Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009 | The city of San Diego told its residents last year that 100 percent of potholes were being repaired within 72 hours of citizen notification.
That would have been a fantastic turnaround time, considering the division handled more than 83,000 requests to repair the city’s infrastructure in the 2008 fiscal year.
But the division’s assertion is not true.
In annual reports meant to update residents and City Council members about how tax dollars are being spent, city officials claim that 100 percent of potholes are repaired within 72 hours. They report that their goals, in fact, are to repair 90 percent of them within 48 hours.
The average citizen waits much longer than three days, and many wait more than two weeks before their complaints are even addressed, according to an analysis by voiceofsandiego.org.
The Street Division calculates its response time based on a number of factors that don’t end up reflecting the common interpretation of the word “repaired.” In some cases, the division considers a pothole to be repaired even though no work has been completed on the site. It also uses a set of data that makes the division appear faster than reality. The result is a performance measure that misleads residents and their City Council representatives.