As temperatures rise, drivers should be shifting their attention from snow and ice to potholes and other potential road hazards, such as faded lane striping and crosswalk markings. Accordingly, the city is shifting resources to address these issues as quickly as possible. Another sign of the season change: problems such as street flooding can become more prevalent with spring rain.
Potholes, which are the result of the freeze/thaw cycle after water has seeped through, around and under the pavement, can be a hazard to drivers and cyclists. Please report potholes on city streets via the A2 Fix It app or online at www.a2gov.org/a2fixit. On freeways, freeway ramps and roads with an M, I, or US designation, please report potholes through the Michigan Department of Transportation at 888.296.4546 or go to www.michigan.gov/mdot and select “How Do I” and “Report a Pothole.”
Because asphalt plants that produce the more permanent hot patch material remain closed until later this spring, the city will continue to fill potholes using a cold-patch mixture. This means that some potholes may have to be filled more than once, and loose fill may be present on the street and in bike lanes. During the peak of pothole season, the city’s public works department runs two patching crews each day, with a third crew dispatched as workload permits.
While driving, please take the following precautions:
- Watch for workers and their vehicles in the road repairing potholes.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. A tire could pop if the wheel rim pinches against the jagged edge of a pothole.
- Slow down and keep distance from the car in front of you, which will leave time to slow down to deal with potholes.
- Beware of puddles — they could be deep, sharp-edged potholes filled with water.
- Brake lightly. Slamming on your brakes can cause greater tire damage and also compresses your vehicle’s front-end suspension system.
Lane striping and crosswalk markings
Over the winter, plows, as well as the salt and sand used on roads, erode some areas of lane stripping and crosswalk markings. City crews aren’t able to fix these problems until the weather warms considerably and consistently, as paint won’t adhere to the road surface with cold or cooler temperatures. In addition, remarking too early will be ineffective if Ann Arbor is subject to a late-season snow or ice storm. Continue to submit problem areas through the A2 Fix It app or online at www.a2gov.org/a2fixit, and the city will add them to the list of projects to be done during summer months.
Localized street flooding may occur because of saturated ground or clogged stormdrains. You can help prevent this by clearing clogged stormdrains on your street, if able. Please also consider becoming a member of the Huron River Watershed Council’s “Adopt-A-Stormdrain” program. If you see an obstruction that is too large, please report it via the A2 Fix It app, online at www.a2gov.org/a2fixit, or call the city at 734.794.6320 Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Despite warmer weather, residents, property owners and businesses should remain vigilant about icy sidewalks. Rain during the day could freeze during colder evenings, creating sheets of ice if not attended to. When possible, remove standing water from sidewalks and keep sand or other material on hand that can be placed on top of icy spots for traction.