After a very serious winter, we have a very serious pothole problem in Greater Lafayette:
By now, in this miserable winter, we should be connoisseurs of potholes and assorted road hazards, able to pick up on the subtleties between the rumble of a South Street washboard from the piquant backsplash of a deep trench on Kossuth the way a truly fine restaurant critic can distinguish hints of fennel from basil deep in a red sauce.
Ski lift operators have 50 words for snow, parsing the conditions of the slopes depending on whether they’re seeing corn, champagne or corduroy. We have to have come up with a thesaurus deeper than “Whoa” and various violations of the Third Commandment when confronted with winter-worn streets. (And to think we haven’t even touched a Lafayette thaw, when you know the pavement is going to split like it’s trying to get a better view of China.)
Judging from the actual complaints lodged with street departments and state highway crews, Greater Lafayette drivers need to step up their game if we’re going to come up with some juicy adjectives and fresh descriptors for an age-old problem. You have the standard frustrated fare from the Indiana Department of Transportation’s road hazard reporting site and social media, ranging from simple coordinates to ALL CAPS OUTRAGE: “The potholes on the Happy Hollow ramp … are OUT OF CONTROL AND UNSAFE.” Things can get a bit more colorful in Lafayette. Street Commissioner Dan Crowell relayed this via his department’s dispatcher, who fields many of the calls: “She said when the police call a pothole in, sometimes they say it’s as big as a Volkswagen.”
Relatedly on Think Lafayette, read how roads that used to be maintained by the state are now maintained by the city, and what that means for local maintenance teams.