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‘See it, click it, forget it?’

Hammer has questions about — and for — Bellingham's pothole app

By Ron Judd Executive Editor

Gazing at the Hammer’s Phone: Regular readers may have noticed last week’s tale of filling out a “SeeClickFix” phone app repair ticket for the original Oregon Trail wagon-rutted intersections on both sides of the Interstate 5 Exit 252 overpass — the Gateway to Subdued Excitement for many/most city visitors. 

Just to Recap: This local road section might actually have been repaved — once — since pioneer days. But definitely not in the past two decades. Which made B. Hammer very excited for the potential use of “SeeClickFix,” through which citizens can post GPS-pinpointed repair needs for civic infrastructure. 

Let’s Go to the Tape: Below is how that played out.

Week One: Report filed, app acknowledges ticket created, logs creator’s pithy comments and expert armchair engineering analysis. 

Week Two: Ticket closed! 

Week Two (cont.): Verbatim explanatory note affixed to ticket, presumably by Bellingham Public Works: “Thank you for letting us know. Agree, pavement is in poor condition and will be taken into consideration. We will send crew out to pothole as temp fix. Our roads are rated and assessed with many factors such as traffic counts and various conditions and then they are put into a que to fix from worst to best. This is on our radar. Thank you again. Your service request (#20432) has been closed.”

What Can We Say? It’s awesome to be on somebody’s radar, but two points: This intersection, with pavement decay threatening to consume the city’s 3.3-percenter bike commuters en masse, has presumably been on the city’s “radar” for at least a decade. And a pothole crew, unless it’s a subset of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is not going to have a Band-Aid in its toolbox anywhere near the capacity required. 

What SeeClickFix Poster Really Wanted to Know: How big a blip on “the radar” is this? In what decade should a repair be expected?

And Also: Interesting to know about this urgent-needs repair list, stacking local road projects in priority order due to degree of angst and traffic impedance (not necessarily in that order). This list is now on our radar, as well. (Heads-up for folks on Lottie Street: We’ll be asking to see it.)

Speaking of Last Week: Throwing caution to the wind, B. Hammer went ahead and signed up for that palm-reader payment system at Whole Foods. As expected, it sent him a bill and a palm-reader’s assessment that he is likely to spend his life digging out of a financial hole — dug, in part, by paying high prices for organic sodas, figs and cheeses. 

Meanwhile, Somewhere on the Left Coast: Local middle school teacher Marcus Nuckolls continues his quest to run the entire West Coast. The Hammer has but one word for this impressive effort: Dude.

The Big Finale: With CDN’s upcoming change to Friday print publication, The Hammer will be morphing into a “living” posting on the website, cascadiadaily.com, with a monthly semi-greatest hits version in the print edition. Best/worst part of this for readers: It will be updated throughout the week, not just weekly. Stay tuned here for more details/scheduling so DVRs might be set and social calendars adjusted, accordingly. 

The Hammer appears online on Fridays, for the time being; ronjudd@cascadiadaily.com; @roncjudd. This version was updated at 1:55 p.m. June 26, 2023 to correct the number of the Interstate 5 exit overpass in question. 

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