Best. CDOT. Press. Release. Ever. “Potholepalooza” Rocks.

73-1.com
CDOT is patching potholes with tar. No, not Tar, the 1990s Chicago post-hardcore band. Photo courtesy of Touch and Go Records.

When it was time to get the word out about ways to report pothole locations for an upcoming repair blitz, the Chicago Department of Transportation opted for a strategy that was, as the saying goes, “so crazy it just might work.” The agency is encouraging citizens to alert the city about as many dangerous divots as possible from today through Sunday in a three-day “festival” of public input they’ve dubbed “Potholepalooza.” We were delighted to find an absurd, band-name-pun-riddled press release about the mock concert, including links to the Wikipedia pages for the groups, in our inboxes this morning. An excerpt is below; read the entire hilarious document here.

CDOT Encourages Chicagoans to Report Potholes in “Weekend Festival of Pothole Reporting”

Tired of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ in Traffic over the Minor Threat of potholes in the Pavement?  Ready to see nothing but White Stripes on the roadway and not worry about The Cars swerving to avoid potholes? This weekend, if you are motorist or a Motörhead, participate in the first-ever “Potholepalooza,” the Chicago Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) call to Chicagoans to report as many street potholes as possible.  Then watch the show next week as CDOT has The Cure for your Moody Blues and fills all of the potholes reported from Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7 so that your car doesn’t do the Harlem Shake and give you Divine Fits.

Pothole country
Terrible pavement (not Pavement) performance near Wicker Park. Photo by Steven Vance.

Obviously somebody spent way too much time on this, but it’s not all fun and games. According to to the release, CDOT’s “Men at Work” have filled 250,000 bike-rim-bending depressions so far in 2013. In March alone they filled 116,000 ruts with over 1,200 tons of patching material, and they’ve fixed 20,000 more in April. “We are making great progress in filling potholes this spring, but we need Chicagoans to help us identify all of the locations where work needs to be done,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein via the press release. “This weekend surge in reporting will allow us to address as many potholes as possible until we switch many of the pothole crews to street resurfacing in mid-April.”

Although the release is written from a car-centric viewpoint, obviously potholes are a major hazard for bus and bike riders as well, and it’s actually much easier and safer for cyclists to spot, pull over and report road craters than it is for drivers. Here are some ways you can take part in this pothole reporting jam session:

It’s probably no coincidence that Klein majored in marketing in college, because the ridiculous press release succeeded in its mission to publicize the city’s anti-pothole crusade, garnering coverage in the Tribune, the Sun-Times, ABC and elsewhere. Kudos to CDOT for using a creative strategy to spread the word, and for giving shout-outs to relatively obscure punk and indie bands like Minor Threat, Tar and, of course, Pavement. However, we’re disappointed that they didn’t link to the Omaha rap-metal band 311.

Can you think of any other music / street repair puns they missed?

  • It’s been brought to my attention that the Potholepalooza concept is actually borrowed from Washington D.C. http://ddot.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/On+Your+Street/Traffic+Management/Snow/Potholepalooza Of course, Chicago is home to the concert that inspired the pothole fest.

  • Hopey G

    I think you meant, “However, we’re RELIEVED that they didn’t link to the Omaha rap-metal band 311.” Right?

  • With apologies to Public Enemy, “311 (the band, not the non-emergency service number) Is a Joke.”

  • I can think of a few more song titles for an encore: Roll With It, Let It Roll, Backseat Blues, Crosstown Traffic…. I could go on, but I gotta roll. TGIF!

  • Jennifer

    Bless their Heart, they sure are in a Rush. I just hope this isn’t some Cheap Trick foisted by Talking Heads in Bad Company, as poor patch jobs often result in Rolling Stones on the roadway.

  • Bravo!

  • I am the least clever person on this blog. You and your band names. I think this will be the most fun article for John this month.

  • Potholepalooza should get all the Kinks out of my next Journey. I’m glad it’s springtime, because winter road maintenance is MIA. You’ve got to be a Mountain Goat to get around in Chicago.

  • Nice!

  • Joseph Musco

    This is dedicated to the DC mafia who came to Chicago and brought pothole repair marketing with them but not streetcar advocacy. http://youtu.be/g83att53NWY

  • Anonymous

    Are they trying to make potholes Tragically Hip?

  • Come to think of it, I can’t believe they didn’t link to Courtney Love’s band, Hole.

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