The Pothole Math (H/T – CHB)

A foot soldier decided to do some ‘Propaganda Math’ when it comes to potholes, and it is interesting, this is what they sent me;

Paul TenHaken FB page as of Monday March 18, 7:34am:

“With the flooding beginning to subside, we are now dealing with the increased washout on roads that have already experience a very tough winter. As a result, we are taking an all hands on deck approach.”

◾️Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Public Works will have a minimum of six crews addressing potholes.

◾️Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight and from midnight to 8 a.m.: Public Works will have a minimum of one crew addressing potholes in high-traffic volume areas.

◾️Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Public Works will have a minimum of three crews addressing potholes.”

City Council Meeting Tuesday March 19/19 Mark Cotter testimony:

“We are running 6 crews M-F, 3 crews on the weekend, one at night.” 

City of Sioux Falls Facebook page as of Friday 3/22/19, 10:42am (this information was time stamped as being posted 16 hrs. prior to 3/22/19 10:42am. . . . so these stats apparently reflect pothole repair progress M-Th, March 3/18 – March 3/21 approximately 6pm):

We have cleared 413 potholes this week so far. We have four crews out every day 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one crew out 4 p.m. to midnight. We will have four crews out this weekend as well working from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

In terms of quantifying the pothole repair process, one variable missing in these three repair crew schedule announcements is the number of men on each crew. And, there are some inconsistencies in the specifics:

a) Mayor TenHaken’s info from Monday 3/18, claims SIX daytime crews M-F, TWO night crews M-F, THREE daytime crews Sat/Sun.

b) Cotter info from Tuesday 3/19, claims SIX daytime crews M-F, ONE [not two] night crew M-F, THREE daytime crews Sat/Sun.

c) from Friday 3/22, claims FOUR [not six] daytime crews M-F, ONE [not two] night crew M-F, FOUR [not three] daytime crews Sat/Sun.

Ok. All that now having been itemized, Public Works is allowed to modify the pothole repair crew assignments over time, or as conditions change/improve, or as impending flood priorities may change. These figures do claim that an additional crew has been added Sat/Sun over first two reports, so that’s a positive. Therefore, these inconsistent reports may be a moot point. However, in attempting to quantify the rate of progress the data shares, I’m uncertain what the most accurate math would be to quantify the progress in terms of potholes fixed per day or per hour. One equation I came up with from the 3/22 stats is:

A) [4] daytime crews x 8 hrs/day = 32 crew hrs/day

B) [1] evening crew x 8 hrs/day = 8 crew hrs/day

C) Subtotal: 32 + 8                    = 40 crew hrs/day

D) [4] days {M-Th} x 40 crew hrs/day = 160 total crew hours work for Mon-Thurs.

E) 412 repaired potholes ÷ 160 crew hrs = 2.575 potholes fixed per crew hour? If legit, seems like slow progress.

DL: Either this means pothole stop sites (and not actual potholes) or there is a heckuva a lot of miscommunication going on.


#1 D@ily Spin on 03.22.19 at 8:25 pm

I haven’t seen much progress. I was on Minnesota Ave. between 8th and 33rd about 3pm today. No signs of filled holes. No crews. At least fix the major arteries.

#2 Blasphemo on 03.22.19 at 10:11 pm

Agreed. Ditto South Minnesota Ave hill north of 57th St. We’re a week into this pothole nightmare, and as of yesterday major breaks in the concrete sections along this HEAVILY TRAVELED rush hour corridor have not been fixed. The city web site could have a map – updated each sunrise – indicating the locations of the pothole repair headway. With progress this slow, residents could at least use some reassurance that repair locations are supervised & prioritized properly.

#3 FrontEndAlignment on 03.23.19 at 4:03 pm

I agree with the above commenters. I have driven all over town for work and the strange thing is that very major corridors have no evidence of huge potholes being patched. Are they hitting out of the way areas first and then all joining up to fix major areas? Confused as to the way are going about this.

#4 l3wis on 03.23.19 at 4:29 pm

A city councilor and I had this convo the other day. Wouldn’t you hit the main thoroughfares and arterials at night and the residential during the day? And wouldn’t you put more effort into the night crew main roads? You shouldn’t be traveling over 20 MPH on the residential anyway.

#5 Blasphemo on 03.24.19 at 1:11 am

You look at most Facebook pothole post comments on the City of Sioux Falls FB page and PTH’s FB page, and compare those to corresponding comments on Southdacola and Theresa Stehly’s FB page, and you can’t believe the creatures behind those comments are the same species, let alone driving in the same town. COSF & PTH pages are full of obsequious-pollyanna-fawning-hero-worship-praise for how lucky we are to have PTH as our levitating leader & our unbelievable fortune in having city staff give selflessly of their vounteer time (oh, wait – they’re paid) to fix potholes. The other site commenters . . . many cranky farts like me. I guess maybe we can just chalk it up to “glass half empty or glass half full” differing frames of reference. But, my god, who ARE these Xanax/Valium/Prozac sheeple?? “Where seldom is heard a discouraging word…And the skies are not cloudy all day” is just super swell and all, but damn: it’s awful hard to understand how a healthy dose of skepticism isn’t REAL useful in keeping men leading lives of quiet desperation from getting fleeced.

#6 l3wis on 03.24.19 at 12:16 pm

The only time I comment on FB is if someone points it out to me or if someone wants to attack the ‘blog’. Otherwise I just ignore the comments. People usually only comment to the ‘extremes’. Either they are very pleased with our elected officials or they are very displeased. The silent ‘middle’ says very little, because they are busy with their lives. Proof is in the pudding. While I have a handful of commenters on my site, I have well over 3,000 regular readers. Why are they not commenting? Most people don’t want to get involved, blame it on SD modesty.