she uses the case to support their veracity at long-range weather forecasters. The potholes that…

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Winter 2011 May Bring Average Conditions – And Extraordinary Potholes – to the NYC Tri-State Region

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The La Nina weather pattern is in force in the Pacific Ocean off Chile, and that means less snow in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state region. At least, that’s what the National Weather Service is predicting – a forecast that more or less concurs with the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which makes its predictions based on sunspots, tidal waves and astrological positions. Says the Almanac: “Colder than normal winter temperatures” will prevail,…

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2010-2011 WINTER WEATHER PREDICTIONS FOR NEW ENGLAND: Yankee Ingenuity Fixes Little Potholes Now to Prevent Much Bigger Potholes Later (Part 2 of 2)

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The weather predictions for the first part of the winter of 2010-2011 are coming in. Without question, in New England there will be snow, cold, rain, rain-snow mixes interspersed with fair and warmer days. In Massachusetts, there will be less snow than in Maine – mostly because Maine is bigger and further north. But suffice it to say, with precipitation, snow or rain or sleet come hazardous road conditions –…

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San Francisco Road Repairs May Get Boost Through Proposition AA Votes on November 2

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In a year characterized by voters who resist government growth and increased taxes, seven of nine San Francisco Bay-area counties are proposing auto registration fee hikes in a voter referendum. Wherever Proposition AA passes – if it passes – drivers in those counties will pay an additional $10 per year. An additional $18 vehicle registration surcharge is being voted on in a separate statewide proposition (Proposition 21). What will the…

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