FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES CITY’S WINTER POTHOLE BLITZ IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, January 11, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"The winter months are full of holidays and celebrations, but they also bring us something that's decidedly less joyful. I'm talking about potholes. At this time of year, as the temperature hovers around the freezing mark, the constant icing and thawing of moisture takes its toll on our roads, making them even more susceptible to breaks in the pavement.
"This season, we're confronting this annoyance head-on by launching a full-scale assault on potholes in all five boroughs. Over the last six weeks, the City's Department of Transportation has filled more than 20,000 potholes - bringing our six-month repair total to more than 80,000. Throughout the cold-weather months, there will be as many as 40 crews working each day to fill the potholes that form in our more than 6,000 miles of streets.
"Not only are we repairing more potholes, we're also filling them faster than ever. In 2002, only about two-thirds of potholes got filled within a month of being reported. Today on average, they're filled within three days of being reported. There are a few factors that account for the difference, but the biggest is 311.
"311 calls help us focus our resources and hold ourselves accountable for results. Last year, we took the citizens hotline one step further by bringing it into the digital age. Both the 311 call center and the City's website at www.nyc.gov are now able to accept photos and videos sent from cell phones, and computers. So if you see a pothole, you can report it on the City's website, upload a picture of it, or just do it the old-school way: pick up a phone and dial 311. That's what I always do.
"311 has been a great resource for reporting quality of life complaints. But we're not just waiting for you to call us. We're out there looking for problems ourselves so that we can fix them before you see them. Our mobile "SCOUT" quality-of-life teams patrol all 6,000 miles of City streets once a month. Last year, they reported more than 10,000 potholes.
"As we work to make our streets smoother and cleaner, we're also making them greener. Today, New York City leads the nation in the use of "recycled asphalt product," or "RAP" to fill potholes. By using RAP, nearly a million barrels of oil that would otherwise have gone into making asphalt are conserved and almost 200,000 tons of asphalt are recycled instead of dumped in landfills.
"Speaking of recycled products, I'd like to encourage all New Yorkers with Christmas trees and wreaths to take advantage of Mulchfest. This annual event, which helps us turn your old trees into something useful for our environment, has been going on all weekend. This year, we have nearly 90 recycling collection sites throughout the City ready to accept your trees and turn them into mulch. Those sites will remain open until 2 p.m. today. For a full list, please visit the City's website at www.nyc.gov, or call 311.
"Even if you can't make it out to Mulchfest, you can still see that your trees get recycled. Just leave them on the curb outside of your home through Friday, January 16th. The City's Sanitation Department will pick them up and transport them to recycling sites. Please take care to remove all tree stands and ornaments before placing them outside for collection, and don't put your tree in a plastic bag.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958