Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' Web site imitates a McDonald's hamburger sign, proclaiming, "380,090 potholes served. " Accompanying braggadocio touts...

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Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ Web site imitates a McDonald’s hamburger sign, proclaiming, “380,090 potholes served.” Accompanying braggadocio touts that 100 percent of city potholes are filled within 48 hours of a phone call.

Um, maybe not. A double-dipper doozy on Lake Washington Boulevard near Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center has been swallowing vehicle front ends and chewing tires for the better part of a month. It’s hard to believe no one called in this humdinger.

Less than an eighth of a mile north, as Lake Washington turns up to South Horton Street, sits our own Crater Lake. This thing is so big it almost has waves.

On the other side of town, Elliott Avenue West, northbound and southbound, has a wide assortment of divots large and small. So does Western Avenue near Denny Way. The always pockmarked South Horton Street near Sixth Avenue South approaching Beacon Hill offers plenty of opportunities to lose a tire. And there are more spots on side streets. The city is coming up potholes.

To his credit, Nickels early in his first term seized on the idea that when small things are in disrepair it feels like bigger things also are not working.

The city has the bigger job. Forty-eight hours, or two business days, from call to fill can’t just be a cute slogan or brag point. It should be a reliable operating plan.

Citizens have a role to play, too. If you see a pothole, note it, write down its location and call it in: north of Denny Way, 684-7508; south of Denny Way and other areas, 386-1218.