Friday, August 31, 2007

Signs: Part 2

AP swears this single, solemn promise to its loyal readers: every time a sign makes the news we will cover it.

(AP has always been fascinated with signs. They have the potential to be very useful--a picture conveys a thousand words, and so forth. They can also go very wrong--graffiti, overgrown trees, and vandals all threaten the viability of the sign franchise. My favorite signs of all time:
1. Watch for immigrants trying to cross the border!
2. A very useful traffic pattern sign. Not too many words, and you understand completely what the sign is telling you.)

And now for this sign. Apparently the city and the Moreland Pkwy Holding Company are involved in a legal dispute regarding who should fix the awful potholes on that street. Businesses on that street, fed up with customers who won't drive to their businesses as a result of the poor driving conditions, have taken matters into their own hands, only to be quelled by the planning and zoning gestapo.

It just strikes me as funny...when the city doesn't want to fix the road, the road belongs to private owners. When the city doesn't like a sign on the road, the road belongs to the city and they can order the sign removed.

This kind of hypocrisy happens all the time with government. I am in the catering business, and I am required to comply with health department regulations. You have to get certified by the health department in order to operate. I have to spend many resources doing this, but if I (God forbid) were to get somebody sick and that person sues me, the health department will not help me at all. If they deem me qualified to receive certification, which they demand, shouldn't they be partially responsible if in fact I was not qualified.

I am using this example to illustrate the nature of governments. So often the government does what is convenient, not necessarily what is fair. Similarly, in many cases our local governments are confrontational. If public sector, and private sector, and citizens all work together--instead of against each other--we could get a lot more done.

So for you workers who know how to pave roads, I will be happy to cater your lunch when you fix Moreland Parkway.


Brian Griffiths said...

I am partial to this sign...

Anonymous said...

It would seem that the best way to eliminate sign clutter in the city would be to slap a sticker on each one urging folks to call the mayor's office. Signs would be collected by the truckload!

I'm amazed at the efficiency in which this particular sign was removed.