PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Graphic graffiti painted over potholes in Northeast Portland could be an effort to get them fixed. Many are wondering if the markings are a form of activism, vandalism or something else.

“It’s certainly attention-getting,” neighbor Kris Rapp said.

Paint outlining potholes and bumps in the road near NE 67th and Pacific looks a little phallic to some residents. Debbie Bain told KOIN 6 News she thinks the graffiti artist struck in the middle of the night.

“It does look a little, um, interesting,” Bain said. “Sunday night it was not there, I got up Monday morning and saw it.”

Painting images over potholes, and even planting flowers in them, have been tactics used in other cities to speed up repairs.

“It’s pretty hilarious, really,” neighbor Drew Nieslanik said. “It really just kind of looks like a flower, but if you stand in the right place, you get the gist of what he’s trying to go for there.”

In response to the markings, the Portland Bureau of Transportation said it would be more productive for locals to report potholes through the city hotline. A transportation official said they want people to respect public property, and know that graffiti impacts the livability of neighborhoods.

But in the Northeast Portland neighborhood where the markings were found, not everyone agrees.

“If it gets the job done, I mean, this isn’t harming anyone really,” Nieslanik said. “It might be worth giving it a shot.”

To report a pothole in your neighborhood, PBOT urges you to call their 24-hour maintenance hotline at 503.823.1700. For more information on pothole and sinkhole repairs in your area, click here.