Statement: “We’ll send a crew out in about four to five days and get it fixed,” City Councilman Kevin Faulconer said about the city’s response to pothole complaints during a March interview with 10News.
Analysis: As San Diego’s underfunded streets have gotten worse, city officials have gone to great lengths to tout their efforts to fix them. They’ve held pothole patrols, photo-ops with pothole crews, even repaired them themselves. Faulconer joined the chorus in March at a pothole repair event in Point Loma. During an interview with 10News, he assured residents that their complaints would be handled within five days.
But that promise overstated the city’s average response to pothole complaints. Faulconer portrayed the city in a far rosier light than mountains of data support.
Crews have typically taken weeks to first assess pothole complaints over the past four years, according to a Voice of San Diego analysis. Last year, the average was 52 days (after excluding complaints with date mistakes). As we reported in depth Wednesday:
In Faulconer’s council district, which stretches from downtown to Pacific Beach, it took repair crews an average of 16 days to address complaints in 2008. Last year, it took nearly twice as long. Crews met Faulconer’s promise — a response within five days — in fewer than half the cases.
Among all pothole repairs — not just those spurred by complaints — Faulconer’s pledge still isn’t correct. In the 2011 fiscal year, city streets officials reported that it took about eight days to repair the average pothole.
Neither our analysis nor the city’s figures back up Faulconer’s promise to San Diegans. We’ve rated it False. Asked about the statement last week, Faulconer declined to comment.
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