Danger of Potholes

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (the Bay Area’s planning commission on transportation) rated various cities’ road conditions according to its Pavement Conditions Index (PCI). According to the finding, two of the Bay Area’s biggest cities – San Francisco and San Jose – both scored a 64, giving it a Fair Rating on the PCI.  The lowest ranked cities on the PCI were Orinda, St. Helena, Larkspur, Sonoma and Rio Vista. For more on this report, click here: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/library/pothole_report/Pothole_Report_2011.pdf

Here are some tips on navigating pothole-filled roads (provided by http://news.carjunky.com/car_safety/potholes_cause_car_damage.shtml). Potholes can cause damage to your car, the severity of which depends on a number of factors (speed when going over pothole, size of the pothole, even tire pressure). Many drivers tend to try to swerve to avoid potholes, but this should only be done if there are no cars around you and only when it is safe to do so. If you cannot avoid a pothole, it is best to slow down and go over the pothole slowly, but not slam on the brakes. Sometimes, driving over a pothole might cause a tire blow out. In this situation, there is a chance you may lose control of your vehicle; keeping a firm grip on the steering wheel will help you keep control of your car as much as possible.

In the City and County of San Francisco, you can dial 311 or file an online service request at http://www.sf311.org/index.aspx?page=111 to report a pothole. The City’s Department of Public Works website says that potholes, if they are the City’s responsibility, are repaired within 48 hours during the work week) of a request.