People Are Planting Flowers in Potholes Worldwide: See the Creative Protest Taking Place in Montreal, Ukraine & Beyond

In 2015, Paige Breithart, an artist and student living in Hamtramck, Michigan, had grown tired of the countless potholes marring Hamtramck's streets. So she took matters into her own hands, and drove around town, filling the potholes with flowers, replacing the decay with symbols of growth and beauty. The story went viral, and Breithart's aesthetic treatment has since caught on. Look around Twitter, and you'll find stories about flowers filling potholes around the United States, and indeed around the world.

In some cases, these guerilla projects aren't just decorative, a simple way to spruce up a neighborhood. There's an activist element to them. In Bath, England, one flower pot vigilante said:

In an area of America there were a load of potholes filled in with pot plants, although that’s not what we are doing here. We think it’s a good thing to do but it’s more than about making people smile. Potholes are a real problem and have the potential to be death traps for bikers and cyclists and with cars there is an issue with blow-outs to wheels. The whole point is to raise awareness of them.

And local governments are taking notice, though not always happily. Concerned that drivers might get surprised or distracted by flowers suddenly appearing in the middle of a road, politicians are discouraging this form of protest. But you can't argue with the results. Once protesters call attention to them, the potholes have a magical way of getting properly paved and filled. Quickly.

Below you can see a gallery of potholes around the world that have gotten the flower treatment--from Missoula, Montana, to Montreal, Bath, Bosnia and Ukraine. Maybe the artist from Chicago (see image at bottom) is the one who got it right?

Wetzel County, West Virginia

 

Missoula, Montana

 

Montreal, Canada

 

Corner Brook, Canada

 

Bath, England

 

Berwickshire, Scotland

 

Edinburgh, Scotland

 

Ukraine

 

Bosnia

 

Chicago

via Twisted Sifter/My Modern Met

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  • Chantal says:

    I just finished a 34 day road trip on my motorcycle and let me tell you there are some dangerous potholes out there on city streets and highways. Seeing flowers in the road would be less dangerous and distracting than my front tire blowing out or me losing control because of a pothole. However, I do think those putting the terracotta pot in the potholes have gone too far.
    When city administrators say citizens should report potholes rather than plant flowers they’re not taking into consideration that most of these “urban vigilantes” have taken such drastic measures because the proper reporting procedures have not remedied the problem. In my opinion, most of the gardening road warriors must feel like they’ve been left with no other choice but to take action and force the issue.

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