Pinpoint the potholes

Want to get something done about the potholes that riddle Greek roads? The Panos Mylonas Road Safety Institute and Pin Project can help. They have set up an interactive website where members of the public can pinpoint road conditions that put drivers and pedestrians at risk. Simply log on to and you have the option of selecting a map. Using electronic pins you can indicate places where there are potholes, concealed signposts or traffic lights, a slippery road surface or poor street lighting. You can «insert» the pin (color-coded blue, yellow and red, according to the level of danger) and leave a comment. Then a team of volunteers carry out on-site inspections at the places marked to establish if there is a problem and how serious it is. Then the Mylonas Institute informs the local mayor by letter that the volunteers will visit the local authorities with the results of their inspection (photographs and comments). Then the pin on the website changes shape to show what stage the process has reached. It turns green when the problem has been rectified. The site has been in operation for about a month and volunteers have shown interest in hundreds of locations. Just last weekend, 800 pins were added to the map, transport specialist and institute member Notis Paraskevopoulos told Kathimerini. The institute trains volunteers in each municipality, sharing expertise on how to conduct on-site inspections and appointing a leader for each team, usually based on their availability. The team leaders coordinate the volunteers and the inspections. The aim is get the inspections started by the end of November, and in 2008 to confer an award on the mayor who has taken action on the most cases.