Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Persistence pays

Potholes filled!
Posts about potholes don't make good click bait, but I had to note this development at my place of employment, the Regional Environmental Center in Szentendre.

For the past several years two big potholes have obstructed the entrance to the REC's parking area, and this was a big nuisance, even hazard, to the many staff members who commute by bike. This is especially true in winter, when sun sets before the work day's over . It was hard to see these holes in the dark and they were deep enough to throw you off your bike.

But this morning, with no advance notice, they were filled and smoothed over with asphalt.

Not sure how this miracle came to pass. But staff have complained about it for many years, and I have to credit my work mate and fellow bike commuter Jerome Simpson for leading the charge. You might be surprised how much time and effort it took to get two potholes filled. Jerome took this up long ago with REC management, who then informed him that this is actually a municipal issue because the City of Szentendre owns not only the street, but the REC's driveway and the whole front parking lot of our premises. So Jerome asked the REC to make an official petition to City Hall, and he also took it up with the REC's grounds manager. Leaving no stone unturned, when we got involved in a cycling promotion project with Szentendre City Hall, Jerome mentioned the potholes to the municipal staff who were represented. One of them, fortuitously enough, was the manager of city's equipment and infrastructure.

As I said, we don't know which straw broke the camel's back. But it may well have been the cumulative effect and repeated queries. Eventually, someone at City Hall must have gotten embarrassed.

The takeaway for cyclists, I think, is that this kind of direct lobbying does work -- eventually. Kudos to Jerome for sticking to it.

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