Pothole ‘Epidemic’: Zack Reed Calls for Quicker Fix

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CLEVELAND-- Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed said the pothole problem in Cleveland is an epidemic.

"You're playing dodgeball right here," Reed told FOX 8, while watching cars swerve to avoid potholes on Lenacrave Avenue Monday afternoon.

Some of the craters appeared to be nearly a foot deep.

"Our residents are suffering, and they're suffering really bad right now. And we need to come to their rescue," Reed said. "Some residents like these right here, can't even get out of their driveway."

Back in March, the city deployed the "pothole killer" to begin patching area problem spots.

The city told FOX 8 at that time that at least 6-8 crews per day would be out as needed.

"This is the worst we've ever seen," said Lenacrave resident, Rebecca Smith, who has lived on the street for more than ten years.

She and other residents on the street said the problem is so bad, it's hitting them in their pocketbooks.

"With the pot holes--the moon crater, we call it--I lost my donut, blew out, two of my right tires and my left tire," said Lou Huggins.

He said he's spent hundreds of dollars in repairs this year alone, and he isn't alone in his plight.

Fred Jackson spent his Monday afternoon playing the role of mechanic on his daughter's car after she hit a pothole that morning.

"I'm back here struggling trying to get the tire off and gotta go buy a new tire for the car. On a fixed income, hey what can I do?" Jackson said.

Councilman Reed said the city's approach of fixing the main roads first could mean that residents on side streets will have to wait weeks if not months for improvement.

"We've got an 18-million dollar rainy day fund. It's raining. It's really storming right now with this situation," Reed said.

Monday night, Reed took his fight to council, where fellow members echoed his frustrations.

"I've never seen road conditions like they exist," Councilman Michael Polensek said. "I mean, I have holes that they put barrels in and then the holes swallow up the barrels."

"Spend the money, spend the time, overtime, bring in private sector, fix this problem," Councilman Jeff Johnson said, addressing the chairman.

Council did pass an ordinance Monday night for the sale of $21.2 million in bonds to provide funds for road improvements.

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