(Photo by Flickr user JoshuaDavisPhotography, used under a Creative Commons license)
As an active biker on the streets of D.C., I can personally attest to the District’s wealth of potholes. Winter weather as well as general wear and tear are not kind to our concrete.
All of which is why the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) hosts Potholepalooza in the spring — a six-week campaign during which potholes are repaired in 48 hours rather than the standard 72. Mayor Muriel Bowser officially announced the launch of #Potholepalooza 2016 on Friday:
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) April 1, 2016
This year DDOT is using a healthy suite of tech tools to help identify and repair potholes. “For the first time, District crews will be able to update the status of potholes filled in real time using the latest state-of-the-art technology,” a Mayor’s office press release declares.
So what’s new?
The release offers this suggestion for what “the latest” looks like, specifically: repair crews will now have access to mobile geographic information system (GIS) mapping technology, and will use it to document their work. “DDOT staff can simply tap on the map and indicate the work performed and can take a picture of the work that was done,” the release reads. “The map updates will report to 311 within an hour.”
When it comes to the resident side of the equation, there are tools for reporting potholes as well as tracking DDOT’s progress in filling them. Don’t worry map lovers — there’s something here for you, too.
For reporting potholes there are no fewer than seven accepted methods. Residents and commuters can:
- call the Mayor’s call center,
- request online here,
- request online via DDOT,
- tweet at DDOTDC with the hashtag #Potholepalooza,
- send an email,
- use the DC311 app
- or, last but not least, leave a comment on Facebook.
As far as implementation of new tech tools goes, this seems to align more or less with last year’s protocol.
Perhaps more exciting is the interactive map DDOT is using to track progress. Want to watch your pothole nemesis be filled? This map shows all pothole reports and their status, updated daily. Click to open and you’ll see a lot of green (indicating that potholes have been filled) — this is because the map tracks not just Potholepalooza requests but any repairs made in 2016. As the Mayor highlighted when kicking off Potholepalooza, DDOT filled nearly 12,000 potholes in March alone.
You can also follow the much less comprehensive but ultimately still satisfying pothole-filling highlights reel on Twitter:
— DDOT DC (@DDOTDC) April 2, 2016
Potholepalooza was first launched in 2009, and DDOT claims that more than 64,000 pesky cracks in asphalt have been filled over the course of the past seven campaigns. Get out there and start reporting potholes.