Some years ago a councilwoman of Davis, California protested the repaving of several historic alleyways in her neighborhood, claiming that new asphalt would destroy the ‘mellow’ ambience of the roads. What resulted was a media frenzy that eventually declared the Davis public servant as a kook for suggesting that even potholes had protected rights. However, one person is certainly on the same side of the councilwoman. Pete Dungey, an artist and graphic design student at the University of Brighton, came up with a colorful solution to the international pothole problem: teeny-tiny guerrilla gardens!
City Repair claims that painting intersections with large, colorful symbols slows traffic and makes neighborhoods safer and more livable. While it’s unclear whether pockets of pansies will make for the same, more road-conscious drivers, the aesthetic impact is undeniable.
But even with all this whimsy, we must admit that beyond the problem of cars, these pothole gardens face the same challenges as other guerrilla gardens: they require maintenance by someone – and gathering water to spaces lacking irrigation is already hard enough without dodging traffic!
Still, the sight of flowers in the middle of a road is surely smile-inducing, and Dungey’s work reminds us of all the life and levity outside of our cars.