Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vladivostok road repair flashmob

I've seen Michael Jackson memorial flashmobs. I've seen MC Hammer Pants-clad flashmobs. Improv Everywhere has nearly perfected the art of getting large groups of people to suddenly show up in one place for all kinds of hijinks. But never have I seen a flashmob do something objectively useful. Not until now, anyway.

According to EnglishRussia, which is my new best friend, earlier this month a group of Vladivostok drivers upset with municipal authorities' neglect of the city roads came together to repair a single pothole and raise money for further efforts. EЯ has pictures of the process, with about 15-20 people--men and women alike--wearing bright orange vests. Some of them are working on the asphalt and a few of them are holding cardboard boxes marked "НА ДОРОГИ ГОРОДА" and "НА ДОРОГИ ВЕЗ ЯМ," meaning "For the city roads" and "for roads without holes." Based on the sheer number of pictures of people putting money in the boxes, I'd say they were at least mildly successful. They did a pretty good job of repairing the one pothole, and hopefully the stunt will call the municipal authorities' attention to the problem and force them to look into it.

Click here to see pictures.