As predictably as the return of robins to the park and the blooming of daffodils, spring means the running of this article (or one very like it) on the City's many potholes. This was, as many of you may have noticed, a particularly bad winter and is consequently a particularly bad pothole season.

For those of you wondering how potholes form and why they're more apparent in the spring, check out this nice little explaination from the Virgina Department of Transportation (in pdf format).

If you should want to report a pothole in your neighborhood, try the New York City Department of Transportation's pothole repair request form.

A friend asked me recently if salt can cause potholes? According to a study by the Salt Institute, no. However, this much more impressive looking pdf from Michigan says that it might (see page 50). According to them, "This degradation can be caused by several factors. Salt on the road lowers the freezing temperature of the top layer of the surface, but bottom layers may freeze; the temperature differential creates stress...Differential freezing also can occur on the surface of the road due to pockets of varying concentrations of salt. Another cause of scaling could be that crystals grow in road surface cracks, causing the top layer to chip."