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Hartford residents taking road safety into their own hands

City officials encourage the public to call 311 to report any road issues.

HARTFORD, Conn — With warmer weather on the radar and more cars and cyclists on the roadways, the city of Hartford is reminding residents that if you see something, say something to keep the roads and community clean, cleared, and safer. 

Hartford native Johnny Cruz said he takes the saying "see something, says something" to a new level. 

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"I'm always riding around to see if I can find anything that'll draw my attention so I can post it on social media," explained Cruz. 

He said it's not about the clout; it's about keeping his neighborhood informed through his digital platforms. 

"People are more on to their phones, so when they're going on TikTok, they might come across my video, and they might know something that they didn't know," said Cruz. 

He does it all with his bike and camera ready each day. On Wednesday, Cruz noticed what he described as a massive pothole in his neighborhood. 

"It had to be several feet deep; it was pretty big," described Cruz. "It was very noticeable, especially if you were on foot or a bike. You could see it very clearly, but if you're in a vehicle, you're not going to see it right away, not until the last minute."

Cruz said after seeing it up close, he decided to record a video and put it online to alert people to prevent injuries and car damage. However, while social media is a great tool, the city of Hartford says it's essential to report these things to the city. 

"It's better we know about it, and we respond to it because if you hit it and you come to us, and we've never heard about it, unfortunately, you are responsible for repairing your vehicle," explained Janice Castle, Director of Community Engagement with the City of Hartford.  

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Castle said the best tool and resource to use in situations like finding a pothole or noticing something on the roadway is Hartford 311. She said it's an app and toll-free, non-emergency call center designed to connect the community to city services. 

"We all take different routes throughout the city, but if you submit and I submit, we can all see what's happening around the city and submit it quickly, and then our department can get a ride out there and address the issue right away," said Castle. 

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You can download the app on your smartphone, use the website, or call 860-757-9311 to make a report. Because when the city is in the know, potholes like the one Cruz posted can get fixed with urgency. 

Cruz said while he didn't know about Hartford 311 until Friday, he is looking forward to using it and social media to get the word out and find a solution to neighborhood issues that may arise. 

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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