Mayor outlines plans to fix Houston's pothole problems

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner is expected to rollout his pothole initiative next week. In the meantime, the city has repaired nearly 96 percent of potholes reported to the City's 311 Help and Information line.

Turner announced in his inaugural address that potholes reported to the City's 311 Help and Information would be assessed and addressed by the next business day. Since the announcement, pothole reports increased from 22 a day to more than 100 a day. Ninety-six percent of those, the city said, were actual potholes that were assessed and repaired by the next business day.

"This is a priority for my administration," said Turner. "The numbers at this early stage of the effort are impressive. We have streamlined operations, and our departments are working better together as a team. The payoff is an increased performance level that our residents not only expect, but also deserve."

"He's getting to it as soon as he can there are a lot of problems, a lot of work to be done, but he has been fixing the potholes," driver Jimmie Davis said.

The city stated that between Jan. 4 and Jan. 11, the city received 550 pothole service requests. Of those, 316 were verified as potholes and repaired.

At a City Council meeting Wednesday, Turner said while the city considers that a success, he stressed the importance of long term goals of not just patching but, in many cases, replacing.

"We will continue to work collectively on addressing the major long term issues. And that's repairing, reconstruction, replacing," he said.

For the reported crater that aren't deemed potholes, Turner said they are placed on a separate priority report. The city has expanded its definition of a pothole to anything up to 25 square feet, compared to just four square feet.

The formal rollout of the program will include the debut of a new website, www.houstonpotholes.org, as well as an automated customer notification process that will be managed by the Mayor's Citizens Assistance Office.

Every person who reports a pothole will be contacted by email or phone about the status of their request.