An object lesson that shows why the Federal Government should stay out of local affairs.

In the middle of August (yeah, I keep doing other things), I noticed that a whole bunch of new street signage started showing up in my small neighborhood in my tiny hamlet.  They were that bright bright new color mandated by the Federal Government – not just that “it’s a new sign” bright but bright enough that if you had your high beams on, the reflection “hurt”.  But that wasn’t really my bigger problem – take a listen:

So when I saw all these signs, I thought “What a waste of money – who authorized this stupidness”, so I called the Public Works Department.

I have to admit, the lady that answered the phone gracefully endured my micro-rant about this absolute waste of taxpayer money.  I reiterated (heck, she knew all this) that this is an “old” neighborhood – the folks that are “out here” (and we are rather isolated from the rest of the town) have been here for a couple of decades and there are very few children out this way.  Do we really needed this new signage?  Are we presupposed to be that dumb, after driving the only way out of the neighborhood thousands of times over the years, that we don’t realize there are sharp turns going down and up our “ravine”?  Are we to be led by the hand so that we don’t go too fast?  Sorry (ok, I’m NOT sorry), but we lived just dandy for decades knowing the driving risks of this road.

But the capper was the NO OUTLET sign (see the red X) on my property – here’s the map:

Stupid SignageSo,  how effective is that, after driving over a mile and a half just to get to that point, to THEN be told “oops, no further!”.  Wouldn’t it have been better to have put that back where they could turn back around and not waste their time (or for the Greenies reading the ‘Grok, expending all that gas and creating unnecessary CO2 emissions – heh!)?  That the STOP SIGN AHEAD sign (where there isn’t one)

Again, my premise was that my town had done this.  Instead, it turned out that this was done by an out of State firm paid by the 2009 Porkulus package.  They just willy-nilly mapped out places and just said “Plunk signage here” – simply because there was “free money”.

An object lesson:

  • The Feds show, once again, that just spending more money doesn’t always solve a problem
  • It also shows that the Feds are perfectly capable of finding a solution that has no problem
  • One-size-fit all “solution” mentality by the Feds shows that this expensive and doesn’t solve the problem it purports to fix
  • The hubris of the Feds thinking it knows better than the locals what ails them (if, indeed, there is an ailment to fix)
  • Local government often knows better what the local needs are and in this case, knew that a “fix” was unneeded  – for decades.  It does know, however (after learning the hard way from a couple of vicious accidents from ice and snow) that sending plow trucks out early solves a serious problem for us in winter time.

The lady chatted with my DPW honcho (who DOES do a great job with his department) and it was agreed that the NO OUTLET sign would be removed (and people would stop turning around in my driveway.  They also would remove the STOP SIGN AHEAD – as they didn’t think that putting in a STOP sign out my way, at that intersection, was cost effective.

A couple days later, the NO OUTLET sign was gone (although a few days later, I did call the DPW back to ask “Great, the sign is gone but when are you going to remove the pole?”  Heh!  They removed that and the STOP SIGN AHEAD at the same time (so even local town gets stuff wrong too) but:

  • Bad money spent in the beginning
  • then good money that could have been used for a useful purpose was spent to fix the bad money results.

and then you wonder why I am so ardently an advocate for local control?