A long, cold and snowy winter has left many city streets pockmarked with cracks and potholes (once again, Toronto's Dufferin street topped the annual list of Ontario's worst). This year, Chicago was hit especially hard: city crews filled in over 350,000 between January and March, and the Department of Transportation even rolled out an online pothole tracker. Chicago artist Jim Bachor has come up with an unusually attractive way of dealing with the perennial nuisance: for over a year, he's been installing mosaics around town.
Bachor first makes the mosaic in his studio, then takes to the street during a quiet hour, sets up a few custom pylons, and installs his creation. Each mosaic depicts the Chicago flag, along with the word "POTHOLE" or a random serial number, a sly jab at just how many potholes dot the streets. And what does the Department of Transportation make of the campaign? "Mr. Bachor and his art are proof that even the coldest, harshest winter can not darken the spirits of Chicagoans," city spokesman Bill McCaffery told the Chicago Tribune. "But filling potholes is a task best left to the professionals and CDOT."
One man in Saint John, NB recently got in trouble for not leaving potholes up to the professionals. As CBC News reports, Mike Defazio was ordered to remove gravel that he'd used to fill several large potholes on Broadway Ave. For his trouble (and breaking city bylaws), he could face a fine, and will have to pay a contractor $450 to undo his work.