Potholes suck, and most cities suck at fixing them. Society is fighting back in hilariously inventive (and sometimes irreverent) ways… Here are 3 of our favorites…
We’re not world infrastructure historians, but it’s safe to say within months of the first trail being blazed by man, another man was there to complain about its condition. Today, with millions and millions of miles of paved roads circling the globe, the number of potholes and people pissed off about them is at an all-time high. People are tired of going for that first spring drive and feeling like their car (or back) might snap in half, and now society is starting to fight back at cities with poor road conditions.
The Tweeting Potholes of Panama
In this connected world we live in, seems even potholes have found their way onto Twitter. This brilliant campaign by the Panamanian news station Telemetro Panamá and ad agency P4 Ogilvy & Mather actually gives potholes a “voice” of their own on Twitter. Using pressure-sensitive buttons placed in various potholes around the city, the potholes now tweet snarky comments to Panama’s Department of Public Works. This video shows the potholes as they lodge their clever Twitter complaints with the city:
The campaign has been so successful public officials have gone on the news to pledge additional attention toward the Panama City pothole problem. Locals claim they’ve already seen an improvement on the streets.
England’s infamous criminal mastermind, “Wanksy”
Now a graffiti celebrity with over 20,000 Facebook followers, Wanksy simply roams the streets of Manchester, England and draws penises around potholes. While considered a major nuisance to local officials, he’s become a folk hero around the world. Since having a penis painted on the road is a bad thing, you know, we need to have some public decency, the city seems to fill in the potholes that once plagued the city within 48 hours.
See more of Wanky’s vigilante graffiti work on his Facebook page. Hint: it’s a bunch of penises.
The soon-to-be national hero of Canada
Despite our misconception that all Canadians actually went everywhere on horseback, they have quite a few cities with real roads, and real potholes… One kid had had enough of the potholes. David Ballas, 2 years too young to even have a drivers license, decided to fix this problem once and for all. The 14 year old Canadian invented a new mixture to fill potholes that make them less likely to become an even bigger pothole after next winter. His secret ingredient? Chicken feathers.
Yep. You read that right… The formula Ballas says will fix your potholes once and for all is 98% asphalt and 2% cluck-cluck chicken feathers.
Tasbeeh Herwees from GOOD tells us why Ballas’ formula is a winner:
There’s a pretty simple explanation for why this works. Chicken feathers are made up of a protein called keratin, which makes the feathers hydrophobic, or resistant to water. The feathers in the asphalt will block water from passing through the ground. Potholes are often formed when water gets in the cracks and weakens the asphalt, or freezes up during the winter and cracks the blacktop.
The solution is brilliant for its simplicity and for its resourcefulness. According to Ballas, the city of Quebec alone produces more than 5 million tons of chicken feathers. A single box of feathers, valued at $11, could pave a whole street.
While we’re not necessarily condoning drawing something inappropriate on the potholes you encounter, we do like the idea of society finally fighting back on infrastructure issues…