Checking on Mayor Turner's pothole promise

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Neighbors who live along Canal street in East Houston are hoping Mayor Turner comes through on his promise to fix potholes within the next business day.

Earnest Garcia is putting him to the test. He dialed 3-1-1 to report the latest pothole on his street.

"I hope we can get through to someone who can help us," Garcia said, "This street is bad. It really is bad."

Mayor Turner pledged to address every reported pothole problem within one business day.

"The crews are responding incredible, incredibly, so I have to give them kudos on the work that's taking place actually out there on the streets," Turner said Wednesday.

Neighbors are skeptical of the plan, but they're hopeful nevertheless.

"I think I heard that promise many years ago by a lot of mayors," Garcia said, "But I'm hoping that he does. I really do. We needed a change, we have it. We'll see how he will react to this."

'Good news' on pothole progress from City Hall

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was clear today about his pothole progress -- and optimistic, too.

Turner was pleased with the progress of crews in the field and insistent that reporters acknowledge that there can be such thing as good news from city hall.

We agree.

Here's the first piece of good news for drivers expecting a quick fix: The mayor redefined what constitutes a pothole.

It used to two feet square or smaller.

Now it is five feet square or smaller.

To be sure, it makes a lot more work for Public Works pothole crews who now dealing with as many 160 new pothole reports every day.

Turner claims success.

In fact, he says city crews are fixing 96 percent of 311 reported potholes in a business day or less.

We checked the numbers.

But we couldn't find the 96 percent success. But we certainly found good news.

Our analysis shows a 25-percent success rate to fix a pothole in less than a business day.

The average was about 1.6 business days to fix a pothole.

But last year the average was 49 days, so since Turner has taken office, he can claim a huge improvement.

City officials said the discrepancy is based on two different databases that use different methods of recording the 'closed' ticket for a fixed pothole. abc13 analysed the city's 311 call center database. The city's internal database -- from which city officials calculated its numbers -- was not made available by press time.

But we agree with Mayor Turner that good news can come from City Hall.

I hope Houston drivers will let me know if they feel an improvement beneath their tires.
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