NYC Comptroller: Potholes Cost $138M in Settlements Over Last 6 Years

August 7, 2015

New York City should be quicker to repair potholes, which have cost taxpayers $138 million in settlements over the last six years, City Comptroller Scott Stringer said.

Stringer released an analysis last week that showed that the Belt Parkway had the most pothole claims involving vehicles over the six-year period — 706 — and Broadway was the street with the most pedestrian trip-and-fall claims at 195.

“If you happen to drive on the Belt, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers,” Stringer joked at a news conference in Greenwich Village.

Stringer said it took an average of 6.7 days for the Department of Transportation to complete a pothole work order in the first four months of fiscal year 2015, nearly triple the 2.4 days it took in the previous year.

“We need to speed up the process of plugging the potholes,” he said.

The transportation department responded that it has filled 370,000 potholes since the beginning of 2015.

The department said in a statement that it repaired almost 100 percent of potholes within 30 days during the last fiscal year.

A department spokesman added that during last winter’s peak pothole season of December to March, half the pothole work was completed within an average response time of 2.2 days.

According to Stringer’s analysis, there were 5,913 personal injury defective roadway claims (mainly trip-and-fall claims on city roads) over the past six-year period. During the same period, 2,681 claims were settled at a cost of $136.3 million. And there were 12,286 property damage defective roadway claims (pothole claims generally affecting automobiles) during the same period, with 1,549 claims getting settled at a cost of approximately $1.5 million.

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