Here’s an idea, not new, but worth repeating. Make those nasty, cordoned off potholes what they already are—untouchable neighborhood open space.
Potholes are a perennial, international urban topic, given their tendency to damage unsuspecting vehicles, threaten bicyclists, and impede all modes of traffic. We debate their origin (“did they really start in ancient Rome!?”), allow them a starring role in politics and feature their long repair time as prime examples of budget shortfalls and sponsored fixes here and abroad.
In large cities, repair times can lag. Ironically, because of their usual location firmly within the public domain, private sector or charitable attempts at repair are often deemed inappropriate by transportation officials.
In the interests of health and safety, if they are going to be unattended risks, why not mark them with style like Steve Wheen, London’s “pothole gardener“?
Indeed, make them monuments, green them up—or, more purposefully, fence them off—as yet another pocket of reclaimed guerrilla urbanism.
As the new traffic-calming “woonerfs”, such mini-parks might just accelerate some people’s desired evolution away from the car.