NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It is hard to go anywhere without encountering potholes, uneven surfaces, and endless construction projects.
CBS2’s Dave Carlin asked transportation officials on Thursday why a first-class city such as New York has to put up with such third-world streets.
Mobile 2 bumps and rattles across New York City’s old and massive roadway network. Many streets are a mess – rutted, potholed, scarred and sometimes even impassable.
“I mean, you know, it’s everywhere,” said one motorist named Rick.
CBS2’s Carlin demanded answers from Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. Carlin asked her what she could tell frustrated drivers
“First of all, I will say in New York City, we have a massive street network — 6,000 miles of road, and obviously heavily used,” Trottenberg said.
CBS2 had specific examples for Trottenberg from viewers who directed us to what they call the worst of the worst.
Mobile 2 braved Pockmarked East 119th Street in East Harlem, crumbly East 156th Street in Concourse Village in the Bronx, uneven 80th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens, and rough-and-tumble, construction-plagued West 51st street in Midtown.
And Lower Manhattan, Trottenberg tried to explain messy Broad Street, snaked with wide strips of patch material from recent utility work.
“We know people get frustrated when they see it,” she said. “At a certain point, we will come back and resurface, and at a certain point, we will come back and reconstruct the street.”
Carlin asked Trottenberg whether the current condition of Broad Street was acceptable.
“Look, I would say I wish this road were in better condition,” she replied.
So do drivers.
“The roads here in New York City, they’re horrible,” one motorist said.
“I live here for over 40 years, and I’ve never seen the streets as bad as it is now,” another said.
Trottenberg said the DOT repaved 1,300 lane miles last year and will fix about the same amount in 2016.
So why do road problems seem worse to some? She said the answer is literally earth shaking.
There is a construction boom in the city, which means more streets and roads get churned.
Contractors are required to fix rough surfaces. CBS2’s Carlin asked Luis Sanchez, the DOT’s chief for Manhattan, whether the contractors are doing that job enough.
“We would like them to do a better job of doing it,” Sanchez replied. “We have some other contractors who could use a little ruler to the wrist.”
Carlin asked driver Rick what he would tell Trottenberg. His response was: “Fix it! Do something!”
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