Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's your sign?

No, not that kind of sign (I'm a Leo, by the way). I am talking about street signs and I have seen some pretty random ones in the three years I've been commuting around the city of Cleveland. The sign that I have seen throughout the last week, placed on the busy highway I take home from work, takes the cake as the most random sign ever. It's a big orange sign located right before you drive under and overpass with the message,  "Clean Water Falling."

Ideally this is the kind of sign you would like to see in an art gallery where you can stand there, stare at it, back up, tilt your head to the side and stare at it again trying to analyze what the heck it could possibly mean. Unfortunately, when you see this sign right as you're coming around a sharp curve (known as Dead Man's Curve) and trying to slow down from 60 MPH to 35, you don't really have time for this sort of analysis. Instead, I found myself frantically trying to close the sunroof on my car so that this so called clean falling water wouldn't drip right into my car.

By the time my sunroof actually closed I was already past the overpass anyway so my attempt was pretty much an accident hazard and pointless. Lucky for me, I didn't get in an accident and there was no water (clean or dirty) falling from the overpass as the sign claimed. I have seen this sign several times over the last week and still am yet to spot any water dripping. Maybe it's just a test to see if anyone takes the warning seriously and closes their sunroof. If that's the case, I guess I win (except for the fact that it didn't close in time, so I guess I lose?).

At the risk of offending people, I have to share another random sign that exists down the street from our house. The sign is yellow and reads: "DEAF PERSON." Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with warning drivers of people in the area with disabilities. I think it's great. The problem I have is with the method being used to spread this message. A sign posted on a telephone pole near the street, not associated with any particular house or driveway really does nothing for me but cause anxiety. Maybe that's the point, to make people anxious and more aware of their surroundings so that in turn they will be more careful. But my anxiety is not going to keep this deaf person any safer. If I see someone in the road, my immediate reaction will still be to honk my horn, regardless of the fact that there's a chance the person might be deaf and won't hear it. Plus, there's no way to know the person is deaf anyway. The only way this sign could possibly be effective is if the deaf person were actually wearing it. I'm not advocating this, by the way, just making a statement about effectiveness.

There is a similar sign in Lakewood only this yellow sign reads: "BLIND PERSON." Now this sign might be a little bit more helpful because there are a few things I can look for like a seeing eye dog and a walking stick and I know that honking my horn will send the appropriate warning.

But seriously, are there people out there who see these signs and actually think, "Well, normally I wouldn't be mindful of people (or children) in the road but given the fact that they might be deaf or blind, I probably should watch out for pedestrians." Isn't the goal to ALWAYS watch out for pedestrians? I don't know about you, but personally I avoid hitting anyone (or anything) with my car at all costs, regardless of whether or not they can see or hear.

What crazy street signs have you seen?

2 comments:

Kristen said...

I saw one, but it was in Braille and I couldn't read it!

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