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Attention, city drivers: It may pay to report potholes

City will reimburse for damages in some cases
Posted at 4:34 AM, Mar 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-02 04:50:53-05

CINCINNATI — Nathan Leach is trying to get the city to pay for pothole damage to his car. He says he bent a rim on Montana Avenue – one of the worst pothole minefields in the city.

Cincinnati City Councilmember Amy Murray says the city will reimburse anybody who gets a flat tire or other damage from a city pothole. But on one condition.

"If it has been reported and it hasn't been fixed within a reasonable amount of time, then we are liable," Murray told WCPO.

So Murray is tackling the problem by trying to get drivers to become part of the solution.

“We’re letting people know they have to be pothole spotters,” Murray said.

It may pay in the long run, not for every driver, but possibly for some of the unlucky ones like Leach.

Now that it’s pothole season and potholes are everywhere, it seem they’re everybody’s problem. In the month of February alone, drivers reported more than 2,000 potholes in the city of Cincinnati. According to the city pothole counter, the worst street is Madison Road, followed by Glenway Avenue. Montana and Vine Street are tied for seventh. The worst neighborhood is Madisonville, followed by Oakley.

Leach said he does his best to avoid hitting potholes.

"When I'm driving, I'm trying to swerve so I don't hit none of them, but I don't want to hit another car neither," Leach said.

That worked until Monday, when he hit what he called a “massive” pothole on Montana Avenue.

"I hit it and it thumped," Leach said. "It was this huge hole that I could not avoid. My car started leaning to the side and I was like, 'Oh, I must have a flat.' "

But it was more than a flat -- the pothole bent his rim.

"God knows how much it's going to cost me," Leach said.

Murray is calling on drivers to report potholes using the Fix It Cincy! Mobile App. The app allows drivers to photograph a pothole and uses GPS to identify its location.

You can also report potholes in Cincinnati via phone (513-591-6000) or online through the Citizen Service Request (CSR) portal, but the city says the app is the best way.

"If you go over a pothole, report it. Let us know and we will fix it," Murray said.

She said the city is not liable for damage to vehicles if the pothole was not reported before the incident.

“If the pothole has never been reported, the city is not responsible, because we don’t know it’s there,” Murray said.

Leach said he has tried calling the city.

"I'd rather for them to pay for it than me. I didn't make the hole," Leach said.

But so far he says he hasn't had luck.

"I left messages and I haven't received any word back from anybody yet," said Leach.