Have you ever been driving to work with the music blaring and a $10 Starbucks Vanilla Bean Cappuccino in your hand? We all have at one point. But then, all of a sudden, your car drops so low to the ground that your body is forced down like you're on a roller coaster about to make its exhilarating drop, and that delicious $10 coffee goes splashing in every direction. Once again, we've all been there. Or maybe, you are walking on the sidewalk with your head down while picking the perfect song on your iPhone, and all of a sudden your face kisses the pavement? These incidents are normal in the city of New Orleans, as potholes and unleveled sidewalks have become a part of the lifestyle here. Everyone who calls this city home has made the proper adjustments to survive the pothole apocalypse. People will go out of their way just to avoid a pothole, because on some streets, the potholes are so deep that they’re like quicksand waiting to take its next victim.
"They are so frequent and a part of New Orleans life that New Orleanians have now accepted their existence. Rather than blocking them with caution cones like in other cities, New Orleans has let its creativity, flare, and Southern hospitality drive people to decorate the black holes instead."
New potholes are making their debut every day. They are so frequent and a part of New Orleans life that New Orleanians have now accepted their existence. Rather than blocking them with caution cones like in other cities, New Orleans has let its creativity, flare, and Southern hospitality drive people to decorate the bleak holes instead. Some potholes are filled with Mardi Gras beads to keep the festive mood alive, while others have been constructed into impromptu gardens. The funniest adaptation was when a pothole was used as a cooler, filled to the top with ice and with bottled beers placed in the middle, so they remained chilled and ready to imbibe. The million dollar question, though, is “Will the potholes ever be fixed?” Every day a new pothole is being filled and removed, but this isn't a problem we can fix overnight. And as one is repaired, another one usually takes its place.
The potholes are gigantic. Some are so big, in fact, that they could even sink a ship. This means that the sporty Kia Soul or adorable Prius you love driving has no chance of surviving in this pothole apocalypse. New Orleans does not have a beach like California or Florida, and our main bodies of water are Lake Pontchartrain and the murky Mississippi River. But luckily for every resident, on their street the city has gifted them a personal pool. A pool that is ready to give the wheels of your car a little workout before getting to your destination. No matter how big or small the pothole, it is the bane of your cars' existence and needs to be fixed. Living life like a character in the game “Subway Surfers”, constantly dodging potholes, is not the way to spend time in New Orleans for the rest of your days.
Fixing the streets of New Orleans is an effort that needs to be made by everyone. A project like this, that will take at least 10 to 25 years, needs to start as soon as possible before the holes of abyss get worse and are too far gone to repair. The holes don’t need temporary fixing with cement filling, the whole street needs to be repaired and the cost is extreme. But safety trumps money. The divide between poverty and wealth needs to be erased and the city needs to be viewed as a whole. The wealthy need to support and advocate for the change as well as the taxpayers. New Orleans official records report that after Mayor Mitch Landrieu took office in May 2010, the city repaired more than 170,000 potholes. But that is still not enough. People should not wake up and think it's normal to dodge potholes, while in other states locals are strolling and cruising the streets in a straight line. New Orleans is a prosperous and exciting city and it should look like one as well.