From the bad, the ugly and the hell-gate, here’s Brooklyn’s worst pothole

Not even hazard fences could weather the gulf of this pothole (at New Lots & Jerome). Submitted by Rachel Bishop.

We put out the call, and boy, did you ever answer it! Thanks to everyone who submitted gruesome pothole pics for the “Worst Pothole in Brooklyn” photo contest.  You showed us a whole range—from tiny dimensional voids in the street, to wide swaths of hideous, crumbling asphalt. It was a hard call, to be sure—but we ended up going with the one that had the most trash in it.

Of course, that’s not the only reason Rachel Bishop’s pothole (seen above) made us cringe. It’s also the fact that it managed to swallow the city’s attempts to warn bikers and pedestrians against it. So congrats, Rachel! You’re about to get your hands on a fancy new bike tire from the folks over at Bike Slug

Even though we had to settle on a winner, everyone who submitted gets an honorable mention. Heck, if we ever meet in person I’ll buy you a beer. All these photos were and-I-mean ugly, so much so that we’ve shared all of our worthy contenders below in order to show you just how treacherous a bike ride through the borough can be.


How our tax dollars led to this kind of maintenance, I’ll never know (at Hancock & Lewis). Submitted by Ari Amir

Our first runner-up in the competition is Ari Amir’s terrific hanging-garbage pothole. It may be easy to avoid on your bike, but it’s damn hard to look away. And the more you look, the more you begin to wonder why. Why? Why is there a garbage can hanging upside down over a broken manhole cover? Is it an art installation? Is it a tiny house? These are the contemplations.


Hey, this pothole serves up a little in-flight refreshment (at Henry Street & Veranda Pl). Submitted by Barry Petchesky.

Barry Petchesky’s pothole gives a whole new meaning to “Mile-High Club.” This hole might send you and your bike soaring a little differently than a Boeing 747, but we certainly appreciate someone’s decision to dispose of a flight-sized vodka bottle inside of it.


I walk this lonely road, down the boulevard of broken street (in Clinton Hill). Submitted by Snewyen

Snewyen’s pothole is a little more pond-like. In fact, Californians should take a note from Brooklynites. We can gather ample rainwater into our potholes, and redistribute the rations of sewage-flavored tar juice evenly among all social classes.


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Oh, I guess someone was just digging, wonder if they ever found gold (at Quincy & Classon). Submitted by @julia_tho
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What you don’t see here is the person in an alternate dimension, vacuuming (at Quincy & Classon). Submitted by @julia_tho

Instagram user Julia T. sent us two separate potholes from the same block! Hard to believe two chasms this deep could go unaddressed by the city, but here they are. The first features both a hazard cone and a shovel, in case you’re tempted to lend a hand in making the hole even deeper than it already is (or filling it with garbage). In the second photo it looks like the road just kind of gave up, and ate itself.


Sad, sad craft beer pothole (at Himrod & Irving). Submitted by Erik Storm.

Go home, pothole, you’re drunk. Erik Storm’s photo of a sad crevasse in Bushwick is just drinking to numb the pain of knowing everyone hates it. (But seriously, if the DOT thinks that an upside-down box in a hole is accurate hazard prevention, I’m going to lose it.)


Pot-hole? Try pot-road (at Washington & Empire). Submitted by Toad Danson

Last but not least, we have Toad Danson’s forever-pothole of Prospect Lefferts Gardens—an entire block of nonstop bumpy riding to wreck your tires and Shake Weight® yourself to a smaller dress size.

Well, them’s the brakes. No seriously, use your brakes! Way better than toppling over any of these road hazards. And if you see them, you can report it to the DOT, who actually keeps a weekly blog about road maintenance so you can check your street’s condition/plan before you ride. Big thanks to Bike Slug (1050 Bedford Avenue) for sponsoring this photo contest. Be safe out there, kids, and stay tuned for all our upcoming bike month freebie posts! 

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