Potholes filled by D.C. Government
The District Department of Transportation is patching potholes that keep motorists on pins and needles. Since the first “Potholepalooza,” a month-long campaign that encourages pedestrians and motorists to phone, go online, tweet, use Facebook, e-mail or use the new DC311 smartphone app to request pothole repairs—was held in 2009, more than 21,000 potholes have been filled. The city now aims to fill more—within 48 hours, versus within 72 hours, the normal response time. This year’s Potholepalooza will run through Wednesday, May 22. Residents can call 311, send a tweet, post a comment to the Potholepalooza Facebook page, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or use the DC311 smartphone app. Consumers must identify the pothole location and provide as much information as possible, including the approximate size and depth of the pothole. D.C. tree report card gives A- for tree coverage Casey Trees, the nonprofit organization that restores, enhances and protects the city’s tree canopy, has given D.C. a “B-” for overall tree care. The group’s fifth Tree Report Card for the city shows D.C. received an “A-” for tree coverage; a “B-” for tree health; an “A+” for tree planting; and an “F” for tree protection. The latter grade measures the effectiveness of the Urban Forest Preservation Act of 2002. The City Council created the UFPA and its Tree Fund to replace large trees that were removed because of development and related activities. Casey Trees said the UFPA is not achieving its goals because of poor oversight and the city redirected $539,000 from the Tree Fund to the General Fund in fiscal year 2011 to offset budget shortfalls. According to the report, D.C.’s tree canopy fell from 38% to 36% between 2006 and 2011—and from its peak of 50% in 1950, D.C.’s tree canopy has dropped 1.3% every five years. Healthy tree canopies reduce storm water runoff, carbon emissions and energy consumption.