Archive for February 4th, 2015

#HoustonPotholes Rule!

First from Robert Miller:

Robert D. Miller ‏@Robert_Miller 34m34 minutes ago
Texas House committees will be released today at the end of the session and the House will then adjourn for the week. #txlege

Name the MLB club with the best road record last season?

I am not going to say much about national security issues other than to say it didn’t take Jordan long to respond.

Let me send congrats to Dante as his high school baseball adventure gets underway. Way to go, Dante! Let’s play ball!

It looks like the pothole issue has some legs so to speak as KTRK is now taking part – or taking it apart – and the City of H-Town continues to roll over, but first the latest tweets:

Ted Oberg retweeted
Bill King @BillKingForHou • 3h 3 hours ago
@tedoberg City cannot fix potholes because it does not have $$$. To fix potholes must fix finances. Must end diversions from Rebuild Houston


Ted Oberg @tedoberg • 8h 8 hours ago
Dear @Oliver4Houston @ChrisBell2015 @SylvesterTurner @s_costello @BillKingForHou et al: What can you do as mayor to speed up pothole fixes?


Ted Oberg @tedoberg • 8h 8 hours ago
Road repair cash is there, so why months-long delay? via @ABC13Houston http://abc13.com/traffic/cash-is-there-so-why-no-houston-road-repair/503132/


Ted Oberg @tedoberg • 16h 16 hours ago
Houston’s Bumpy Broken Pothole Process takes too long to fix your street. Join Us at 10 @abc13houston to find out why pic.twitter.com/FjuARYD0QU


Ted Oberg retweeted
Trent Seibert @trentseibert • Feb 2
.@tedoberg This pothole is next to Cage Elementary. Kids walk thru it daily. Should we feature @ 10 Tuesday? http://ow.ly/i/8tSSM #hounews

Here is part of the Ted Oberg Channel 13 story from yesterday:

Indeed, eight months later, 80 percent of that money dedicated to road fixes has yet to be spent, creeping through the pipeline of city bureaucracy, records show.

“They are paying dollars for the drainage fee and they’re not seeing the results of their investment,” said Councilman Larry Green, who fought last year to get the additional money dedicated to road repair. “We have to be able deliver products faster than it’s happening.”

Green’s Council District K stretches from the edge of the Texas Medical Center to Fort Bend County and includes the Astrodome. He says he’s hearing from constituents about potholes every day — and so are his colleagues.

“Every council member in the city is hearing from their constituents and I’m sure in the upcoming election it’s going to be a big deal,” Green said.
Here is the entire Channel 13 story: http://abc13.com/traffic/cash-is-there-so-why-no-houston-road-repair/503132/.

Well let me just say that potholes don’t vote. That being said, I am kind of flabbergasted and perplexed a bit that the City hasn’t been more aggressive in defending their processes. In the Channel 11 story that follows, Public Works continues to let their spokesperson take the hit. Heck, he’s earned a pay raise over the last couple or three stories. Maybe the City has a secret pothole repair plan they are fixing to unveil. Here is part of last night’s Channel 11 story and it ain’t pretty:

More than seven months after Houston City Council added an extra $10 million to the pothole repair budget, next to nothing has been done with that tax money according to an I-Team review of city records.

City Council approved its budget in June 2014, but it took until November, to get the first contract signed. And since it’s been signed, the Houston Department of Public Works said the contractor has hardly filled any holes.

The total number? Early Tuesday, the city said three potholes. Later in the day, they changed the number to eight. Either way, some City Council members said they were stunned.

“Unconscionable, something is wrong with the system,” said City Council Member C.O. “Brad” Bradford.

“Yeah that’s sad, sad, that has to be dealt with,” added Council Member Dwight Boykins.


The I-Team spoke with Eric Dargan, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works about the contractor’s productivity.

I-Team: “Is that where you want to be?”

Dargan:”No sir, not at all.”

Initially, the Department of Public Works blamed the weather, sending out a statement that read in part:

“The contractor cannot perform work when there is rain or temperatures below 50 degrees. Both December and January have been challenging due to these weather conditions.”

But we asked KHOU 11 News Meteorologist David Paul to research those months. Conservatively, he counted 15 work days with near-ideal conditions.

“Temperatures on average were above 50 degrees, there was no rain, so there was two weeks where stuff could have gotten done,” Paul said.

On several other days, there was only a trace amount of rain recorded. According to the signed city contract, the temperature threshold is 40 degrees to do asphalt work. That would add to the number of potential work days.

I-Team: “What was this contractor doing all this time?”

Dargan: “I don’t have the answer to that.”

I-Team: “Are you going to find out?”

Dargan: “Most definitely.”

Here is the entire story: http://www.khou.com/story/news/investigations/2015/02/03/pothole-patrol-10-million-7-months-3-potholes-filled/22819739/.

Let’s see now. Two local TV stations go after the city on their pothole repair process. The City doesn’t put up much of a defense. No contest! Potholes rule!

The Dodgers of course were 49-32 on the road last season to lead all MLB clubs.

The Dodgers visit The Yard for a weekend series this August 21-23.

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