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PR- 472-07
December 23, 2007


The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

"There are so many things that make this such a wonderful time of year in our city, but I'm sure we all agree that one thing definitely doesn't make the list: potholes. Potholes tie up traffic, beat up our cars, throw us off balance, and most serious of all, cause accidents and injuries.

"That's why, from the first day of our Administration, the City's Department of Transportation  has been dedicated to keeping our roads and highways in tiptop shape.    That means filling potholes as fast as possible wherever they appear and repaving our streets on a regular basis.

"Earlier this week, I kicked off one of the final repaving projects of the year on Carlton Avenue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Not only is that project going to make the neighborhood safer for drivers and pedestrians… it's going to bring us to a major milestone: 5,000 lane miles repaved since the beginning of our Administration. That's nearly a quarter of all streets in the city - or enough to stretch from here all the way to Moscow.

"Every year, when winter arrives, we actually have to put our repaving efforts on hold. That's because it's too difficult to keep the asphalt we use to repave streets hot enough to work with. So we turn our attention to other needs. And that's a good thing because the winter is primetime for potholes: Rainwater or runoff from melting snow seeps beneath roadways and freezes and expands, causing the road surface to break open.

"Over the past six years we've repaired nearly 1¼ million potholes. That includes some 200,000 during 2007 - double the amount we filled in 2002. In fact, our crews are now filling potholes at the rate of 22 every hour - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"One of the reasons why we are filling more potholes than ever is because of 311 and our brand new SCOUT program, which deploys a team of inspectors onto our streets to report quality-of-life infractions. In fact, last month our SCOUT inspectors covered every street in the city and called in nearly 1,300 potholes.

"I want to encourage everyone to keep calling 311 if you see a pothole. The sooner we hear about it, the sooner it will get fixed. In fact, this year, 99% of all potholes have been filled within 30 days of the City being notified of them. That's up from just 65% in the year 2000.

"Filling potholes and repaving our streets has made a crucial difference to our safety. You only have to look at the numbers: Since 2001, traffic fatalities in our city have declined some 20% - even as the rate of fatalities around the rest of the country has increased. That makes New York one of the safest big cities in the nation when it comes to its streets and highways.

"But we can't afford to go into cruise control - not when lives are at stake. So you can count on us to continue working to make our city even safer in the years to come - because nothing is more important.

"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."


Stu Loeser   (212) 788-2958

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