Residents celebrate the birthday of a pothole two years ago in Naucalpan. Residents celebrate the birthday of a pothole two years ago in Naucalpan.

Drivers compensated for pothole damage

México state municipality pays up to 7,000 pesos for vehicle damage

There is some consolation for victims of pothole damage in one municipality in the state of México.

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The local government of Naucalpan — located within the metropolitan area of greater Mexico City — will pay up to 7,000 pesos (US $380) in compensation to owners of vehicles that have sustained damage from the troublesome and ubiquitous holes in the roadway.

Mayor Edgar Olvera Higuera said that at one point more than 60,000 of the annoying baches, as they are called in Spanish, had been detected on municipal streets although he made it clear that in the year and a half since he took office, repair work has significantly improved the situation.

By improving its collection of property taxes, the municipality was able to create a 5-million-peso (US $270,000) fund that will be used exclusively to compensate victims of pothole damage.

Punctured tires, damaged rims and dents in the chassis or body of a car will all be covered be the pothole insurance that came into effect at the start of this month, the mayor said.

The coverage extends to damage sustained on all the major roads in the municipality with the exception of Anillo Periférico — Mexico City’s outer ring road — which is the state government’s responsibility, but compensation is only available to Naucalpan residents who are up to date with all their property tax and local services payments.

The condition of Naucalpan’s roads was so bad between 2013 and 2015 that local residents formed an anti-pothole movement and painted signs on roads all over the municipality to warn motorists of their locations.

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However, despite the state of disrepair, they didn’t lose their sense of humor in the process.

One particularly enthusiastic defender of motorists’ rights donned a black suit and black and silver lucha libre wrestler’s mask and hit the streets with a shovel in his hand, looking for potholes and fixing them as best as he could.

Over time Mr. Bache became a familiar and popular character on the streets of Naucalpan. A Miss Bache soon followed.

Mock birthday celebrations were also held for potholes that remained unfixed for years while one especially large and deep cavity was awarded the title “pothole of gold.”

Source: El Universal (sp)

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