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Councilman Calls For Law Requiring Construction Crews To Repair Roads Properly After Work

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you’ve ever bounced through a rough patch of road and damaged your car, you will fully understand why a city councilman has said, “There oughtta be a law.”

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, these days it seems like there is construction everywhere in New York City. But the care that goes into building beautiful new skyscrapers seems to fall by the wayside when it comes to fixing the streets torn up in the process.

When crews leave, the streets themselves end up looking like construction zones.

“I feel horrible about it, especially with a new truck,” said Joe Famigletti of Marine Park, Brooklyn. “A lot of damage – flat tires, broken rims. They should fix it; fix it properly. It’s the city’s problem. They should be on top of it.”

“It can ruin your car,” added Joe of the Bronx. “It can get you flats and cost you money.”

And Brooklyn City Councilman David Greenfield (D-44th) is on the list of those who are upset.

“It’s not fair. It shouldn’t happen,” Greenfield said. “The principle is very simple – you did the damage, repair it to its original condition. That’s what you would do in a fender bender. That’s what you should do when you come and you rip someone’s street up.”

But construction crews are not required to do that, and the result is that many streets in New York City are left in a mess. Sloppy repairs cause further deterioration and create cracks, potholes, and all kinds of hazards that try motorists’ souls.

“They don’t fix nothing,” a driver said. “Very difficult – they make a lot of traffic too.”

“The Department of Transportation simply allows that if you make a hole in the street, you’ve patch the hole and move on,” Greenfield said. “The street gets ruined – you’ve got leaks; you’ve got flooding. What really should happen is to make sure these streets get completely repaved.”

To eliminate the roadway headaches, Greenfield is in the process of writing a new law to do just that.

Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg admitted that she is also frustrated.

As she put it, the DOT needs “frankly to up our game; to require a higher standard of roadway repair, not just fixing the layer of asphalt on top, but the concrete base underneath.

DOT inspectors issue fines of up to $800 for improper repairs, handing out over 11,000 summons last year.

Greenfield is also trying to determine whether fines should be increased. He also wants companies working in residential areas to be forced to repave entire blocks if sidewalks and roadways are damaged.

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