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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

DH and I took a road trip out East recently.  On the way home, we got into a discussion about how much money our government seems to waste on signs.  I mean, I know that some, maybe most,  signage is necessary.  But when you think about the labor and materials that must be involved in the production of these things, I think I’ve hit on a way to cut government spending. Here are some of the ones whose necessity hangs in the balance for me:

#1.  Falling Rock—this one seems like the little boy who cried wolf. a) I have never seen a rock fall in one of these areas, and b) if a rock did fall as I was driving by, I’m not sure being warned it COULD happen would do me any good.  If a rock falls, I will try to avoid it.  But if a rock falls in an area without such a sign, I will also try to avoid it.  No sign—same result.

#2. Walk time shortened when train approaches—isn’t this a matter of common sense?  A very active  train track cuts through the middle of our small town and runs just a few yards north of the busiest intersection on Main Street.  There are FOUR of these signs at that intersection—one on each corner.  Now, for years, pedestrians crossed the street there, and I don’t remember a single one walking headlong into a train.  If a train approached, they either speeded up or slowed down, got across the tracks before the gates came down, or waited it out.  No one had to tell them their walk time would be shortened because of the train.  That was something they knew innately.  So who came up with this sign, and why did he feel it was necessary?

#3.  Speed monitored by aircraft—again, is this something that warrants a warning?  I don’t remember ever seeing a sign that says State trooper shooting radar at mile marker 103, so why do I need to be warned they’re monitoring my speed from the sky?  Is this a Big Brother ploy to make me suspicious of every airplane I see while I’m traveling?  If there are no planes around, can I go as fast as I want, secure in the knowledge that no one on the ground will be checking my speed?  And where are the warning signs telling me I’m no longer in that air-monitored area?

#4. No Pedestrians

No Bicycles

No Animals

This one is found on the entrance ramps to interstate highways.  I have no problem with the first two parts of this one.  It’s the No Animals that causes me to pause.  Does this mean I can’t legally  have my pet in the car?  Are cattle and horses, etc. not allowed to be transported on interstates?  Or is this one directed toward wild animals—the deer, raccoons, armadillos, skunks, groundhogs, opossums—that find their eternal sleep along our interstates?  If only they’d read the sign!  Couldn’t we at least save the ink that’s needed to print that line … make the sign shorter, thus cutting down on the amount of metal used?

So what do you think?  Care to join my cause?  What signs do you think are superfluous and why?





12 Responses

  1. LOL! These are great. I can’t off the top of my head think of any superflous signs, but I know I’ve seen some. Waste is everywhere. My biggest beef is all the stupid mailings. Things like “We took the loan payment of 400.00 out of your checking account”. Uh, I know. I set up the automatic payment. I see it on my statement every month. So why waste the money to send me a notice? It’s stupid and wasteful. And the government does it, too. Guess everyone is so worried about offfending idiots that they waste everyone’s money.

    Such is the world we live in, I guess. Nice post 🙂

    • Yep, that statement is most certainly in the same vein of overstating the obvious. Oh, and I erred; there are actually 8 of those walk time shortened signs!!!
      LOL! Thanks for chiming in this morning.

  2. I love Canadians, they have the best road signs. Near Pincher Creek, Alberta: “Caution, Wild Animals on Road”. And another we see frequently: “Important Intersection Ahead”.

    I always feel bad for the unimportant intersections. Must be hell on their self esteem.

    • LOL! That reminds me of one we saw in England–Elderly People Crossing, complete with two figures, one of which was stooped over:-) We had to have a picture of that one.

  3. These are great! 🙂 This is the main reason I love to travel by car. Lots of wonderful countryside you miss when you fly. And we’ve seen some pretty strange things along the way too. The “Falling Rock” sign just freaks me out. Some of those aren’t rocks…they are boulders!! LOL

    • Traveling by car is the best. Plenty of things to keep our minds occupied–maybe too many! 🙂

  4. Wow. You and Dick drank the old-people-grumpy kool-aid! LOL LOL

    Honestly, I’ve never ever given a thought the signs. Falling Rocks isn’t a warning that rocks will fall on you. It’s a warning that there may be rocks on the road that could making driving hazardous.

    Our government spending money on such ridiculous things that IMHO, $ spend on signs doesn’t begin to touch. One study I remember the government paid for was how long it took to cook breakfast. What difference does it make? Waste of tax dollars.

    How about all the $$ spent to rebuild countries we’ve bombed while our own infrastructural is crumbling around us!

    • Whew, Cyndi, you said a mouthful (or would that be typed a handful?). Way too many tax dollars spent on the ridiculous. Even with your explanation of the falling rock thingy, I still think it’s silly. If a FALLEN ROCK (which is actually how it should read) is in my path, I’ll swerve whether they warn me or not 🙂

  5. ha! this was great! I know I’ve seen some of these that just left me going…wha? but I can’t think. might have to come back!

  6. I’d guess that 99% of the time these are liability issues. The problem isn’t government waste. The problem is attorneys and f’in morons who force government (and business and even sometimes individuals) to put up these things.

    It’s usually either someone suing because they were stupid or threatening to sue because they think it’s an issue. Anyone see the episode of Modern Family where Claire is trying to force the town to put up a stop sign because of one person who speeds through the neighborhood? THAT’S why we have some of these signs. 🙂 Or someone got hit by a falling rock and sued and claimed if they’d been warned, it wouldn’t have happened.

    Also, I’m pretty sure most of the time these signs are made by inmates, so that cuts some of the costs and gives them something to do. 🙂

    • I’m sure you’re right, Natalie. In our litigious-happy society, being on the offensive is always smart.


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