Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Every morning as I drive along the San Diego Freeway into Seal Beach/Los Alamitos, I pass by one of these informational signs Caltrans has put up to warn drivers of hazards ahead, to announce Amber Alerts and to spread general state propaganda. If you're unfamiliar with these signs, see the Steve Martin movie "LA Story," a romantic comedy made about ten years ago.

In the movie, the sign went independent and began advising Martin's character regarding his love life.

On my freeway, the sign of which I speak has been turned off for several weeks now. When Caltrans went to warn San Diego Freeway travelers that the transition to the San Gabriel Freeway was closed for construction a couple of weeks ago, did they use this sign for an advisory? No! They left it turned off and trundled out a trailer sign. They set it up virtually under the permanent sign and used that one to advise of the closure. Is this cool?

The most obvious thought? The permanent sign is broken and the shovel supports at Caltrans found it easier to bring out a trailer sign than to fix the six-figure permanent sign. Six or eight people would have to go out there, in over 80-degree heat, lugging a wrench and a pliers. One of them would have to get out of the air conditioned van, into the searing sunlight and remove the inspection cover. After lunch, one of them would have to look inside. O! Trauma!

I wonder if the sign went independent like the one in the movie, saying things like, "With the third highest state taxes in the country, why can't they fix the roads?" and "More government, more crime," etc.

Col. Hogan

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