In Louisville, fixed potholes come with a curious message but an intriguing cost to the city: zero.
KFC is already fixing potholes in Louisville and announced some time ago that it wants to do the same in Chicago.
Chicago, a city with big financial problems, ought to consider signing contracts that would allow this. Fix up this length of street, or utilize this volume of asphalt in repairs, and you get to afix your logo, approved by the city for unobtrusiveness and for avoiding excessive distraction. They might be approved on a case by case business but handled in bulk so that 50 approvals could then be executed over a weekend. These deals might be barred from residential streets or limited to arterials, for example. The key is contract writing, specifying the standards to which patch up jobs must conform.
The advantage for the city: free maintenance, possibly including the ability to lay off unneeded city workers who are replaced by private crews. The advantage for the private company: very positive advertising, noticeable in its unique location away from other advertisements.
This is an innovative, practical approach that is working elsewhere. Chicago ought to consider it and then start soliciting comers. It doesn't even need to stop with corporate sponsorship, either -- impatient residents on ill-maintained streets ought to be able to hire a contractor and apply for a permit where specs and details are submitted just like for building permits.
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