Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Speed Humps

The town has been doing road improvements to our downtown area. Recently, they completed a majority of the work, including paving Main Street. Along with that, they installed what most folks call “speed bumps.” Caution signs went up in town. SPEED HUMPS, the signs read. Speed Humps? Hump was possibly selected because they are wider (or broader widthwise) than regular speed bumps. I found the signs disturbing for some reason. Am I the only one that feels embarrassed by humps on Main Street?

I’ve been scratching my head over these signs for a few weeks now. I had some great material for this blog regarding humps in town. (It needed cleaning up for public reading.) Before I could have my fun, and display my wit, new signs appeared this morning. “RAISED CROSSWALK” is the new definition for the speed bumps in town. Well, that’s better in my estimation. It seems I wasn’t the only one after all to think that HUMP wasn’t the best terminology to display on a sign.

I’ve read in the paper a few of the concerns citizens have about the new design and layout of our downtown. This is typical of course. I’m sure the open meetings to which citizens were invited to review the plans, were sparsely populated. This doesn’t prevent criticism, as I know from experience with the build of our current office space. (All water under the bridge.) Here are a few items that bother people.

We lost some parking spaces in front of the town hall. There is now a curbed off area with grassy looking plants. I’m not sure what type of plant they selected. They are wispy and look unkempt. The spaces and sidewalk were removed because the town hall roof has slate shingles. Slate shingles are known to come loose and slide off a roof. This has happened at the elementary school in town. The committee, wishing to keep citizens safe from a slate shingle to the noggin, took out the parking spaces and some of the sidewalk along the building. Never mind, folks say, that since 1886 when the building was erected, there hasn’t been one incident of a slate shingle falling into the street or taking someone out.

Most people, it seems, are happy to have the dummy back in place. Dummy? Yes, the town dummy is a traffic post that stands sentinel at the end of Main. It has been directing traffic since the 1920’s. Restored to its original state, it is, in my opinion, a relic worth keeping and adds to the unique character of the town. Too bad a big yellow sign was jabbed into the ground right in front of it to obscure the magnificent restoration. I’ll wait. If the hump signs change is any indication, I KNOW I am not the only one to see this flaw.

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