By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Jim Bachor is first and foremost an artist, but Chicago drivers might consider him a humanitarian.
A humanitarian because he has been artfully repairing potholes around the city, potentially saving drivers from ruined tires or axles, and the huge car repair bills that come with the damage.
Bachor doesn’t simply patch them with asphalt.
Rather, he installs playful red, white and blue mosaics–inspired by the city’s flag–over the holes.
His latest creation at Pearson and Wabash includes a phone number of a nearby auto repair shop, just in case a driver isn’t so lucky down the road.
“It was kind of like stating the obvious,” Bachor said in a conversation with Hyperallergic. “A way to say, ‘This is a Chicago pothole, dammit!’”
Some of the potholes include a the number sign (#) followed by a random five- or six-digit figure, which is designed to represent the sheer number of potholes in the city.
He repaired his first pothole last year in the Mayfair neighborhood.
It simply reads “pothole” in black tiles, framed with a design to represent the Chicago flag, with its blue stripes and four stars.
Every year, the city patches thousands of potholes, but crews simply can’t keep up with Mother Nature’s destructive force and the fluctuating freeze-thaw patterns of Chicago’s brutal winters. It is that cycle that ultimately leads to the creation of the asphalt craters.