Committee backs new pothole strategy

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SAN DIEGO — A report that recommends the city of San Diego change its strategy for repairing potholes was unanimously approved Monday by the City Council’s Audit Committee.

The study from the city auditor’s office found that the time it took to fill a pothole after it was reported climbed from eight days to 15 days in the past two years, and that numerous data entry errors hampered the ability of the Streets Division to report on performance metrics.

It was also found that the number of potholes repaired dropped from 50,000 to more than 30,000 between fiscal years 2011 and 2012. The first year, however, included an unusually stormy winter.

potholeThe auditor recommends switching from a complaint-based system, in which a crew is dispatched to fill a pothole reported by a citizen, to a regional strategy, in which all the potholes in a given area are fixed.

“Pothole repair is a core function,” committee Chairman Kevin Faulconer said. “It affects everybody –whether you’re a San Diego resident, business owner or a visitor.”

He said he was frustrated by how long it takes to make repairs.

The audit will now go to the full City Council. Mayor Bob Filner’s administration has agreed to the report’s recommendations.