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Comptroller's report pinpoints roads with most pothole claims

An orange construction cone stands next to a

An orange construction cone stands next to a pothole in the Park Slope neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Thursday, July 30, 2015. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer says the city should be quicker to repair the potholes that have cost taxpayers $138 million in lawsuit settlements over the last six years. Stringer released an analysis of pothole and trip-and-fall claims and said filling potholes "remains an uphill battle." Photo Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Potholes aren't just hurting your legs and damaging your car -- they're taking a big bite out of the city's bottom line.

The city comptroller's office released a report Thursday pinpointing the roadways that cost the city tens of millions of dollars over pothole-related claims.

Between fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2015, which ended June 30, there were 706 pothole-related claims on the Belt Parkway, 433 on the Grand Central Parkway and 422 on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer said the numbers are troubling and that the claims cost the city $138 million in the past six years.

"One thing is clear, New York City's pothole problem is pervasive," he said at a news conference.

The city divides pothole claims into two categories: property damage, which affects cars, and personal injury, mostly "trip and fall" claims by pedestrians.

Stringer's report found that the 5,913 personal injury claims during that six-year period cost New York $136.3 million in settlements.

Manhattan led the city with the most trip-and-fall incidents between 2010 and 2015, with 1,832 pothole related claims.

Three streets in particular were the most prone: Third Avenue, which had 103 claims; Second Avenue, which had 107 claims; and Broadway with 195 claims.

"This is part of an overall trend of claims against the city going up," the comptroller said.

Stringer on Thursday pushed the city's transportation department to speed up pothole repairs using the data in the report. He also called for the agency to come up with ways to repave the roads with better material, like recycled plastic, that will make them less pothole-prone.

"If we know the hot spots, we need to make them a priority," Stringer said.

The city Transportation Department said it's made progress in dealing with potholes, as 100% of them were filled within 30 days in the last fiscal year compared to 60% within 30 days in 2002.

A DOT spokesman added that the agency filled 370,000 holes since the beginning of the year and conducted massive repair work on the Belt Parkway last year. Pothole complaints on the Belt decreased from 339 in the 2014 fiscal year to 61 during the 2015 fiscal year.

Repaving on other roadways, like the FDR Drive, is already underway, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is devoting $1.6 billion for street reconstruction over the next nine years, according to the DOT spokesman, which would all for the repaving of 2,500 miles by 2017.


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