How to END potholes?

Hoboken conundrum – How to end potholes?

Before we get started – let’s take a look at this diagram of the general explanation as to why potholes emerge in quantity during the winter season. The fundamental “scientific” reason is due to the melting and freezing of water within the “cracks” in the road, causing expanding, contracting and eventual weakening of the pavement. Same holds true for ice-dams in many roofs. But this does not explain how to end potholes in Hoboken. Has anyone ever thought of a better way to handle road surfaces in the long term?

Pothole formation has to do with more than cracks shoddy workmanship

A conspiracy? A racket? Planned obsolescence?

Hey, if you were a scheming business owner, you’d figure out a way to always have customers. Heck, they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. It’s called planned obsolescence.

We’ve written about planned obsolescence here on Hoboken411 it before. The Gillette Model. The Light Bulb. The Auto Industry.

You see, if companies made things that last – their “growth” would be limited for the most part. But having happy customers isn’t enough. They want MORE, and because of that greed, they purposely design things to wear out. Read more about how they knew how to make bulbs that lasted almost forever – but put the kibosh on it long ago.

Perhaps the same is true for road surfaces?

Maybe the entire “paving industry” is in cahoots with one another. A secret pact, so to say. That under no circumstances will a road be made well enough to last a couple decades or more. This way they ALWAYS have a new contract to bid on somewhere in New Jersey.

Hoboken Potholes Worst in New Jersey

But surely you’ve seen good roads, right?

In a somewhat temperate area like NJ – where we have four distinct seasons of moderate climate swings – you can probably get away with it (the raping of property taxpayers).

But have you been to more extreme areas? Head up to Vermont – or even as close by as Pennsylvania. Drive across the border on Route 78. The minute you get into PA – the roads are ROCK solid, and they typically get more snow than NJ. No potholes. Smooth surfaces. They appear to be made of concrete or some kind of hybrid material. Why is that?

I guess the politicians were sick of the backlash and decided once and for all it’s no longer worth it for a few extra bucks in the back room. Time to start doing things right. If you want to stay in office to enjoy the other rackets no one has caught onto yet…

Better materials – better roads

So what is preventing Hoboken (and the rest of New Jersey for that matter) to develop a plan (or in most cases hire a “planner” for a costly “study”)?

I could probably spend an hour – or maybe even half a day to figure out that doing it right from the beginning, would probably save so much money and grief in such a short amount of time. I could come up with contractors, building materials, total cost and ROI (in rough draft) just like that.

Better building materials last longer. The return on investment here would probably be no more than a year or two (not 17 years like those dopey energy audits). Plus, good PR is priceless!

So why are they so cheap when it comes to roads? Are there nice favors being passed back and forth? A $20k envelope is nothing to laugh at. (Ask Peter Cammarano) Can buy you a nice vacation and help pay down some bills. More than enough to look the other way.

But over the past few years, Hoboken has relied on meager “grants” from either the county or the state, and were in the $500k ballpark. Which is why only 3% of our roads were paved in a given year.

What would your solution be to stop band-aiding the problem and come up with a long-term solution (hint: getting rid of cars and adding 1000 bike lanes is not the answer.)

10 Responses

  1. Adam_C says:

    The mayor brags about the hundreds of potholes filled, but have you driven around Hoboken? The roads themselves are horrid, even without obvious potholes. I swear my car got damaged in some way. Such an affluent city has 3rd world nation streets.

    • animal_lover says:

      Spin Baby Spin!!! The only reason they did anything is because of the numerous complaints regarding car damage. Are people going to wait until the rats bite before they complain en mass on the aging garbage on the street and sidewalks?[quote comment=”222699″]The mayor brags about the hundreds of potholes filled, but have you driven around Hoboken? The roads themselves are horrid, even without obvious potholes. I swear my car got damaged in some way. Such an affluent city has 3rd world nation streets.[/quote]

  2. john14 says:

    Hope no one is waiting for level headed actions regarding long term solutions to come out of this administration.

  3. The Professor says:

    Great discussion and graphic. Maybe some folks running this city and state can learn from it.

