Saturday, June 15

Profanity Vs. Technology, Which is the Best Way to Reach Your Government?

road with excessive potholingAs the winter season begins to roll in, the inevitable car damage and hazards brought on by poor road conditions is a growing concern. The repair of these roads does cost the respective cities money, but in the long-term, the reduction of damage costs as well as road accident fatalities are well worth footing the bill.

With one-third of all fatal and serious car accidents being, at least, in part due to bad road conditions, these repairs should top the list of any local government.

The road conditions have become so poor in some areas that individual residents have begun taking action to gain the attention of officials. The New York Post reported on a graffiti artist called Wanksy in Britain who took the initiative to force the repairs of local roads through his artwork.

Cock Lane, a small street in the British town of Fetcham, has been plagued by potholes for years. After waiting long enough for the town to take action, Wanksy decided to mark each pothole with what can only be described as the male reproductive organ.

Overall, there were more than a dozen graffiti tags on potholes, and it wasn’t long before they began attracting attention.

“I drive down there every day on the school run and today I said to my daughter, ‘Hang on a minute, someone’s drawing willies on the road,’” Polly Birkbeck, a local mother, told Get Surrey.

The town has stated that the road in question was already set to be prepared as part of “Operation Horizon,” a $151 million overhaul of road repairs. However, it was only 48 hours after Wanksy’s crude protest, that all of the potholes on Cock Lane were filled.

While Wanksy’s method proved to be effective in this case, people are still working to find ways to influence their cities to repair roads, in a more socially acceptable manner.

According to, a team from Universitas Kanjuhuran Malang in Indonesia was recently declared the winner of the Microsoft CityApp Appathon competition, with more than 150 youths and students participating. The mobile application Road Report (ROAR) from team Thor is a cloud-based app that allows citizens to report poor road conditions to their local authorities.

“Incredible innovation in today’s digital tools have the potential to enable rapidly growing cities like Sidoarjo to grow their economy, stimulate job growth, and create a modern, safe, educated, and healthy community,” remarked Stefan Sjöström, vice president, Public Sector, Microsoft Asia.

The Appathon is part of Microsoft’s CityNext program, which is a global initiative meant to modernize operations and infrastructures within cities. By focusing their efforts on cloud and mobile technology, they hope to give citizens the voice they deserve on road conditions and other issues.

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