CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Pothole season is in full bloom in Cleveland and a stretch of pavement on Montrose Avenue in West Park has become a teeth-chattering obstacle course.
Stephen Eisel is a homeowner on Montrose.
“It’s poor and it shouldn’t be like this. There’s no reason for this type of condition. I mean, just some basic maintenance would be OK, but as you can see, this street is beyond maintenance. It really needs to be redone,” Eisel said.
Eisel says his car is in the shop for repairs from damage done by driving through the pothole zone on Montrose. He plans to send the repair bill to the City of Cleveland.
“Fix the roads please. We pay our taxes and you look around, it’s time to get it fixed,” he said.
Cleveland Ward 17 Councilman Charles Slife is well aware of complaints about potholes. That’s why he created the Ward 17 Pothole Tracker two years ago.
It enables taxpayers to report potholes and rate how bad they are.
“People want to know when the crews are getting out and honestly they want to be heard. They want someone to acknowledge and make sure that they’re aware of individual potholes,” said Councilman Slife.
The data can then be used by the city to prioritize which streets are in the greatest need of repair, shown as red dots on the tracker, and then show what progress is being made, illustrated with green dots on the tracker link.
Slife is asking frustrated residents to be patient.
“About two weeks from now, when the asphalt plants in Northeast Ohio start reopening and city crews are able to really start working on scale, you can start to see over time as those red dots switch over to green dots,” he said.
The councilman says there is a three-year backlog of streets in his ward that need to be repaved, and until they are resurfaced, the potholes on those streets will get re-patched over and over again.
One of the streets that Councilman Slife is already receiving complaints about is Montrose Avenue.
Slife is keenly aware of the issue because he lives on Montrose and has resisted using his standing as a councilman to ask city crews to make his own neighborhood a priority.
While his neighbors admire his integrity and transparency, they say it’s time to fix Montrose Avenue.
“Two years ago, that was OK. After two years of using this road, it’s no longer OK. It’s time to take some action on this,” Eisel said.