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Every Baton Rouge pothole filled by year’s end; new mapping software could make it happen

Using a data-driven mapping system heralded for its efficiency, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s administration expects to fill all the potholes reported by residents by year’s end.

The administration began utilizing Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, to tackle the backlog of pothole requests in recent months. Last weekend alone, maintenance crews filled 765 potholes, says Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Rowdy Gaudet.

The effort is part of a broader push by Broome to incorporate data and technology into the day-to-day operations of City Hall. The Metro Council on Wednesday signed off on an open data policy designed to make city-parish records “open by default.” The administration also hopes to team up with academics and businesses to bolster the open data and GIS systems launched by Kip Holden, the former mayor.

“By the end of this week we’ll be able to say all the reported potholes in our system have been filled,” says Gaudet.

The administration plans to start the new year with a “clean slate” in the 311 system, says Gaudent, adding there are between 300 and 400 potholes in the system currently awaiting repair. Work crews are able to fill more potholes with the mapping system than they were under the old “first-in, first-out” system.

Also, this weekend is a corridor beautification initiative, lauded by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber as a pilot program to clean up Baton Rouge and better maintain the parish’s infrastructure.

—Sam Karlin

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