Got an Urban Infrastructure Issue? Make the Bureaucrat Work!

The problem of inadequate infrastructure is not unique to the United States. Nor is the scourge of political dysfunction that leaves commuters stranded waiting for the next bus, pedestrians sprinting across eight lanes of traffic, and motorists stuck in gridlock.

Your local politican's mug here.

It may not be the first place you’d look for guerrilla-style protest, but in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, the people are assigning responsibility by attaching human faces — specifically, those of government officials — to such urban problems. And they’re seeing results.

Network blog This Big City reports:

“Make the bureaucrat work!” is the slogan of a local campaign [ru] run by the regional Internet news agency, Ura.ru. Their solution to the road problem is as simple as it is elegant: They simply spray-paint the portraits of local dignitaries around potholes, with quotes of their promises to fix the problem, and guess what — problem solved!

What has taken local politicians years not to do is now done overnight. The embarrassment of having their portraits so concretely fixed to the potholes of their power has seemingly made authorities run about like mad to pave over their portraits of impotence, filling the holes in streets and roads.

How might this play out for car-free road users? Portraits of police commissioners at dangerous street crossings? Etchings of electeds at decrepit bus stops? Possibilities abound.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The City Fix files an update on road rationing in China; A/N Blog profiles a new one-mile pedestrian bridge that will span the Ohio River between Indiana and Kentucky; and WashCycle and BikePortland react to the latest brouhaha over the ethics of cycling.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Bike Infrastructure Where You Live

|
This path on New York’s Randall’s Island gives cyclists plenty of space. (Photo: Bicycles Only) Get ready for another Streetsblog Network slide show. This time, in honor of National Bike Month, we’re looking for pictures of bicycle infrastructure that you love. Lanes, trails, paths, signs, signals, parking, you name it — we want to see […]

Bike Infrastructure Where You Live

|
This path on New York’s Randall’s Island gives cyclists plenty of space. (Photo: Bicycles Only) Get ready for another Streetsblog Network slide show. This time, in honor of National Bike Month, we’re looking for pictures of bicycle infrastructure that you love. Lanes, trails, paths, signs, signals, parking, you name it — we want to see […]

Caption Contest: A Bench for Adrenaline Junkies

|
A bench placed 4-feet from a 6-lane, 60 mph design speed #stroad with a high speed turning radius #UrbanZenpic.twitter.com/BRFglnvKN7 — Kostelec Planning (@KostelecPlan) February 25, 2016 It’s time for another caption contest! This oddly placed bench at the intersection of Patton Avenue (US74) and Florida Avenue in Asheville, North Carolina, offers the kind of view […]

DOT: Bergtraum to CUNY, Primeggia to Copenhagen

|
Department of Transportation First Deputy Commissioner Judith Bergtraum, a top aide to former commissioner Iris Weinshall, is leaving DOT for a job at the City University of New York where Weinshall is now a vice chancellor. As first reported by the Daily News’ Elizabeth Benjamin, DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan just returned from a quick trip […]