Pothole Patrol: Call 311 and help make Toronto’s streets safer this spring

A dangerous, rocky ditch along the Queen East streetcar line.

Pothole Patrol: How You Can Make Toronto's Streets Safer

It's that lovely time of year again: the weather's getting warmer, the snow is getting scarcer, the birds are chirping---but the news isn't all good. With the melting ice of spring comes a spike in the number of pesky potholes that plague Toronto streets. To help get these perennial hazards filled in as quickly as possible, call 311 or tweet @311 to report them. Email or call the local councillor too, if you like, as their staff can monitor the road repair and ensure it is done in a timely manner.

The yearly appearance of asphalt damage on our city's streets is no mystery. The simple science of potholes comes from the fact that water expands when frozen. This means that, as water seeps into cracks in the road and becomes chilled by subzero temperatures, it pushes the asphalt around it, creating cracks, broken chunks and, yes, potholes.

Even in bike-friendly Kensington, cyclists dodge potholes like this one on Augusta near Dundas

Although a more consistent winter with fewer freeze-and-thaw cycles has left Toronto's streets better off than last year, repairs still need to be made. So far this year, 31,000 potholes have been filled, according to city roads manager Hector Moreno who spoke with the Toronto Star earlier this month. This is a long way from the hundreds of thousands that are filled in annually, and so we still have a long way to go.

That's why, now more than ever, it's important to report any potholes you encounter on your daily ride. The city typically takes around five days to act after a report has been made, so call or tweet 311 now to make next week's commute that much safer. You can also report the dangerous road conditions to the local councillor's office to help expedite much-needed road repairs. A full list of councillors and their contact info can be found here.

A menacing pothole lurks in the shadows on Queen West in front of Nathan Phillips Square.

Related on the dandyBLOG:

Potholes bloom in spring: Cracks are whack

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