It was only a matter of time: A pothole in Brockton, Massachusetts has its own Facebook page.
What’s more, it has fans: More than 500 as of March 15 (we thought it appropriate to visit it on the Ides of March). Under “Basic Information,” the pothole with the Facebook identity of “Alger Street” describes itself in frank terms:
I am one of the meanest, ugliest roads you’ve ever seen. I pop tires, dent rims, break shocks, you name it I do it. I have been this way for about 10 years now. Even though people complain about me constantly, NO ONE CAN CHANGE ME. I’M A MONSTER!!!
The page identifies as female but provides no relationship information.
The pothole Facebook page is actually the work of Christine Brennan. “Any part of the Brockton stretch of this road is in this condition,” she told TheBostonChannel.com. “It’s a terrible, miserable street to have to drive. The inside of my car shakes, rattles.” Brennan and others interviewed for the webcast cite significant and expensive damage their vehicles have endured from the road in recent times. The road is not considered a priority by the city, according to the reporter. But for Brennan and others in her neighborhood, it is the only option for traveling to and from their homes.
According to a 2009 analysis of Federal Highway Administrative data by TRIP, a highway research organization, about 41 percent of the roads in Massachusetts are considered to be in poor or mediocre condition. TRIP also finds that Massachusetts drivers spend an extra $301 per year in additional vehicle operating costs due to rough roads, with about the same costs borne by motorists in Connecticut and Vermont. In Rhode Island they pay more ($473/year), but less in New Hampshire and Maine (both $250). New York residents shell out $405/year thanks to potholes and other pavement degradation.
Other media are reporting on the Facebook strategy Brennan decided to follow. She told Boston.com, “They took over Egypt with a Facebook page. We figured we could get Alger Street fixed.” The local Brockton Enterprise News reports that Alger Street has poor drainage, a design flaw that invites pavement deterioration. Temporary patching is thought to be largely ineffective. The city told TheBostonChannel.com that complete reconstruction costs are hard to justify.
Alger Street isn’t the only pothole on Facebook. A Geico commercial pothole has 13,885 fans, while a somewhat redundant page titled “Oh no!! Your tire’s all flat and junk!” POTHOLE has another 10,560 fans. “Fill That Pothole!” is a Glasgow, Scotland page with 132 fans who post photos of where their cars and bikes have been damaged by potholes. In turn, the page administrator reports these potholes to the Glasgow City Council.