Potholes. It’s all anyone is talking about at this time of year. Pothole season is a yearly occurrence in Canada, but especially in Northern Ontario.
As the weather warms, the cycle of freezing and thawing chews our streets apart. Water seeps into the cracks when it’s warm, and when the temperature drops the water freezes, expanding as it does and busting the asphalt apart.
It’s easy to complain that the city isn’t doing enough to fix them, but with 3,600 lane kilometres of road (enough road to drive from St. John’s, Nfld., to Sault Ste. Marie), knowing where all the potholes are — or even just where the worst ones are — is a tall order.
So here at Sudbury.com we thought, “What could we as a community do to help the city stay up to date on where all the potholes are?”
At the top of that list was coming up with a way to make it easier to report potholes to the city. More streamlined. More exact. More straightforward.
It’s a simple, easy-to-use web app that makes it convenient for you to report a pothole to the City of Greater Sudbury right from your phone. You can even easily upload a photo, enter a description on the size and depth, and locate the hole on a map so the city knows exactly where it is.
Sudbury.com will gather some of that data — the location and images of reported potholes — to plot on a Google map so you can see where all the potholes have been reported, and perhaps where the worst roads are in the city for potholes.
How the Pothole Reporter works
To use the Pothole Reporter, simply visit Pothole.Sudbury.com. There’s nothing to download.
When you arrive, the first thing you’ll see is a map. If you are reporting a pothole from the location of the hole itself, it makes it easier if you have Location turned on on your cellphone, as then the app will automatically default the map to where you are. If it’s not turned on, simply use your fingers to slide the map around the window to find your location.
Two drop down menus allow you to specify the size of the pothole and the depth.
The next step gives you the chance to provide a photo of the hole you’re reporting to the city. PLEASE NOTE: If it is not safe for you to shoot a photo of a pothole, then DON’T. Skip this step. There is a place on the page for users to provide a description of the location of a pothole if it isn’t possible to provide a photo.
You are asked to provide two photos. First, take a photo of the road so the city can see where the hole is on the roadway. Second, take a photo of the hole itself so the city knows what needs fixing.
You can also provide a written description of the pothole and its location on the road, useful if it’s not safe to shoot a photo.
The personal information is required if you would like to forward your pothole report to the City of Greater Sudbury. The city requires you to provide some contact information.
Once you hit Submit, the reporter will generate a Pothole Report, which will be sent to the email address provided. All you need to do is hit Reply on the email you receive to send it all to the City of Greater Sudbury’s 311 department.
That’s it, that’s all! It’s easy.
Let’s help the City of Greater Sudbury out by making it easy for them to find the potholes — let’s tell them where they are.
Let’s make it a team effort to make our roads better.
For the next few weeks, Sudbury.com will be bringing you tons of pothole news. Reporter Keira Ferguson is on the pothole patrol beat for the next few weeks. She’ll be meeting with mechanics, learning how to fill a pothole, and keeping you abreast of how the pothole repairs are going.
She’ll be introducing you to her new friend, Pothole Pete, who will be showing off some of the worst potholes on Instragram and Facebook. Follow Keira on Instagram @theonly_keira to get all the latest in her pothole patrol, and follow Sudbury.com on Instagram and Facebook, @Sudburydotcom.
You can also follow Keira on Twitter @Keira_JFerguson.
Now let’s report some potholes!