Fed up with the hundreds of potholes that line Kansas City streets and a perceived lack of urgency from the city to fix them, Frank Sereno decided the best way to solve the problem was to celebrate it.
He threw a birthday party for the 3-month-old pothole on his street, complete with a slice of cake with a candle on top.
“I didn’t sing to him,” Sereno told CNN affiliate KCTV. “I thought about it, but it was a little bit warm, so I said, ‘Well, we’ll just do the cake.’”
Sure enough, within days of posting a photo of the festivities to Facebook, the public works department filled the hole.
The hole is one of hundreds Sereno has reported to the city without a response, he said.
“We have to be as creative as we can to get things fixed,” he told CNN. “For me, it’s just about making sure my neighbors’ and my voice are continuously heard.”
Sereno first reported this particular depression, which runs about 3 inches deep and 2 feet wide, in March.
He’s seen more and more holes populate his neighborhood’s roads over the past 20 years, he said, and a particularly harsh winter cracked open hundreds more.
The city public works department has started to patch the holes, a process slowed by long bouts of spring rain, public works spokesperson Maggie Green told KCTV. Hundreds of cases reported in 2019 remain open, according to the department’s database.
Sereno’s young pothole was far from the worst he’s seen. The avid motorcyclist said he’s driven past gaping pits in the asphalt that could cause him to fly off his bike if he hit them.
But now that this hole’s been filled, Sereno’s scheming a new celebration—perhaps a graduation for the patched asphalt that’s gone onto bigger and better things.
He hopes he doesn’t need to throw another pothole party.
“It’s great that they came and fixed it, but my gosh, if this is what it takes to get potholes fixed, we’ll never get anything done.”