A problem that concerns the hole community
March 11, 2018 6:41 AM   Subscribe

In an attempt to give the public some insight into how road maintenance decisions are made, Cheshire West and Chester Council tweeted an example of an, according to a professional measurement, insufficiently deep pothole. The tweet has since been removed, but not until after it got viral [imgur gallery].
posted by Vesihiisi (34 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is good.

Also seems like a place to mention my semi-defunct neighborhood pothole facebook group, which I formed after watching a pothole down the street from my apartment fully consume several crates and a traffic pylon. I ended up tagging my Alderman and his opponent on the page during an election season and wouldn't you know it the pothole was fixed within a few days.

Keep fighting the good fight, people of Cheshire West.
posted by phunniemee at 6:59 AM on March 11 [6 favorites]


Also seems like a place to mention my semi-defunct neighborhood pothole facebook group

That's not even a pothole, that's a crater.
posted by Vesihiisi at 7:08 AM on March 11


I learned so much about road maintenance by following Pittsburgh's mayor on Twitter in the month of February. Everyone has been tweeting at him about their potholes, which this time of year are copious and deep due to freeze/thaw cycles, and he replied over and over again with the scientific, engineering and financial reasons for why we're going to have to just drive carefully for the next few weeks. Cold patch! Hot patch! Asphalt factories! Road bed quality! I've become a Darren sympathizer.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:28 AM on March 11 [10 favorites]


god - a post about a pothole in england and at least two people on imgur can't help but mention michigan

we're internationally famous - thanks, rick
posted by pyramid termite at 7:29 AM on March 11 [9 favorites]


I mean, I completely understand that with a limited road repair budget you need to prioritize the really deep ones, in the interest of public safety. But gosh, they picked a terrible picture to illustrate that. "Here is a public servant, whimsically mis-measuring the severity of your pothole and dismissing your concerns. Cheerio!"
posted by Secret Sparrow at 7:44 AM on March 11 [17 favorites]


I guess living in east Oakland for years makes me biased, I looked at the pothole and went “meh, you can still drive over that.”
posted by picklenickle at 8:15 AM on March 11 [13 favorites]


There would be rending of garments and wild eyed talk of property values if a pothole like that showed up where I live. There are never road hazards like that here, yet people still complain to the councilmembers about the roads all day long.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 8:20 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]


In LA, not only would drivers plow through that, they'd do it while the guy was measuring.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:29 AM on March 11 [18 favorites]


I guess living in east Oakland for years makes me biased, I looked at the pothole and went “meh, you can still drive over that.”

It's good to see that the redesignation of east Oakland as part of Hazzard County continues to reap rewards.
posted by howfar at 8:31 AM on March 11 [3 favorites]


Yeah that wouldn't even register as a pothole in Cincinnati.
posted by cooker girl at 8:38 AM on March 11


We'd be lucky if our roads were that smooth after they patch the potholes.
posted by octothorpe at 8:47 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]


Perhaps 15 years ago I found myself driving a very introverted civil engineer around Oklahoma along with a bunch of city planners. Talking to him was difficult, but he perked up when a remarkably crumbling road shoulder gave him the chance to reveal that pavement science was his passion. He became animated, gabbing about different asphalt mixtures, new technology for laying it down, etc. and how he was looking forward to an upcoming pavement science conference. Someone asked whether the conference would include field trips, which are a hallmark of planning conferences. "Oh yes!" he replied. Stupid insensitive me quipped, "By glass-bottomed bus?" to much laughter. He retreated into his shell. I felt really bad about it.

I think about that guy every time I hit a pothole.
posted by carmicha at 9:04 AM on March 11 [29 favorites]




Maybe drawing an outline of a penis around it will get it fixed.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 9:46 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


After looking at it for while I think people are being taken in by a misleading line of grit—it looks like the edge of the pothole but the true edge is under the beam level. Not that I don't love the replies, nor sympathize with the serious risk to cyclists from poor road upkeep rationalized with weather, budgets, and triage.
posted by traveler_ at 9:49 AM on March 11 [2 favorites]


I won't dismiss the possibility that the photo is misleading - we all know optical illusions exist. But no matter how much I stare at it I can't see that edge as a line of grit. It's baffling that they'd put this photo up as an illustration of them doing their jobs.

And if it is an illusion, an easy response for them would be to take a different photo that shows the true depth of the hole.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:53 AM on March 11


Maybe drawing an outline of a penis around it will get it fixed.

I agree. The problem is not just the depth but the girth of it.
posted by amanda at 11:03 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


As someone solidly in "fuck cars, and the jerks who drive them" camp, I'd love to see my local municipality leave all potholes unfixed. It slows traffic, discourages driving, and makes the neighborhood a safer and more pleasant place for humans, pets, and cyclists. (Except cyclists who aren't paying attention. But, I'm not entirely sure teaching them a non-lethal lesson is a bad thing.)

Leaving potholes unrepaired is a tiny step toward building a city in which I want to live, but a significant one. Take that pot-hole filling money and give it to the public transit system.

