Walker Police attempts to plug potholes with humorous social media post

Potholes in Walker (Source: WAFB)
Potholes in Walker (Source: WAFB)
Walker Police Chief John Sharp (Source: WAFB)
Walker Police Chief John Sharp (Source: WAFB)

WALKER, LA (WAFB) - Just a few minutes into the drive down Florida Boulevard in Walker between Juban and LA 447, the problems quickly start to pile up, including uneven lanes, loose gravel, and of course, potholes.

"It's just a rough ride," said Walker Police Captain John Sharp.

Sharp says they have been slammed with calls over the past several weeks with unending complaints about the road. "We had a lot of vehicles that experienced damage to their tires or people said they had hit their heads on the ceiling and things like that," Sharp added.

Wednesday, he took to the department's social media, dubbing the problem the "Walker Warzone," citing the conditions as substandard and even warning drivers to call for help if they see a car in front of them "drive into a pothole and disappear."

"There were some potholes out here that looked like maybe a grenade had gone off," said Sharp. "There were some pretty substantial d rop-offs, but it was probably an exaggeration as well."

A day later, Sharp admits it may not be quite as treacherous as he described online, but he says the post exploded overnight. "I guess some folks thought that was funny and maybe 75,000 to 80,000 people may have seen that and we like to add a little humor where we can," said Sharp.

Some users even added to the humor. One driver said she saw the road "open up in front of her to try and swallow her car before spitting it back out" and another driver said the post made her Christmas. Sharp says it's great to make the best out of a bumpy situation, but he believes the joke may have also gotten the ball rolling a little faster on the troubled road.

"I know that DOTD is a follower of our page and I noticed this afternoon that low and behold, Santa Claus came and there's a layer of asphalt out there and some center lines where there wasn't yesterday, so I'd like to think that was because of our post," he added.

While DOTD has already worked to address those potholes, Sharp still encourages drivers to be careful, saying there is still loose gravel and uneven lanes, which could make the commute pretty dangerous. "Be prepared," said Sharp. "The slower you're going, the better chance you have of avoiding damage to your vehicle or yourself."

The funny post was shared more than 300 times on Facebook and attracted many new eyeballs to the department's Facebook page. Sharpe is now hoping the humor will give more serious posts a few more miles online in the future.

"We have 6,300 people here in Walker, but we have about 25,000 people that follow us on social media," he said. "If I can add 150 people with a periodic humorous post, that's more people we're able to reach out to in the event of an emergency."

Sharp wants to be clear that the post was in no way a swipe against DOTD, but rather a way to inject some humor into a troubling situation.

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