  4. YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

    Probably better to have the soft stuff or cobblestones, vs. concrete, to ease access to sewer lines, ruptured water lines, etc. on most residential streets. Cobblestones require some special skill, so probably would be too high-maintenance for local contractor access requirements. Concrete at main intersections and high traffic streets, maybe incl Wash, would probably pay off.

    • joey maxim says:

      no debate what so ever..my opinion is ever since a kid growing up in fun city snow ice traffic caused pot holes.come spring time..cold patch then later repave the streets..What we have in the newborn era of development ,construction,as well as the heavy rigs coming into the city laden with steel rebar forums, etc day in and out has added to the increase in pot holes..The lousy weather helped out as well..60″ of snow didn’t help either.Not an argument to the fact but one has to admit one giant cluster f***k Pity those of us who had cars damaged ..Streets cannot support 60 tons of steel etc.Hoboken was not built to deal with all the intangables..Again I say dam the ground hog and pray for summer.[quote comment=”222703″]Probably better to have the soft stuff or cobblestones, vs. concrete, to ease access to sewer lines, ruptured water lines, etc. on most residential streets. Cobblestones require some special skill, so probably would be too high-maintenance for local contractor access requirements. Concrete at main intersections and high traffic streets, maybe incl Wash, would probably pay off.[/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        Court St..has cobblestones from Newark to 7th st..imagine how many cobble stones needed too pave the main streets? Good idea although city wont go for it.. :roll: [quote comment=”222717″]no debate what so ever..my opinion is ever since a kid growing up in fun city snow ice traffic caused pot holes.come spring time..cold patch then later repave the streets..What we have in the newborn era of development ,construction,as well as the heavy rigs coming into the city laden with steel rebar forums, etc day in and out has added to the increase in pot holes..The lousy weather helped out as well..60″ of snow didn’t help either.Not an argument to the fact but one has to admit one giant cluster f***k Pity those of us who had cars damaged ..Streets cannot support 60 tons of steel etc.Hoboken was not built to deal with all the intangables..Again I say dam the ground hog and pray for summer.[/quote]

      • YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

        I was thinking the same thing–Court street is tiny compared to Washington. But… it hasn’t been paved in 100+ years. We should have the Dutch come in and teach about paving in quarried granite, as they are working on flood-proofing. If we did cobblestones in a ‘historic’ district, I think it would immediately be one of the best-defining characteristics of our city. I’d trade a single assistant business administrator for 3 stone masons, and have tens of thousands of people witness the value/benefit of that exchange.[quote comment=”222719″]Court St..has cobblestones from Newark to 7th st..imagine how many cobble stones needed too pave the main streets? Good idea although city wont go for it.. [/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        you have a point classy but consider ww 2 china and how many workers building the Burma road ..that was all hand and mule labor..10,000 Asians 24/7. Keep in mind that cobble stones become slippery during bad weather, but its a thought.. 💡 [quote comment=”222727″]I was thinking the same thing–Court street is tiny compared to Washington. But… it hasn’t been paved in 100+ years. We should have the Dutch come in and teach about paving in quarried granite, as they are working on flood-proofing. If we did cobblestones in a ‘historic’ district, I think it would immediately be one of the best-defining characteristics of our city. I’d trade a single assistant business administrator for 3 stone masons, and have tens of thousands of people witness the value/benefit of that exchange.[/quote]

      • animal_lover says:

        Ustay, u hit the nail on the head. A City thrives because of its workforce, not because of administrators, lawyers and technologies. Our town has tanked with outsourced garbage pick up (/ more like spill out) instead of hanging on to our own workers that have kept the sidewalks and streets clean for decades. Directors have no idea what they are doing particularly Parking, Environmental and Health. We have two boy assistants playing social media and acting as marketing and PR rather than taking care of essential services with their salaries. This admin is a complete failure – except for spin doctoring![quote comment=”222727″]I was thinking the same thing–Court street is tiny compared to Washington. But… it hasn’t been paved in 100+ years. We should have the Dutch come in and teach about paving in quarried granite, as they are working on flood-proofing. If we did cobblestones in a ‘historic’ district, I think it would immediately be one of the best-defining characteristics of our city. I’d trade a single assistant business administrator for 3 stone masons, and have tens of thousands of people witness the value/benefit of that exchange.[/quote]

Leave a Reply