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Man in Hot Water Over His Pothole Drawings

NZ's Geoff Upson has been depicting penises on dozens of potholes to get them fixed faster
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2021 9:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Geoff Upson has had it with the potholes littering the streets of his New Zealand community, but the way he's been handling this grievance now has him facing prosecution. In 2018, the 30-year-old Auckland handyman registered his first complaint with local transportation authorities about one particularly "huge and dangerous" pothole. He says he received no response, even after nearly two dozen follow-ups. That's when, he tells Vice, he acted "out of frustration," spray-painting his very first penis around the annoying mini-crater. Since then, he estimates he's graffitied "well over 100" other potholes, not all of them with penises, becoming somewhat of a local hero—except to Auckland Transport, which is now threatening legal action.

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Agency spokeswoman Natalie Polley tells the New Zealand Herald that Upson's actions not only put him in danger of being hit by a car (he says he wears a safety vest), but also put at risk other drivers who could get distracted by his eye-catching drawings. Upson says he's willing to scrub the graffiti as soon as the potholes are fixed, but Polley says AT plans on filing a complaint with police over his actions. She also says the agency will pass along to Upson the cost it takes to remove the drawings, which could reach $2,500 per area, mostly due to the traffic management needed while the work is being completed. Upson's fans, however, continue to support the phallic artistry of the self-dubbed "road safety proclaimer," with one commenter noting under one of his recent Facebook posts: "Keep up the good work mate." ("Wanksy" had a similar idea in the UK.)

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