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.
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:
- Call 311
- Using the City’s website at www.cityofchicago.org/311 or various Open 311 smartphone apps including SeeClickFix, Fix311, and Chicago Works.
- Using ChiText by texting “Chicago” to 311311 to start the reporting process
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?