Tag Archives: Roads

Musings on Potholes

There is a bit of a joke in our household about the roads. That occasionally Nepal and New England have something in common.

We are starting to enter that crummy time of year in New England when the weather is unsure whether it is still winter or spring. Somedays it rains, or the weather is warm enough to melt some of the snow and ice, and all of that wetness seeps into cracks in the sidewalks and roads, then on other days its freezing, and the wetness under the roads freezes, and starts to make everything crumble. Giant potholes emerge, and driving can become tricky and treacherous.

In particular there is one road (where we used to live) near the university that notoriously falls apart each and every year (even though the city patches it up in the summer, apparently they just keep putting band-aids on the problem). Whole chunks of the asphalt come loose from the street, and one has to play “dodge the large gapping holes in the road.”

Every now and then while driving on these frost heaved streets, moving along at a walker’s pace to keep the undercarriage of the car from bouncing off chunks of road and scrapping the rough crumbly ground, P or one of our Nepali friends will say, “Gee, this reminds me of driving in Kathmandu!” since there are similar sections of streets in Nepal, where asphalt or dirt are missing and holes have appeared due to lack of infrastructure and budgets for repair.

Potholes in Thamel, in retrospect, this road looks better than some of our streets right now!

Potholes on our American street!

Who knows, our city might not be able to fix some of these worse-for-wear roads this year as well. By the end of January the city had already gone half a million dollars over budget on snow removal (in an already bad budget year) and we still had several more storms before February was over.

Snow in our city at the end of Jan, before the Feb storms hit. It might not look like much in the photo, but many of the two-laned city side streets became impassable by two cars simultaneously.

I’ll try to take a picture of the road near the university sometime in the next few days if I can. It’s not even March, and it’s already a potholed-mess!