• Mar 29, 2010
Here's the theory: make potholes easier to see, and they'll be easier to avoid. How would it work? Employ a base layer underneath the road in some garish color, and when tarmac divots appear, voila, the things stick out like wounds. Both theories have been suggested by Domenico Diego and Cristina Corradini, students at the Polytechnic University of Milan, while looking for a way to make streets safer.

The duo will test the ideas in the Italian city of Rho this spring – a small-scale trial to examine costs and benefits. If that's successful, the next stage would be figuring out a new process for making road surfaces in order to create a 'skin' on top and a contrasting 'flesh' below. And the stage after that, as far as we're concerned, would be how to keep pothole-laden streets from turning into slalom courses as drivers try not to connect the dots.

[Source: New York Times via Kicking Tires]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Gotta drive over the big dot if you want to eat the ghosts and send them back to the cage.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know, let's all rush out and buy more Toyotas; that way we can fix a lot of potholes in TOKYO. I sure the Japanese will love us for that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't know what to say about this, but I live in Indonesia where some roads were never fixed for more than a decade. There's even this one place where they built a permanent road sign that says 'Watchout, Potholes on the road!" . Sad huh?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know, let's all go out and buy more Toyotas. That way we'll pave a lot of potholes in Tokyo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey here's a better idea ===> Fix the dang potholes!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I already do this sometimes. I vandalize the street with orange spraypaint and write "FIX ME" with an arrow pointing to said pothole.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Bob-omb: Indeed I _was_ talking also to him. His comment is stupid, because with this logic we could dismiss run-flat tires because "hey how about to fix the tire", or "why airbags? how about to not crash into stuff?"

        Coloring one layer is not an alternative to perfect roads, it is merely something that could help drivers in real life where there always will be pot-holes, no matter what... Is it that compliacted? O.o

        Also more contrast pot-holes would emphasise how badly damaged particular road is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        hey someone needs to read the article few more times
        • 4 Years Ago
        He wasn't talking to you, TOOLman.

        But nice logic, saying that the only solution is the current one. Considering how much of a problem potholes are, this is a great idea. Not just because people will be able to avoid potholes more easily -- but because a big yellow eyesore will make them more apt to complain. The towns will get more complaints and then have to repair the streets more often. Sounds like a win/win to me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      In Michigan the roads would be yellow with a few dark spots here and there.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they had done this already to Illinois toll roads I would have probably saved 1 wheel and 2 tires.
        • 4 Years Ago
        oh yea, roads in my town would be all kinds of yellow shapes in various sizes.

        btw, i thought the japanese created a kind of tarmac that was alot more durable a while a go.

        it would be really dumb imo to tear up all the roads, even bad ones just to add a layer of paint under them, repave and within a winter, look like a cheetah.

        • 4 Years Ago
        @a high asian

        If my memory serves me right, M-DOT (Michigan) used that Japanese developed tarmac on exit ramps from I-96 between Telegraph and I-275. They ended up tearing it out 3 years later because the road surface had become so horribly degraded.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about if the people fixing the roads were to lower the speed limits on trucks that do most of the damage. Also instead of doing a 2" overlay on bad base, remove the road material, repair the faulty subbase and lay a thicker layer of asphalt. How do you think the Autobahn has survived so long. The pavement is 18" thick and properly reinforced. In the US, they put down 8" and let the trucks destroy it again and again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      clever...I study at the Politecnico too and every winter, when it rains for more than three days straight, the older streets to get there start shedding pieces like a punched keyboard.
      However they've been laying out fresh rain-resistant tarmac all around Milan for a year now, so this idea comes a bit late unfortunately...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I happen to patch roads. It sucks lol. But I spent a few days on a side street patching it only to have a lot of the patch wash away in a heavy down pour. It's a never ending process.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This would make Chicago look like it has a severe case of hives, or shingles... or herpes.

      Maybe all of the above?
      • 4 Years Ago
      To echo what Shiftright said above: In my neighborhood, the roads would be yellow with black stripes...
      • 4 Years Ago
      In Philly, most of our potholes are man-made, like a purposefully dug hole covered with twigs. They dig these seriously deep and dangerous holes and then leave them, for weeks, without even a cone to warn you. Usually it's the gas company that does this.
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