Chicago Rebrands Potholes as “Deep Dish Street”

CHICAGO — With increasing complaints of degrading pavement and potholes popping up on Chicago’s streets, the city is looking for a solution to its infrastructure woes. Starting today, the city is encouraging drivers not to think of potholes as axle-destroying road hazards, but instead think of them as Chicago-style “deep dish streets.”

“Clearly we’re not going to fix the roads,” said Ashley Carter, 43, head of communications at the Department of Streets and Sanitation, “so instead we’re hoping to rebrand the issue and turn this problem into another idiosyncratic feature Chicagoans can be proud of, like dibs, political corruption, or sports teams that never win.”


“You know, in New York they think the roads gotta be all flat and boring,” said Nelson Bonadarski, 57, a proud Chicago native and early adopter of the new brand, “but here in Chicago we do things a little differently. We like our roads with big, jagged holes in them. It just makes driving more exciting!” 

To launch the campaign, signs have been placed around Chicago’s most turbulent thoroughfares encouraging drivers to “drive slowly to enjoy authentic deep dish street” and “expect drive times 45 minutes to an hour longer than usual.”  

“The nice thing about Chicago is that it’s really easy to activate everyone's sense of local pride,” said Carter. “All you have to do is insinuate one neighborhood might have the most or best potholes and we’ll have people out in the streets with hammers trying to win a competition that only exists to them.”


“Personally, I think Little Village has the best deep dish street,” said Bonadarski after we asked which areas of Chicago he thought needed the most work. “Some people are going to tell you it’s Dusable Lake Shore Drive, but that's deep dish street for tourists! Real Chicagoans do irreparable damage to the chassis of their cars out on Western or Pulaski!”

“Get the fuck outta here with that,” said Kurt Larson, 59, who heard our interview with Bondarski and joined in, turning visibly red in the face. “Everybody knows the best deep dish street is down south ‘round Gage Park! They’ve been ignorin’ the cracks and craters there for years! Drive down a side street too fast and your spine will fracture like a true Chicagoan!”

The Department of Streets and Sanitation will continue to accept reports of deep dish streets through 311, but only to catalog and post images to a fancam meant to boost tourism for out-of-town drivers with enough epicurean curiosity to come sample our city’s unique road style. Seeing the success of the new program, city officials have announced their next campaign will be to rebrand Chicago’s traffic as “the ‘95 Bulls of congestion.”

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