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Map Your Potholes, With Help From Rutgers
When we asked about pothole woes on MyVeronaNJ.com’s Facebook page the other day, we heard about craters on Lakeside Linden, Claremont, Ozone and Grove. Now there’s a statewide data map to track these potholes and many more.
Rutgers University has sent out an alert on the new NJPothole website, developed by Wansoo Im, a planning instructor at Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
“With the onslaught of snow and the weary winter weather, potholes are popping up everywhere on our roads and highways,” says Im, who specializes in undergraduate courses in community mapping, among others. “To better inform local governments and drivers of their growing presence, before they learn firsthand with flat tires and broken axles, we created a community map that can be accessed by the web or the MapplerK mobile app from Apple or Android devices.”
Visitors to the site can record details on the pothole’s location, size, depth and width. As of this writing, two Verona potholes are on the site, a “deep” hole at Claremont and Elmwood, and a more shallow crater at Claremont and Park.
Im, who heads New Brunswick-based Vertices LLC, a GIS consulting and interactive mapping firm, describes community mapping as a hobby, which he began to help nonprofit organizations. He created the Hurricane Sandy Gas Station Map in 2012 to allow storm-struck locals to track gas availability on their smartphones in the wake of the devastating storm.
As the number of potholes, perturbed drivers and visits to local body shops and tire stores grow, the state is offering the potential for some relief for motorists who hit potholes on state roads. Drivers can call the state Treasury Department’s Division of Risk Management to make pothole damage claims at 609-292-4347 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Callers will be emailed claim forms. Counties and towns have different policies for pothole damage on their roads.
The Treasury Department received 508 claims for reimbursement in 2012 and more than 1,400 in 2011, another really bad winter. While the number of reimbursements is not known, the department assures that all claims are investigated.
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