April 6, 2018 / 12:44 PM / 18 days ago

Potholes as flower pots? Brussels protester brightens up damaged roads

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Brussels man has begun planting flowers in potholes across the Belgian capital to highlight what he says is the sorry state of many of the city’s roads.

Brussels resident Anton Schuurmans waters flowers after planting them in an unrepaired pothole to draw attention to the bad state of public roads in Brussels, Belgium April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Armed with a bag full of flowers, soil and a small plastic watering can, Anton Schuurmans walks around town planting daffodils or geraniums in every pothole he finds, sometimes braving heavy traffic to reach the middle of busy crossings.

“Pedestrians, bicycles, people with their cars, everybody is being annoyed by these potholes,” said 29-year-old Schuurmans, standing outside Brussels’ gothic cathedral, where he had just planted several flowers.

People stopped and took pictures on their phones as they walked by the flowers, many agreeing that the potholes had become a problem.

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“There are many potholes in the street in front of my house, so we hear a lot of noise every evening as people drive over them quickly,” said Mathieu Taziaux, who works in Brussels.

Schuurmans, who moved to Belgium from the Netherlands seven years ago, said his floral protest had already had some success in persuading the council to act, pointing across the street to a newly repaired patch of road.

“At least one pothole has been repaired two days after I planted the flower in it,” he said. “I was quite happy to see that.”

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Robin Pomeroy

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