For a Levittown, N.Y., man, potholes became more than just an annoyance four years ago when one damaged his car. Since then, the limo driver has taken it upon himself to fill some of road hazards he sees around town.
With a shovel and sand, Bobby Fitzgerald at least temporarily fills the holes, feeling that the Hempstead road crew, which is in charge of filling potholes in his town, isn’t getting around to it fast enough, Newsday out of Long Island reported.
“We’re paying taxes for these people to get out there and do what’s got to be done. They don’t want to do it,” Fitzgerald told the newspaper.
“It’s just gotten worse. I do it for the community,” he continued.
But officials say they don’t want Fitzgerald to take this task on himself.
“Individuals should not endanger themselves by trying to fill in potholes themselves,” Dennis Dunne Sr., a Nassau legislator (R-Levittown), told Newsday, citing an app the county has to report potholes as an outlet for Fitzgerald. “Instead, please report the pothole locations to the local municipality.”
Hempstead spokesman Mike Deery defended the town as filling potholes in Fitzgerald’s community in a timely fashion, noting that several have been filled in Levittown in the last couple weeks. After potholes are reported, Deery told Newsday it takes about seven days for crews to get around to filling them.
“We have a highway crew that is trained to fill potholes and that is their responsibility,” Deery said. “We believe they do a very good job.”
Fitzgerald’s neighbor Joseph Pica told Newsday he didn’t realize he was filling potholes but said Fitzgerald is a man who “tries to help the neighbors.”
Even though he has been asked to stop, Fitzgerald has not been cited by the authorities for filling the holes.
This isn’t the first time citizens have taken it upon themselves to patch up potholes. Last summer a man from Jackson, Miss., was dubbed the “Pothole Robin Hood” for his actions, which involved stealing the city’s asphalt, filling holes and leaving a spray painted “citizen fixed” message nearby.