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Northside's pocked, pitted roads aren't just ugly, say residents — they're dangerous

Posted at 11:10 PM, May 27, 2019

CINCINNATI — Kathy Poff loves living on Innes Avenue, she said Monday night. She just hates driving on it. The growing challenge of navigating around cracks, potholes and other traffic turns what should be a relatively straight shot into a high-stakes ballet performed by two-ton steel dancers.

“You have to do a slalom to skip the potholes, and they’re not even dips anymore,” Poff said. “They're becoming divots. It's getting really dangerous."

The end of Innes isn’t the end of the problem. Poff’s neighbors complain of the same slalom across Northside — from Brookside Avenue, where the cement is veined with cracks and pitted with small potholes, to the pocked, patched Virginia Avenue.

Terrence Burke, who has lived along the former for nearly 22 years, said the problem isn’t just that it’s ugly. It’s dangerous, too. According to him, Dane Avenue is pitted “like the moon surface,” and “that’s going to mess with your suspension and your brakes and everything.”

Although the neighborhood’s road have received numerous spot-fixes, Burke added he had not seen anything he would consider a major road improvement in two decades.

“It’s really tiresome to be considered the ugly stepchild of the city and waiting until we have to raise our hands and say ‘Excuse me, we need some help over here,’” he said.

So he and a group of more than 200 other Northsiders have decided to try a different approach: An online petition demanding Mayor John Cranley and Cincinnati City Council “find money in the budget to address the potholes and cracks in our roads.

“This negligence has to end,” the page reads.

No online petition is legally binding, and the 222 signatures accrued by Monday night were less than half of the creator’s overall 500-signature goal. Still, Burke said, anything that draws attention to the situation could help put pressure on the city to resolve it.

“When I saw that petition online I said ‘Yeah, maybe they’ll listen to us and hear us then,’” he said. “Maybe the neighbors will rally, hopefully get our voice heard and get some action going.”