By George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff Writer

There is no way to escape them. They are everywhere. On streets, highways, on ramps and off ramps.

Potholes.

Mayor Muriel Bowser stood with District leaders, and DDOT workers this week to announce the annual kickoff of potholapalooza.

District leaders, including Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) and District Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian are working to fix the serious potholes problems and street infrastructure. (Courtesy Photo/ddot.dc.gov on Twitter)

“This year’s campaign is especially important given that the region has experienced record rainfall last year in 2018 which has created a record number of potholes,” Bowser said. ‘We know that this is frustrating which is our crew has been out since January filling as many pot holes as possible.”

Since the beginning of the year DDOT has filled more than 22,000 potholes in the region, Bowser said, adding, “But they know, and I know and you do, that we have much more work to do.”

She urged citizens to call 311, use their app, or even tweet reports about potholes in your areas.

The mayor, D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) and District Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian, were also on hand at the unveiling of the new Maryland Avenue, N.E. Streetscape Project, a $25 million investment to improve safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists, as well as decrease transportation related fatalities in the District.

The project includes new lighting and traffic signals, high visibility crosswalks, traffic calming, shorter crossing distances for pedestrians and new bike lanes. DDOT anticipates the project will be complete by June 2021.

Allen said of Maryland Avenue: “Maryland Avenue was a road that was built to handle about 30 to 45 minutes in the morning, but we live with it 24 hours a day. It divides our neighborhood, it’s dangerous. We have schools, libraries and parks and a neighborhood that is divided by a road that have travelers and largely, commuters, that cut way too fast.”

“The redesign is going to leave us with a safer street- going to be a safer street for everybody.”

The Mayor’s Office has earmarked millions in their FY 2020 to address transportation and infrastructure concerns including, $122 million for a new K Street Northwest Transit Way, which will include a designated rapid bus lane, $16.1 million to provide free D.C. Circulator service and expand East of the River routes and $2.8 million for additional bike lane enforcement and rush hour towing as part of Vision Zero 2020.

Marootian cited the record rain and freeze thaws in the District as culprits in the potholes. “Unfortunately climate change does not show any signs of slowing down, so we have at the mayor’s direction, taken bold steps to improve the way that we respond to potholes by 311 requests, but also proactively servicing each of the wards to ensure we are covering all of them.”

“Whether you are driving a car, or on a bike or on a scooter, these pot holes are big and I know I’ve hit some rim rattlers myself,” Councilman Allen said during the press conference.

According to DDOT’s website repair time for potholes usually takes about three business days (72 hours.) If a repair hasn’t been completed by a the allotted time residents can call 311 or  (202) 727-1000 and reference their service request number. You can also use the pothole location map on DDOT’s website.