Watch CBS News

Houston man stands in deep pothole to get city's attention

A Houston man's creative way of bringing attention to a dangerous pothole in the middle of Tuam Street, near Brailsfort in the Third Ward, has led to quick action by the city of Houston.

Ed Pettitt called 311, posted a photo of himself standing in the three-foot deep hole on Facebook and tagged Houston Public Works to get their attention. The post did more than get their attention –– it went viral. 

Houston Public Works responded to Pettitt's social post by saying, "Thank you Ed Pettit for alerting us to this location in the Third Ward. This hole was NOT created by #HouPublicWorks crews. Our team found private contractors trying to connect to a city water line, without the proper permits, which created the hole. HPW is working to repair the roadway and ensure the contractors have the correct permits for their work." 

Pettitt swiftly responded to HPW, while tagging city officials in the post, saying, "It doesn't matter whether our road conditions in Third Ward are caused by City disinvestment, private negligence/malfeasance, or Acts of God — these dangerous conditions shouldn't be tolerated! Thank you for following up and holding private contractor(s) accountable."  

A few days later, the city sent workers to fill the hole. "It's unfortunate, but if you want to get the city's attention, sometimes you have to be a little bit theatrical and post on social media," Pettitt told KHOU.  

Hey Houston Public Works, if you don't want to talk about the Columbia Tap Trail, we can talk about other things. Houston 311 Case #: 2300826120

Posted by Ed Pettitt on Saturday, April 8, 2023

Pettitt suspected that private developers were to blame, and Houston Public Works confirmed that it looked like an illegal road cut for a water connection that wasn't done properly. 

Pettitt is also the vice president of the Third Ward Super Neighborhood and hopes that city leaders will take more action in the future. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.