Residents frustrated as potholes get worse in neighborhoods

Posted at 6:22 AM, Mar 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 07:07:48-05

(WXYZ) — More and more potholes are popping up across metro Detroit as changes in the weather wreak havoc on our roads

The annual change makes for a dangerous drive and costly car repairs. Even for the most experienced drivers, the pesky potholes seem impossible to dodge, and temporary patch jobs only help so much.

What can people do to get a permanent fix? Unfortunately, the biggest answer is to pay up, especially if you want your subdivision road to get fixed.

Kim Harris, who lives on Pelham just off Cass Elizabeth Rd. in Waterford, said getting out onto the main road is incredibly frustrating.

"I didn't realize I was going to have to have an off-road vehicle to go down my street," she said.

She tried to reach out to the Oakland County Road Commission for a fix, but they are not going to fix it without some money in place – her money and her neighbors' money.

"I feel like this should be fixed for everybody, not even that guy should have to pay because it's right on the corner," Harris said.

To get a permanent fix - Kim and her neighbors would have to foot the bill themselves. They would have to agree to a special assessment paving district. In order to make that happen, 51% of the neighborhood would have to agree to a tax hike.

"The reality is you don't pay your taxes to us, you pay them to the township, we don't get those dollars," Craig Bryson, the senior communications manager for the Road Commission for Oakland County, said.

He said they don't collect any money through property taxes. Instead, the commission gets funding through the gas tax, vehicle registration fees and the general fund.

"That's got to cover snow plowing, salting, pothole patching, drainage repair, tree cleanup after wind storms you name it, you name it all the gamete of road maintenance activities and frankly it barely covers that,' Bryson said.

While crews do make permanent fixes, it's on highly-traveled roads, usually not in subdivisions where there is less traffic.