You go, Cheshire West.
posted by eotvos at 12:32 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


As a frequent bus rider, I appreciate not being flung around the vehicle due to hiring massive potholes. Raise taxes on the rich to improve public transit. There's no need to wish further bruises on bus riders.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:36 PM on March 11 [14 favorites]


"Let everyone bike or walk" is ablist and assumes that people are able to live close enough to their workplace, places to shop etc.
posted by Foosnark at 12:44 PM on March 11 [19 favorites]


unfixed potholes can mean more drivers randomly swerving at the last moment to avoid the chasm and greatly increasing the threat to cyclists.

hell I cannot even ride my bike around North Oakland without wearing a sports bra.
posted by supermedusa at 12:46 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


As someone solidly in "fuck cars, and the jerks who drive them" camp, I'd love to see my local municipality leave all potholes unfixed.

a horse could break his leg on a pothole like that
posted by pyramid termite at 12:50 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


Bicycle clubs also paved the way for most smooth roads programs back in the 1900s anyway. If it wasn't for bicyclists we might still have muddy or graveled streets everywhere.

Early cars generally didn't give a crap about roads because they tended to have wagon-sized wheels. Later cars adapted to and took advantage of these smoother roads initially prompted by cyclists.

This is why I get chuffy when car drivers tell me to get off their road. How about you get the hell off my road, pal?

Anyway, another cyclist chiming in to say fuck potholes. I ride a very stiff and fast aluminum gravelpounder of a bike and hitting a pothole at speed is about as pleasant as operating a rock drill with my crotchular area.

I've also blown tubes, bent tire beads and destroyed rims hitting them when I had no choice in traffic or other scenarios.
posted by loquacious at 12:54 PM on March 11 [6 favorites]


But, I'm not entirely sure teaching them a non-lethal lesson is a bad thing

Hey, I can help you with that. People getting injured is in fact a bad thing even if they don’t actually die.
posted by ftm at 12:55 PM on March 11 [18 favorites]


As someone solidly in "fuck cars, and the jerks who drive them" camp, I'd love to see my local municipality leave all potholes unfixed.

a horse could break his leg on a pothole like that


As someone solidly in the "fuck horses..."

As someone solidly in the "fuck you and the horse you rode in on..."

This isn't coming out right...
posted by Naberius at 1:09 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


Leaving potholes unrepaired is a tiny step toward building a city in which I want to live

Would you want to be in an ambulance that is traversing these Utopian Unfilled Pothole Filled Roads?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:17 PM on March 11


I have informed the techniker.
posted by bleep at 2:08 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


It slows traffic, discourages driving

Los Angeles, which is slowly becoming one giant pothole, does not have either of these effects. People drive just as fast and as much as they used to, only with more tire repairs and accidents (people suddenly swerving to avoid potholes).

I am sure there are worse places, but of everywhere I've been in the US LA is the worst (and you can see a massive difference when you cross over from City of LA to City of Beverly Hills, for example, so it's completely about repair budgets).
posted by thefoxgod at 5:46 PM on March 11


I am sure there are worse places, but of everywhere I've been in the US LA is the worst

Haha, I have also lived in West LA and let me tell you about Houston. Houston's potholes are egregiously, ridiculously, geographically bad. They are so bad that the current mayor made a campaign promise to have the streets people fix potholes within 24 hours of notification and he won.

LA traffic, on the other hand, is epic and will always win the medal for worst traffic I've ever been in--and I've been in London, DC, Bangkok, and Beijing at rush hour.
posted by librarylis at 10:01 PM on March 11


But, I'm not entirely sure teaching them a non-lethal lesson is a bad thing

"Let everyone bike or walk" is ablist and assumes that people are able to live close enough to their workplace, places to shop etc.

Well if enough people hate cyclists and leave potholes, we'll reach a tipping point of people needing wheelchairs and then we'll have to think about THEM

...oh, how about that, wheelchairs have essentially the same needs as bicycles

...and in fact there are also bicycles designed for all sorts of mobility needs

The assumption that bicycling is ableist is also part of the issue.

(My maternal grandfather was in a car accident that paralyzed him from the neck down. He went from being vocally anti-cyclist to being vocally pro-cycling largely due to being in a wheelchair. He himself told it like that.)
posted by fraula at 2:27 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Could it be that our municipal leaders are in the pocket of Big Rubber?
posted by scratch at 3:21 AM on March 12


Yeah, there are some good cycling solutions for a range of physical disabilities: arm-assist/electrical-assist systems for lower-body weakness, tricycle configurations for balance issues. I occasionally see cargo trikes parked outside the supermarket, and it's cool to see people not letting their disabilities keep them from rolling around town under their own power. But just as in the case of wheelchairs, these configurations make accessibility issues that much more important. If there's no curb-cut in front of the bike rack, I will be a little annoyed but can just dismount, lift it over the curb, and lock it up. But that minor inconvenience to me could be a big deal to someone with half my physical strength and a bike twice mine's weight (most of these accessible configurations come with a serious weight premium).
posted by jackbishop at 7:26 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Are we still doing these? Anyway

Metafilter: About as pleasant as operating a rock drill with my crotchular area.
posted by criticalbill at 7:46 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Leaving potholes unrepaired is a tiny step toward building a city in which I want to live, but a significant one. Take that pot-hole filling money and give it to the public transit system.
Sorry, all. I suspect my comments above were more offensive and less obviously hyperbolic and silly than intended. The critical responses were deserved and have been taken to heart. (Especially the ablist accusations, which are, on reflection, true.) Sorry for derailing a useful conversation.

For what it's worth, I love cyclists. As a cyclist, I love driving on un-maintained, pothole-filled and ice-covered side-streets, 'cause I'm far less likely to be killed by speeding cars.
posted by eotvos at 10:06 AM on March 17


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