Pothole-weary New Orleanians embrace 'National Pothole Day'

Pothole-weary New Orleanians embrace 'National Pothole Day'

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Frustrated Lakeview homeowners point to a huge pothole filled with 5-foot-high greenery as a sign that it's time to fix the streets, and a local group is now calling for a national day to address potholes across the country.

It has become one of Lakeview's favorite selfie spots. Though the pothole at Louisville and Bragg streets has hampered dozens of drivers, it may be a launching pad for something much bigger.

"Let's open it up to national discussion," said Jeff Januszek with the group Fix Our Streets.

Frustrated by the slow pace of repairs, Fix Our Streets proclaims May 21 as National Pothole Day.

"All we're asking for is for people to take a picture of their worst pothole and post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram," Januszek said.

If things don't get better, Lakeview resident Ralph Schindler worries that at the current pace of repairs, his 19-month-old son, Henry, will one day suffer too.

"We're hoping it's not 30 years, but I'm hoping we will start seeing improvement," Schindler said.

"I think we will definitely need new taxes, because we put this off for such a long period of time. There's no way with the current tax structure they can re-do all these streets," said Eric Songy of Algiers.

Fix Our Streets is looking at available funding and wants to work with the city on a plan.

"I would pay more in taxes if I felt the effort was valiant with a strategic plan that made sense, and the city's priorities backed that up," Schindler said.

Unlike the plastic flamingo, which has become a permanent fixture on this legendary pothole in Lakeview, officials with Fix Our Streets are hopeful that National Pothole Day will take flight like it did in the United Kingdom.

"They made National Pothole Day UK, and they got news media, and politicians talking about fixing streets and roads properly and for the long term," said Januszek said.

If nothing is done, some worry that streets will become impassable.

"Essentially they will get bad to the point where you don't have streets," Schindler said.

Meantime, pothole humor will continue at Louisville and Bragg among those determined to grin and bear it.

On National Pothole Day, FOX 8 would like to be part of the conversation. Post your best (or worst) pothole pictures to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages using #NationalPotholeDay and #NewOrleans now through the end of the month.

The city has almost finished a comprehensive look at every street using a high-tech tool. It's a special van equipped with lasers, GPS and high definition imagery to map out which streets have the biggest problems. Phase 1 of the project is 95 percent complete. The city will use the data to prioritize repairs.

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