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The Colonel Chronicle

The Colonel Chronicle

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Letter to the Editor: Potholes are Everywhere in Worcester

Letter+to+the+Editor%3A+Potholes+are+Everywhere+in+Worcester

On the topic of potholes and safe driving:

 

Every year hundreds of vehicles are inflicted damage due to Potholes, causing vehicle owners financial and sometimes physical pain. As we pay hundreds of dollars in taxes, it seems that none of our tax dollars go towards repairing our road and are left to worsen causing more damages that will be taken out of your pockets. As the state of Massachusetts has set laws on deeming potholes, bumps, and loose debris as “defects” in the road (Masscahusetts General laws, Chapter 81, Section 18). They also state that there is no recovery for property damage, although there is recovery for personal damages covering up to $4,000. Even if someone were to file a claim, it is extremely rare for the state to pay out said claim.

I believe that the state of Massachusetts / Worcester county should be investing more of our tax dollars into repairing the “defects” in the roads we drive on, as we are getting charged a vehicle excise tax yearly that is $25 to every $1,000 of a vehicles “M.S.R.P.” rather than saying the tax is to “regulate” the owner ship of vehicles / “The privilege of registration”.

The potholes cause vehicle damages by the hundreds every year,  whether it is tires, rims, or more they cost civilians hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Yet even with the amount of  damages caused by potholes 8.5% go unpaid. In 2019 25 investigators received 3 year’s worth of claims, 341 pothole damage cases were claimed in Lowell, Plymouth, and Worcester yet only 29 cases were paid out. As the years have gone by since 2019, the numbers of damages have increased and barely any cases have been paid out compared to the damages.

These potholes can affect ones ability to get to work due to the damages, or even just minor inconveniences. Recently Ms. Bishop, a teacher at South High Community School in Worcester, Massachusetts, had hit a pothole causing damages that rendered her vehicle unsafe to continue to drive. Not only did this affect her financially, this affected her ability to teach her students causing both her and her students to lose academic timing. This goes to show that potholes can not only affect someone financially, it can also affect someone’s job whether they are a teacher unable to get to teach, or a student trying to get to school.

Anyone that drives a vehicle whether 2 wheels or 4 most likely strongly dislikes potholes, as they make driving uncomfortable and could damage their vehicle or cause some pain. The only reason why I think someone would be against fixing the potholes would be the city could try and raise local taxes.

There are multiple solutions to the amount of potholes that we have. One example is that we could come together as a community and hold a petition to have the city use our vehicle taxes to fix the roads rather than work on the same road every year. We can also come together and use our voice to change the policy that the city has on potholes and damages, holding them accountable for not fixing the roads and have them pay out any damages caused by their road. As a community and citizens of Worcester Massachusetts we together our voice has power in numbers.

– Thom Nguyen ’24

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