Every spring, they bloom like tulips.

Potholes. All over the roads. The fruits of something called the "freeze-thaw cycle." Water gets in to cracks in the ground; it freezes and expands; then the weakened asphalt crumbles under someone's tires.

If you see one of these springtime craters in the road, you may want to report it. But who do you call?

It depends where the pothole is. Some roads are managed by the state's department of transportation. Others are managed by local governments.

The state handles the freeways, state roads and some other big roads.

Cities and towns look after smaller stuff, like local roads and side streets.

The difference matters because if a pothole damages your car, and you want to file a claim, where you file that will depend on the offending pothole is. Here's a very useful map for figuring out which is which, courtesy of RIDOT.

And while you're here, we want to hear your pothole stories. Maybe it’s about a time you tried to deal with a pothole. Maybe it’s about the most notorious pothole in your neighborhood. It only takes a few minutes. We look forward to hearing from you!