Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
—Five Man Electrical Band
Have you noticed how you can’t rely on signs? Road construction signs are particularly subject to misinforming drivers. But signs of all kinds can be subject to question or almost beyond belief.
The 2021 sewer and road construction projects were a great example of the misinformation of signs. There were Road Closed signs that people went around, detour signs ignored. Of course, sometimes that got you in trouble when suddenly that road was impassible. But throughout my years here, it often has seemed that drivers were given no warning. Suddenly, there’s a detour or “road closed” sign with absolutely no forewarning. Just, oops, can’t get there from here.
Not terribly long ago, someone in the city must have gotten a good deal on “Stop” signs or perhaps it was some sort of merchandising or ordering mishap. Nonetheless, suddenly stop signs were popping up everywhere like goat heads.
That long stretch of College Road? Suddenly, a stop sign and pedestrian crosswalk.
Surprise! A stop sign at Miller and Bursum. Excuse me? How can you run into another car when the road is an elbow?
At least that extra Stop sign on College has disappeared. And I guess they used up the Stop signs because now—have you noticed?—street “humps” are multiplying like flies in August.
Just recently, there was a billboard at the edge of Socorro advertising a Motel 6. Now I know there used to be a Motel 6 at the south end of town and I remembered seeing some evidence of renovation going on at that site. But, alas, the “Gazelle” sign remains on a shuttered building.
Then there are signs that really don’t make sense or at least make me wonder about drivers around here or what our state officials think of us. Do we need to administer an intelligence test as part of getting a driver’s license?
For example: “Hill Blocks View” Really? Geez I never would have known… And how about the signs on the plaza: Caution uneven surface. (How about “Yield to pedestrians” or something useful like that?)
Then there is the “No Illegal Dumping.” As in, oh goodie, I can dump legally or legal things not illegal ones or…?
I once heard a professional semi-truck driver say there are signs at some truck stops that say “This space for blind truckers only.” Yikes! Now that’s a scary thought!
And then there are the signs that are so old their message is hardly readable. Of course, Stop signs are obvious by their shape. But others are not so easy to interpret. I remember taking the dirt road south from Gran Quarai to Bingham a few years ago. There was a very old sign along that road, all shot up full of bullet holes as well as plenty of rust. I think it said, “No hunting.”