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Holes in your paycheck: How potholes in SF are ruining cars

May 2, 2018

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Holes in your paycheck: How potholes in SF are ruining cars

Driving in San Francisco can have serious consequences for cars, especially when driving over potholes.

“I don’t notice them until I run over them when it’s too late, then I get upset. I live in Pacifica so it’s a big difference from where I live compared to an area like Potrero Hill,” said Tatiana, a child development major at SF State.

Potholes can damage the suspension that is under all cars, trucks and SUVs. Whether it’s springs, torsion bars or coilovers, they’re a major component on how the vehicle runs and if tampered enough, it can be costly.

Aging infrastructure and bad construction due to cracks heavy traffic can create potholes. Water can then seep into the base of the pavement through the cracks. Over time, this will cause the base material to shift to the side leaving nothing to support the pavement above it, according to San Francisco Public Works.

Even pedestrians face difficulties getting around the city. The dangerous roads aren’t just a problems for drivers, as the whole city is on top of the San Andreas fault, which makes the environment more prone to damaged streets due to the amount of earthquakes.

“I’ve seen PG&E trying to fix [the potholes]. Sidewalks are just as bad. I almost hurt my ankle walking because of the roots popping out of the ground,” said John, a fourth-year astrophysics major.

Although there are efforts from the local city government, others don’t necessarily believe the city and state is doing enough to fix the copious amount of holes, roads and damaged infrastructure.

“I don’t like it. I figure for the amount of money that we pay in taxes our roads should be a lot better conditions than they are. I feel like they need to maintain side streets more just as much they do on our main road,” said Chris Zeimba, former route salesman.

Nate Butler, a flat-rate technician at Novato Ford, also believes that not enough is being done. For sportier cars and people who drive stanced cars, they’re  prone to damage when driving over holes and speed bumps including frame damage, aesthetics and safety including bumpers, and the strut tower where the spring or coilover is in the car.

“You literally break like glass when you hit a pothole on a car with coilovers,” said Butler.

The roads aren’t just an issue here in San Francisco. It’s an issue around the country depending how much money a state, city and county has to spend on its infrastructure.

“The Midwest is just as bad, some towns take care of it better than others. I mean some potholes in Nebraska could swallow a car,” said Zeimba.

Watching out for potholes is the most people can do to avoid the innunseance even memorizing where they are has been the situation for commuters around the Bay Area when entering San Francisco. Afterall the only people that can fix it is the state in which people live in.

“F–k California for not doing their damn job and fixing our god forsaken roads with outrageous money they steal in taxes,” said Butler.