Spot.Us is a nonprofit organization that fundraises for independent journalists.
When we approached the Oakland Tribune to see what project they might be interested in funding the Editor in Chief Martin Reynolds knew exactly what topic they wanted to cover: Potholes.
Oakland has a problem with potholes and rubbled streets. The Oakland Tribune already had contracted with a freelance reporter to tackle the story, we were just enabling them to do a longer more thorough piece on the topic.
But early on, we decided that just having a single reporter ask city officials about the state of the pothole problem wasn’t enough. We needed a way to illustrate the issue.
Our idea was the “We Hella Hate Potholes Bike Search.”
The date of the event ended up being rainy, buy we still had about six bikers from around Oakland who got together and after a light breakfast took off in different directions in search of potholes.
Together our small group of concerned bikers identified a slew of major potholes along the major arteries of the city of Oakland. SeeClickFix, of course, was used to organize our map.
Spot.Us believes in the power of reporting, but we also recognize that there are certain types of reporting projects that a single person can’t do alone.
Sean Maher produced this piece on potholes in Oakland and he did a great job. But it would have been near impossible for him to have produced a map of potholes as populated as that which was done during the “We Hella Hate Potholes” bike event.
I hope we can do a pothole hunt in other cities soon. Or perhaps you can organize one yourself?