The City of Cleveland, in a post on its "Straight from City Hall" blog yesterday, outlined a pothole repair plan / apology. The post said that the Division of Streets deploys six to eight crews per day to patch potholes throughout the city and claimed that so far this year, crews have used 430 tons of hot asphalt and 420 tons of cold patch asphalt to shore up city streets.
The post noted new road closures, identified particularly grisly stretches, explained how to contact surfacing crews, and even posted an impressive list of specific areas tended to yesterday.
This news is greeted with relief by many motorists, who still are having a hard time getting reimbursed by the city for blown tires caused by road conditions. But among the growing communities of pioneers who have taken up residence in the city's mammoth potholes, outrage and cynicism have set in.
After Scene broke the news that a West Side man had fallen into a pothole on W. 117th and set up shop there, we got phone calls and emails from a number of people in similar situations.
Carla, who asked that her last name not be used, now lives with her two children in a pothole on W. 25th St. near Clark. She and a few other families who have moved into potholes nearby are now working with DirecTV on a group package and is worried that the cable provider might not like the city's patching plan.
Lester Timmins and Elaine Canary-Timmins, newlyweds on Cleveland's East Side, have moved into a pothole on E. 147th and had been hoping that the spaciousness and accommodations of the area's potholes might attract some young urban professionals out their way.
"We haven't got out a yard stick or anything," reported Canary-Timmins, "but just eyeballing it, the square footage is certainly better than our two-bedroom in Detroit-Shoreway."
"It's been clear for many years that Cleveland has archaic ideas about transportation," said Timmins, grabbing a beer from the refrigerator in his pothole's retro-outfitted kitchen. "But what Mayor Jackson and his staff need to understand is that this is no longer about cars and streets. The city's pothole problem is now definitively a housing problem."
Developer Andrew Brickman could not be reached for comment regarding rumors that he's been designing a condo complex in a matrix of Ohio City potholes near Hingetown.