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by on March 5, 2010 at 7:52 am in Economics | Permalink

The German municipality of Niederzimmern does not have the money to fix potholes. They are now selling the right to fix the road to anyone. In return, the owner of the fixed pothole can put on the road a text of her choice.

The link is here and I thank Henry Farrell for the pointer.

Craig March 5, 2010 at 8:29 am

So, if the pothole no a residential street were big enough to dissuade outsiders from driving on that street, could the residents band together to buy the pothole and NOT fix it?

Rahul March 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

@Craig

Next step: neighbors banding together to actually dig potholes.

Charles March 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm

This approach has a weird barter aspect to it. Couldn’t the municipality sell advertising space on streets and use the money to fix the potholes? This barter approach feels like Russia in the late 90s. But where is the currency crisis?

Jim March 5, 2010 at 2:53 pm

And if a company does a lousy job of fixing the pothole, and someone gets a flat tire on it the following week, can the driver sue the company who did the work?

wlu2009 March 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm

@jim

I have to imagine a lousy fix job on a pothole is better than still having a pothole. Would anyone believe a driver was actually worse off due to the repair, bad as it might be?

john malpas March 5, 2010 at 11:45 pm

are not speed bumps just upside down potholes?

Ilan Ben Menachem March 12, 2010 at 6:49 am

The pothole no a residential street were big enough to dissuade outsiders from driving on that street.

acekard ds March 17, 2010 at 7:06 am

I have come across roads in Cavan where someone painted the potholes so that they could be seen better – a sort of a shaming campaign. I assume the scheme in Niederzimmern involves the local authority fixing the holes, otherwise they might end up where we are (as I pointed out on my wasting money on roads thread).More seriously notwithstanding the €400 million the local authorities have for fixing roads this year, local authority budgets have been sqeezed hard and that will continue. So either they improve their efficency, come up with imaginative schemes or we will have to get used to lots of potholes again.

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