I want to clear up any confusion folks might have after reading the Star Tribune’s recent pothole story (“For pothole fixes, location matters,” April 5). It’s disappointing to see misleading information that would make readers believe some parts of Minneapolis are receiving better pothole-filling services than others. That’s just not the case.
To be clear, we have the same number of crews and resources dedicated to fixing potholes on the north end of the city as we do on the south end, and we believe they’re receiving the same levels of service from our crews.
I’m proud of the work all our crews do, and now that the weather’s warmed up enough to start making permanent repairs to our streets, those crews are out doing great work that should really help smooth out our streets. With the additional $1 million in pothole funding approved by the mayor and City Council, we’ll be ramping up that work even further.
What the Star Tribune analyzed was strictly a paperwork process, showing when work orders were closed out. Different supervisors handle the paperwork differently. While we do see value in standardizing that reporting moving forward, that’s a back-office function that does not affect the repairs residents are seeing on the streets.
As always, I want to encourage Minneapolis residents who see pothole problems to call 311 to report them. Our street crews know their parts of town extremely well, so they are able to prioritize and plan their pothole-filling work based on what they’re seeing on the streets. At the same time, they can use reports from 311 callers to make sure they’re hitting all the areas that need it most.
Steve Kotke is director of public works for the city of Minneapolis.