Pothole problems perenially persist

If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade. Heeding that advice, when life gives you potholes, do you make pottery? That being the case, Canadian cities could stock a pottery stall on every corner.

If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade. Heeding that advice, when life gives you potholes, do you make pottery? That being the case, Canadian cities could stock a pottery stall on every corner.

Potholes have only one use  –  to curb speeders. Five years ago some Quebec cities tried laying down portable plastic potholes resembling ragged bath mats. Each day they were rolled  up and moved to other problem areas. The plastic version looked so real unsuspecting drivers braked and swerved.

We don’t need plastic potholes. Canadian winters grow the real thing. In Medicine Hat, where this spring Kal Tire is offering a “pothole special” for checking wheel alignment, a resident claims their streets today are paved with “driveway quality” asphalt which contains less rock than “highway quality” perhaps due to a lack of quality control at the engineering level.

Is he right? The only stretch of pavement in my area I can think of without a pothole is Haaland Avenue, built specifically to carry the weight of gravel trucks hauling from JL’s Excavating.

Tax-tired citizens everywhere seek innovative solutions to tire busting, windshield splitting potholes.

Prince George posts a Google map where potholes are marked by motorists tweeting their locations. One Prince George motorist claims he bought a licence from Mohawk to fish an especially promising pothole. He didn’t divulge what he’ll use for bait.

Upset Brits in North Curry, Somerset hoping to shame their council into repairing their roads, compiled a 12-page dossier with photographs of every pothole in their community. On average, they have one pothole every 120 yards of road. That eliminates neighbourhood squabbles; every block has one of their own.

And last spring the hard-up village of Niederzimmern near Leipzig in East Germany took a page from World Vision and zoos who seek financing through sponsorship. The village began selling its potholes for $70 each. For that, the hole is repaired and the sponsor can put a personal message on top of the patch. Sponsors can choose their pothole from photos on the village’s website complete with a toy yellow dumper truck to give an idea of scale. Within a week 111 potholes had been sold. No word on what typical messages might be.

A UK resident converts each pothole into a flower bed choosing short-stemmed varieties so blossoms won’t be torn off by straddling vehicles. Imagine motoring along his street dodging beds of purple crocuses alternated with beds of white.

Rename the worst streets with pioneer designations leading motorists to expect a jarring experience – Frontier Street, Old Mill Road, Washboard Way…

Name each pothole after a city councillor. If you run short of councillors’ names  … Nah. That couldn’t happen. Could it? Not in Terrace!

One Prince George resident called for a challenge similar to Hockeyville, to find the Canadian city with the most potholes overall. Run the contest through the spring months, sponsored by car dealers, garages, tire outlets, and dentists.

Another man opted for a radio contest to find the biggest pothole, the winning city to hoist a mold of its spine rattler.

In Toronto – according to a Globe and Mail columnist  – work crews  wearing bright orange hats and vests have taken to standing around potholes on smoke breaks while traffic is diverted.  When the team leader waves a yield sign over the pothole, they exchange their safety garb with the next shift.

Since our winters keep us overstocked with potholes and nary a hint we will ever run short, our only choice might be to move south or hasten global warming.


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