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Defender Picks



Exploring New Orleans' Worst Potholes

When people in New Orleans talk about potholes, the conversation takes on tones normally reserved for bad break-ups and near-death experiences. 


Nostalgia and wonder recall potholes of the past, while heated emotions of shock and disbelief color more recent encounters. There’s reverence for potholes around here, and occassionally, fear. Neighbors bond, friends reminisce and occassionally, someone discards a household appliance.


For every story, there’s another story, a bigger pothole, a gnarlier injury. So, with an ear toward the sound a car makes when its shocks have been laid to waste, we provide testimonials from the spots where the city of New Orleans at its most moonlike.


While our embattled infrastructure is in no danger of disappearing anytime soon, there has been some movement to smooth things over. There's all that money Mayor Mitch has been talking about. And, while going back to find all of those cavities that almost made our fifth realignment irrelevant, we found quite a few that have been filled in.


But the following chuckholes are still out there, and they've already done their damage. If you have your own reviled rut, take a picture, write a short testimonial and send it to We'll be glad to run it in the near future. But, for now, proceed with caution, and check these out:


The Frowner


“Turning off Napoleon onto Annunciation there's been this huge pothole with a road cone in it. For MONTHS.  Lately someone's put a laminated frowny face on it and it is now my favorite.” -Leora



The Burmese Drunk Guy Trap

“There’s a hole on my block, between the road and the sidewalk that is approximately 2.5-3 feet wide but is 10-15 feet deep with beyond vertical walls. (I shit you negative). Everyone (the city, S&WB, etc.) claims it's not their jurisdiction, so there it sits, waiting to claim its (I assume) first victim, like a Burmese drunk guy trap. That's a four-foot long piece of telephone pole at the bottom. -Dave



The Sport Utility Swallower

“This hole on Camp near Upperline is the result of crews digging up the street to tie in a new house to the water and sewer lines.  It’s about 3’x4’ and pretty deep, but kind of deceiving since it’s filled with loose gravel and doesn’t look that deep until you’re right up on it.  I saw a guy in a big SUV hit the hole at about 30mph, lose control for a split second in the gravel, hit the wall on the far side of the hole with a loud thud, then skid to a stop on the other side.  His neck whipped forward and back and I saw him mouth the words “Oh shit!”  I bet he slows down next time.” -Mike


The Rampart Rut

The hole at N. Rampart and Desire  is on a street filled with other, smaller potholes. It's about 3 feet by 2 feet, which is certainly enough to ruin the rims on your bike. It has probably caused its fair share of damage to cars in the Bywater. If only potholes could talk. But they can't.


This was not my first choice. My go-to hole on Dauphine had been filled in, and so had a legendary shock shaker on Bayou St. John. There must have been a recent memo going round to fix the roads in New Orleans because all of these holes have been filled in within the last couple of weeks.

As I said to my friend at the bar while I was discussing my lack of success, potholes are like women; they're everywhere until you're looking for one, and by then you can't find them or they've been filled in by some other guy. -Ben
From The Vault: The Living Room Liquidator

This pothole is so small, that sofa just barely fits in there.  I took the picture earlier this year, near the Kingpin at Lyons and Perrier.  It's since been filled in, but this is still one of my all-time favorites. -Brad



The St. Charles Smasher

My least favorite is across from Hoshun, on St Charles near Terpsichore. Nothing particularly remarkable about it, except that I had to stop by there to pick up a friend and her bicycle last night and head over to the ER so she could get her chin stitched closed again. After an early morning flight to Mexico for dental surgery she's in the company of friends and doing better than I would be, but it's still awful. I can understand that all the little back streets are crap, but this is arguable THE quintessential New Orleans Grand Ave acting like a protocarnivorous asphalt predator. (Editor's Note: We went to take a picture of this one, but it was already filled in. Good job, City Hall!) -Stefan


Think your neighborhood crater is more notorious than these? E-mail a picture and testimonial to, and we'll run it in a future feature.

There is an unavoidable

There is an unavoidable pothole lake getting larger due to increased erosion resulting from parental drop-offs/pick-ups at the school beside Garfield Street between Broadway & Pine. Has to be seen (and driven into) to be believed.

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