Missoula ‘Road Gardener’ Attempts to Solve Pothole Problem with ‘Pothole Planters’
Many Missoulians complain about the multitude of potholes that spring up after winter, but one Missoulian is attempting to bring attention to the problem with a colorful twist. Kelly Bigelow says he took some flowers and exactly .75 cubic feet of dirt to create a pothole planter near his home.
“I just thought it would bring some levity to plant some flowers and maybe put a smile on a couple of faces driving by this pothole that I have driven by for months,” said Bigelow. “I decided to do some 'street gardening,' as a friend of mine on the City Council pointed out, so I brought some smiles and planted some flowers in the pot hole. It looks like the city has got the attention and hopefully they are correcting the problem.”
Bigelow says he chose the brightest flowers he could find and went ahead and filled a few more potholes the next morning. Apparently, there are still more to fill on North Avenue and Bigelow thanks it would be great if "it catches on and we make the Garden City the Garden City by planting flowers in our potholes."
“It is kind of combat driving there on North Avenue from Reserve Street to Russell and it is about a block from my home,” Bigelow said. “You notice traffic veering in and out. It wasn’t just that pothole. I didn’t have enough soil and flowers to cover the entire stretch, but that was a prominent intersection so I figured I would plant it there.”
Bigelow says many people were pulling over to take pictures of the plants and that it would be much better for a vehicle to hit a pothole filled with dirt than to hit an empty one. The pothole flowers are already getting some political traction: Missoula Mayoral candidate Lisa Triepke has pointed to the pothole plants as evidence that the city needs to prioritize spending on more "bread and butter issues."