‘All they do is pave and then seal them. Where are our taxes going?’: Pothole problems persist in Richmond

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and representatives from the Department of Public Works addressed what needs to be done on the potholes that are seen often throughout the city. Crews from the Department of Public Works began repairing worn down roads in Richmond’s East End on Thursday.

Bobby Vincent is the director of the Department of Public Works. Vincent is aiming to focus on local streets in neighborhoods.

“You see schools being cut, alleys being graded, potholes being paved and within the next couple of months this Mosby neighborhood will also be receiving some pavement,” said Vincent.

According to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Neighborhoods like Davee Gardens, have not seen pavement repairs in 25 years. Mosby residents have gone years without seeing any repairs being done on the roads in their neighborhood.

Jerimy Mask is a resident in the Mosby neighborhood. Mask has a sign in his front yard that says, “Griffin for Mayor.”

“When I look out my window I see Mosby Street newly paved and I can only guess that it has to do with the gentrifying of the neighborhood, but when I go up to Mosby Court or other projects, the roads need to be paved. As a resident of Richmond and lover of people, it is not acceptable,” Mask said.

In October 2019, 65% of Richmond’s roads were considered very poor to fair. David Coomer lives in the Richmond Area and has witnessed several car issues due to the number of potholes in the city.

“Every time I go over them it messes up my suspension or my tires. They are so hard to drive on. I have had Uber passengers in the past who had brand new tires that popped every time they went over them. All they do is pave and then seal them. When a huge storm comes in, it unseals them again. Where are our taxes going?,” said Coomer.

According to Mayor Levar Stoney, the city paves 25,000 potholes a year. In 2020, that number decreased. Stoney believes the decrease is due to the number of full roads being paved. 30 million dollars was set aside for road repairs this year. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the budget was cut to 16 million. Mayor Levar Stoney is prioritizing paving to reduce the need for pothole repair.

“We have to invest in paving as well and so the more you pave, the less potholes you will see and that’s what we’re seeing here in 2020,” said Stoney.

According to the Department of Public Works, there has been a six percent increase in roads that are in good or better condition in 2020. Since the beginning of 2020, the percentage of roads that were in good or better condition, increased from 35% to 41%. In 2019, 270 lane miles were paved. The city plans to pave 300 lane miles by the end of this year and will be working through all nine council districts.

“To those who have not seen one of the paving truck vehicles in your neighborhood, all I can tell you is that you’re on the list. The more and more we continue to invest, the quicker we can get to your neighborhood,” said Stoney.

Since the 2019 fall season, there has been a 65% decrease in pothole repair requests through RVA 311.

“I’m grateful for the work of my team over at RVA 311 but also at the Department of Public Works for continuing to keep our city beautiful,” said Stoney.

According to Mayor Levar Stoney, the goal is to use funding from the Central Virginia Transportation Authority to get the full road network up to par in five years.

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