15 May 2012

We all love to hate potholes. Pittsburgh has plenty, and whether you are on a bike or in a car, it is no fun to hit one. While the city doubled its paving budget to $11 million this year, this will still only cover a fraction of the potholes that have sprung up in the 400 miles of city streets.

Pittsburgh potholes can currently be phoned in by concerned citizens to the city’s 311 help line. New technologies aim to help Pittsburgh and other cities to find and prioritize street repairs. Last year, a team at Carnegie Mellon University launched the RODAS (Road Damage Assessment System) Project. RODAS uses cell phone photos, which are correlated with GPS coordinates, to map potholes. The site currently lists 939 potholes.

New York City’s Department of Transportation maintains “The Daily Pothole,” a Tumblr which includes a form for reporting potholes and a running tally of the number of potholes repaired.

The City of Boston’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is taking a different approach with a smartphone app called Street Bump. Building off the premise that most people won’t make the effort to report potholes themselves, Street Bump uses the gyroscopes in smartphones do the reporting instead: community involvement without people!

photo via flickr user MSVG.

1 Comment:

  1. Technology like this is a tease for the concerned bumping-roughly-along-the-street citizen. Connecting the mobile app through the 311 system out to the corect Public Works Division to fix it (there are 6 of them) is required. The City Web site already has a map and picture capability to “link” the pothole service request to the folks who will fix it!

Leave a Reply