Woman Angered by City's Potholes Fills Them Herself

Doris Lewis Brooks says she also plans to challenge Ald. Howard Brookins in the next election

Talk about taking matters into your own hands.

One Chicago woman is so fed up with the city’s potholes she decided to fill them herself.

"Not only am I fed up with the pothole situation, I'm fed up with the manner the current representative neglects the residents on all aspects that relate to daily life in our community," said Doris Lewis Brooks. "This is why I am taking matters into my own hands to improve my community.”

Brooks announced plans to begin filling potholes Friday morning at 94th and Loomis Streets, but when she arrived, she learned the city filled the potholes earlier that morning.

"I was a little shocked at first," said resident Tony Hicks. "I was like, 'Man, out of all that time they finally came?'"

Brook said the potholes were the "last straw" and said she plans to challenge Ald. Howard Brookins in the next election.

"I may not be able to fill every one of them, but I will be able to affect some improvement so that people’s cars are not continually damaged," Brooks said in a statement.

But Brookins said her plan comes with a liability.

"I would not want to be the one who has the liability should something go wrong with doing that," he said.

Brooks says she would use the same materials used by the city when repairing the potholes Friday.

"Seeking office was not something I planned for my future,” she said in a statement. “I had retired and looked forward to enjoying a leisurely life. But how can you relax when the community is falling apart around you?"

Earlier this year, the city’s pothole damage claims reached a record high, with more than 2,000 claims filed with the city clerk’s office. Last year there were a total of 743 such claims.

City officials say it takes months to process the claims. Though they can't estimate the total cost, each payout can be up to $2,000 to cover flat tires, bent wheel rims, realignments and even cracked windshields.

Chicago's brutal, record-setting winter left streets riddled with potholes. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he plans to expand the summer street paving program to resurface a total of 333 miles of arterial and neighborhood streets and alleys in 2014.

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