I don't disagree with you and in the context of this article and think it's ridiculous that this is allowed to happen.
But comments meant nothing unless from informed people, though slashdot does have a substantial well read base, I would only take them with a grain of salt, most people are just complaining they don't like it, doesn't mean it might not be the right thing...thought it could very well be the wrong thing.
Though I do wonder what benefits they are getting out of these things?
Maybe there is some sociopathic reason, to use your example of potholes, because i do love examples:
The pot holes they fix save 100 people a year for the sake of sacrificing one person.
Do I think it's right that the US has it's arms here? hell no!
But I do also not know the reason why even though there is common ground of people not liking it why it was still done? On this case I think I am uninformed as there may be many benefits due to some agreement that we are getting out of it that like the example above it's better for more people then we can immediately see as we only notice the people getting sold down the river.
It's important people stand up for what they believe, but my general point was people generally are uninformed and will just vehemently oppose something they do not understand.
For the moment I don't like it and don't think it's right...But i'm uninformed and not going to take it at face value until it can be explained what...if any the benefits "filled potholes" may be.
If it's really is that bad, then i'll get up on my soap box (aka FB and twitter haha) and complain to the world(the few people who will see it) how screwed up i think it is. On this one if there is no greater than benefit i would be a part of a petition if it was at all possible.