Road side signs can be useful although it seems like there are just too many of them. It was around April or May of last year (2011) that the Maine Department of Transportation installed a new yellow diamond shape warning sign at the end of our driveway. They dug the hole, put in the steel sign post and fastened a brand new sign that read “HIDDEN DRIVE” with the symbol below that indicates a hidden drive. I can’t say I was thrilled about this new sign being erected at the end of our driveway but we are located on a State road where the speed limit is posted at 45 miles per hour (which of course means people drive 55 mph and faster) and not too far beyond our home the road begins to curve and there are homes located on this curve. So it is true these driveways are hidden until you come right up on them and if it at all helps to protect our neighbors from getting hit by a fast moving vehicle then I’m in favor of the sign.
Today we saw a DOT truck and crew working on this sign. The sign had not been damaged in any way and we noticed that they were taking down the “HIDDEN DRIVE” sign and installing another sign that read “HIDDEN DRIVE” with the symbol below it. That’s right…they were replacing the sign with a new copy of the same sign that wasn’t even one year old yet? I asked the guys jokingly if the old sign was spelled wrong. The response was ….well it’s a long story. I asked if it was a slightly different color although it looked the same. One of the guys said it might have a different reflective design for higher visibility. Then one of them said if the signs aren’t dated correctly they have to replace them to “meet the mandate.” It seemed that they were trying to find something sensible to say to me about a very non-sensible event.
I’m not sure how much one of these signs cost and I’m not sure how much each of these three gentleman earn but if you add it all up you’ll have to agree that it doesn’t add up. There has to be better use of time and energy for our tax dollars.