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Potholey Moly

The New York Times’ Alexandra Lange writes despairingly of New York’s two million potholes and ponders longingly on a German model where citizens sponsor pothole repairs. She says she saw a television report about Niederzimmen in Germany where villagers contribute $68 towards filling in a pothole and in exchange get their name embossed on a patch of new asphalt. She says that with a few tweaks, New York could have its own sponsor-a-pothole program. “True, Niederzimmern is home to only about 1,000 people, and traffic is probably a lot thinner than in New York. Once a pothole is fixed in Niederzimmern, it’s likely set for a while. In New York, potholes are like pets — requiring constant care over years and years — so our program would mean almost literally adopting a patch of road. It would also come with a slightly higher price tag than in Niederzimmern: filling a New York pothole costs about $30; new asphalt every 18 months for 15 years would cost $300. But the idea of such a commitment contains the germ of a viable educational plan for New York: call it Pick-a-Pothole, a citywide civic investment program.”
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