When cab driver Peter Previl heard that Norwalk's potholes were to be the topic of a high-level city meeting Thursday, a smile crossed his face. "That's my birthday," he said, "I'll be happy to hear something good."
Previl and other taxi drivers have been getting an earful from their customers as they rumble over city streets that were ravaged by snowstorms. "There's so many you can't avoid them, no matter where you go," Margaret O'Brien said of Norwalk's abundant potholes. "I've had people say Stamford is bad, too, but I've never seen it as bad as it is in Norwalk. A lot of people will not drive because of the potholes."
Where is it the worst? Seven cab drivers agreed: Fairfield Avenue. "Fairfield is crazy," said Labardy Stsauveur, who works for Norwalk Taxi. "You go to avoid them, you're on the other side of the road." He "popped a tire" on a Fairfield Avenue pothole and had to pay for it himself, because he owns the vehicle.
The cabbies say Scribner Avenue is terrible, too, and they wonder who put cement in a pothole there. The city didn't do it, they say, so it must have been a fed-up resident.
The one-way section of East Avenue is also bad. "If you try to miss them you're in somebody's front door," O'Brien said. Also on the list of infamy: Bouton Street, Ely Avenue and the intersection of South Main and Grove streets. But those are just the worst places. "Every street we travel on is full of them," said Stsauveur. "I thought they had the money to do the potholes."
"People get upset," O'Brien said. "They say they pay taxes, what is happening ?" Traveling down Fairfield Avenue is like going through an obstacle course, she said, as cars weave back and forth.
"It'll give you a headache," said O'Brien, who has been driving a cab in Norwalk for 16 years. "It really shakes your whole body, it affects you."
"It's been a rough winter, things have been pretty bad," said Steve May of Stamford, a Norwalk cabbie for a year. "It's a rough ride. The buses have torn it up, too."
"There's not that many in Darien," said O'Brien. "Norwalk is really suffering."
In the video: Norwalk's cabbies say the only way to avoid potholes on Fairfield Avenue is to drive in the opposite lane. A Norwalk Transit driver illustustrates the point.
Do you know who put cement in the pothole? Comment below!
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