If you live in New Orleans long enough, you will have to deal with the frustrations of crumbling New Orleans infrastructure, damaged streets, and potholes. One New Orleanian decided to do their part by creating an Instagram account that documents these New Orleans-street issues. Look at This F*ckin Street posts pictures daily of potholes, broken water mains, damaged sidewalks, random fires, and other local infrastructure “fails.”

I spoke with the person who runs the account to learn more about it and how it got its start.

“I used to drive around the Bywater and Marigny and I would go to turn on a street and there would be no street, or there would be a huge hole,” said the owner of the account, who prefers to remain anonymous. “I would literally say, ‘Look at this fucking street!’ and I thought it would be a funny Instagram account.”

The account started as a joke between friends in 2019. Since then, the account’s followers have grown to over 62 thousand. LATFS started with original photos from the account owner but now receives 50 to 100 submissions a day from concerned and annoyed citizens who want their street issues documented.

There are a few rules by which the account abides.

“I try not to post active roadwork that is going as planned,” the account owner explained. “I post the ones that have merit- either it’s something funny or especially bad. I will make an exception and post roadwork that has been left in a state of disarray for a very long time.”

LATFS has gotten the attention of some of the powers-that-be. The account has created a connection between what is happening in the streets and the departments responsible for fixing the problems. The city has also reached out to the account owner to discuss how government agencies can increase transparency.

The account owner explained, “Right away I had people from Sewerage and Water Board and the Department of Public Works give me some information about what was going on in some of the photos I was posting. The Department of Public Works will ask for the cross street on some of the posts that I make or pass the information on to Sewerage and Water Board if it’s something that that department can handle.”

Additionally, someone from the White House Office of Digital Strategy reached out to discuss how to connect the problems with local infrastructure to infrastructure issues throughout the country, including issues with bridges and roads in other states. The conversation was a part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which passed in November.

The owner of LATFS is happy that an account that started as a bit of a joke has put pressure on the people who are in control. The posts force those in power to do something about these issues.

“I didn’t set out to get the city to fix the streets, but it’s been fun to watch it actually happen,” the account owner said. “It’s gotten big enough so that people tag the city and people are being sent out to fix these issues in the streets.”

One example was a torn-up sidewalk in front of Okay Bar on Port St. that left the bar unable to open. The city repaired the sidewalk the night that LATFS posted about it.

Look at This F*ckin Street isn’t backing off on its mission anytime soon.

The account owner said, “Keeping the pressure on and engaging people has proven that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Look At These Streets

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