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Who should pay when potholes do damage on local, state roads?

Potholes are a problem. They always are in the winter. It’s an Upstate New York thing, but this season, it seems to be worse.

“I’m trying to steer around it, but everyplace I steer, there’s another pothole, and I went into the biggest one,” Kathryn Howard told 13WHAM. “I jarred to a stop, and thought, ‘I probably busted that tire.'”

She lives in Irondequoit, but this is a problem motorists have been complaining about all winter.

She hit a pothole, and it destroyed her tire. Not an unusual thing. Some have even wondered if their perception is accurate: It seems like there are more potholes than normal this year.

Jordan Guerrein, a spokesman for the New York Department of Transpiration, says to blame it on the weather. There’s a hotline motorists can call to report large potholes, but there are so many – that it becomes difficult to remember which ones you’re trying to report.

Especially when you’re comparing state and local roads.

“With the weather as it is right now, it’s very hit or miss in the winter months,” he said. “I know that we have had our maintenance crews out performing more pothole patching than in recent years.”

Obviously they can’t do any major work to roadways during the winter, but they can spot patch.

“We’re using a cold mixture, so you’re not getting hot asphalt, you’re not getting that firm patch, it’s really just a fill-in, but that’s all we can do with the temperatures we have now,” Guerrein added.

But who should be responsible? The motorist, or the state?

Howard had to shell out $220 in repairs to fix her car after hitting one of those bumps. She was trying to avoid another pothole, and hit an even bigger one that did significant damage to the front of her car.