Watchdog: Potholes in Canton Industrial Area filled lickety-split

  • Giant potholes along unused railroad tracks on Holabird Ave. just west of its intersection with S. Ponca St., slow the trucks and vans in the Canton Industrial Area.
Giant potholes along unused railroad tracks on Holabird Ave.… (Gabe Dinsmoor, Baltimore…)
July 09, 2011|By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun

The problem: Giant potholes pockmarked a road in the Canton Industrial Area.

The backstory: One complaint unites residents of Central Maryland from the shores of Pasadena to the rolling farmland in Sparks: potholes.

If the calls to Watchdog's help line and email address are any indication, potholes and other road-surface issues are the biggest annoyance facing people who regularly traverse the streets in and around Baltimore.

But many people say they don't know whom to call to report these problems.

Joseph Davidson of Dundalk called Watchdog several times about craters on a stretch of Holabird Avenue, west of its intersection with South Ponca Street within the Canton Industrial Area — some as long as 3 feet and as deep as 14 inches.

The potholes were next to unused railroad tracks in the road, which Davidson said is not heavily traveled. But Davidson got to know those particular ruts because he regularly uses the Interstate 895 exit there to pick up his son at his job, which is about two blocks away.

"In all my 75 years of living in metropolitan Baltimore, I've never seen a bigger pothole, other than a sinkhole," he said.

Watchdog went to the location and witnessed other drivers of small trucks slowing to a crawl as they navigated the crevasses.

Davidson's son, Benton, had been complaining about them for about two years, he said. But he called his father Wednesday to say it had been repaired — just hours after Watchdog notified the Baltimore Department of Transportation about the problem.

Spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes said the response to this complaint would have been just as swift had someone submitted it to Baltimore's service request system. "As soon as people put them in 311, we fill those," she said.

Davidson said he had not tried to report it himself. "I wouldn't know who to call," he said.

Barnes said that crews have fixed more than 10,000 potholes since January. "Anyone visiting, whether you live in the city or not, you can still use the 311 system to report anywhere there's a pothole," she said.

You can commiserate or brag about potholes and even submit a picture to The Baltimore Sun's pothole map at

Who can fix this: Richard Hooper, chief of the Baltimore Department of Transportation's maintenance division, 410-396-1686. City residents should call 311 to report problems.

Pothole repairs

Here is contact information for agencies responsible for fixing roads in the Baltimore area:

Anne Arundel County

Bureau of Highways: 410-222-7045


Baltimore City

311 or 410-396-5352 (outside of Baltimore)


Baltimore County

Bureau of Highways: 410-887-3560


Carroll County

Bureau of Road Operations: 410-386-6717

Harford County

Highway Maintenance: 410-638-3532 or 410-638-3376

Howard County

Bureau of Highways: 410-313-7450

Need help?

Is there something in your neighborhood that's not getting fixed? Tell us where the problem is and how long it's been there by emailing or calling 410-332-6735.

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