Pothole Patrol - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Pothole Patrol

Tell us about a pothole, and we'll report it to the city for you. (Source: WOIO) Tell us about a pothole, and we'll report it to the city for you. (Source: WOIO)
Ever bust a rim or tire on a pothole? We all know it's the city's job to fix them and pay us when we've suffered damage. Although that's not exactly how the city sees it. So as I promised last pothole season, I'm doing something about it.

Cleveland's streets were a mess last winter.

"There are potholes the size of bathtubs there," said one resident.

"I don't call them potholes anymore, I call them craters, because they are huge," said another driver.

And residents don't think very highly about the city's effort to repair them.

"It's a shame, because as a taxpayer, you expect something," said one resident.

Even mechanics admit the cost to replace a broken rim can run you up to $1,000.

"Now we're getting calls all the time. Ten wheels you can get in a day," said Terrence Fillar, of QuestRim.

In fact, I suffered my own damage from these beauties, both on major roadways. One rim cost me $630 to repair, the other $540.

I took the city to court after they denied my claim in what can only be called a questionable reimbursement program. Questionable, because the city will only pay for your damage if someone had previously reported the pothole and it wasn't fixed. 

It's why the judge ruled against me.

"With all due respect to the city of Cleveland, there is no way they weren't aware of these potholes. The one off MLK Boulevard, a small child could have fallen into," I said to the judge.

Problem is, there's no transparency since the city doesn't post any information on pothole reports.

"I'm asking that there is no proof to the regular citizen that nobody complained," I continued.

To put things into prospective, in 2013, 588 claims were filed. Only 101 were approved, 451 were denied, and 26 were still open.

We asked for the 2014 numbers, but the city did not respond to our request. 

It's why we put them in my Doghouse.

The city says it "tries" to fix potholes in a timely manner. I don't know what their idea of timely is, but when we reported three potholes last year, only one was fixed after nine days.

Now those days are over.

As I promised during last year's pothole season, we're holding the city accountable.

Check out 19 Action News' pothole reporting patrol section. If you've found one, there's a link to tell us exactly where it is and a place to upload pictures. We will report the pothole to the city for you, and show you when we did.

Once that pothole is reported, the city won't be able to say they didn't know about it. If your car gets damaged by hitting it, they will be responsible for paying you.

Judging by the speed at which they get these holes fixed, the list of claims paid out should grow quite a bit.

So this is up to you. If you want to help hold the city accountable, and maybe even get money for your damages, submit those pictures and exact locations. If you see the pothole you fell in has been reported, you can file a claim for reimbursement.

You can e-mail us your complaint at potholepatrol@19actionnews.com.

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