SATIRE: What's your sign?

Friday, July 5, 2019

I've heard grumbling lately about the new fluorescent "State Law: Yield to Pedestrians Within Crosswalk" signs that Cape Girardeau has installed smack dab in the middle of Broadway.

Oh, how the worm has turned!

I remember the city's "War on Signs" in 2006. The city fathers started aggressively enforcing the municipal sign ordinance, enraging business owners who faced the prospect of removing or redesigning their advertising signage. One business owner even went to jail over the matter.

Things have certainly changed since then. Cape Girardeau has relaxed its anti-sign position, at least when it comes to the city's own sign installations. Broadway is now a multi-colored cornucopia of garish placards such as "Bicycling Prohibited on Sidewalks," "Free Public Wi-Fi Zone," "Adopt-a-Street" and "No Trucks Allowed."

That last sign is a hoot: what exactly is a truck driver supposed to do when they encounter that sign for the first time? Make a U-turn in the middle of the Lorimier Street intersection? If they can do that without hitting one of those pedestrian markers, they deserve a medal for Driver of the Year.

Main Street also features a sign surplus. I find it rather amusing the city has stubbornly refused to admit the "No Left Turn" signs at the downtown clock are not working. The only sign more ignored in Missouri is "Slower Traffic Keep Right."

Don't get me started about the insanity near the future site of the indoor aquatic center. The intersection of Bloomfield Road and Minnesota Avenue is a paradox: it exists as both a four-way stop and a two-way stop at the same time. Driving on Bloomfield Road, you never know whether you are required to stop or not. I call it Schrödinger's Intersection.

Nevertheless, the explosion of signs around town indicates the city has made a refreshing change and is no longer paranoid about sign aesthetics. To embrace this brave new world, here are some more ideas for signs to enhance our cityscape:

Potholes Next 3 Million Miles

Stoplight Only Stays Green For 1.4 Seconds

Zombie Pedestrians Glued To Smartphones Ahead

Street Floods When River Rises -- 55% Of The Year

Road Covered With Gravel Runoff After Every Rain

Right Lane Ends -- 200 Feet Ago

Parking Available In Other Direction / U-Turns Prohibited / Ha Ha!

City Not Responsible For MoDOT's Poor Engineering Ahead

MoDOT Not Responsible For City's Poor Engineering Ahead

At Least This Isn't Illinois

Welcome To Capaha Park: Beware Of The Geese

Warning: University Parking Police Are The Most Efficient In The World

The Downtown Clock Is Not A Roundabout

Water Street Is Not Just a Name

Potholes Strategically Designed To Force You To Concentrate On Driving

Sharp Curve Ahead Averages 3 Wrecks Per Month

Normal Avenue -- Abnormal Intersections

Bike Lane Randomly Begins and Ends

Lane Markings Invisible During Rain / Might Be Hard To See In Dry Weather, Too

This Bridge Passed Inspection (Barely)

Bug Spray Only Makes Buffalo Gnats Angrier