Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Small Town Tax Dollars At Work

Last fall, two minor projects got underway in the town of Milton. One was the installation of gates across at least two footpaths in town. The other was a new electronic sign to replace the old ‘Community Events’ sign at Main & Ontario, across from the Mall.

I can only guess that Parks & Recreation had a budget surplus that they needed to spend before the end of the year, because I can't think of any other reason for such busywork.

The gates struck me as particularly useless. They are of the type designed to prevent automobiles from going down bike paths, or I suppose to discourage bicyclists from speeding through and knocking pedestrians over. They aren’t especially attractive, and since there is open grass on either side they only seem to encourage walkers and bikers to go around and tear up the grass instead of staying on the path. Or people just open the gate.

The worst part of this plan was setting up these gates across the street from a High School. This of course resulted in one of them being torn completely out of the ground within a week of being installed.

The sign looked like it was going to be quite nice, although I wasn’t sure why the old one needed replacing. This was one of those signs that had stuff about local concerts, the Fall Fair, the farmers’ market, etc. You know, useful information. They had just finished some very extensive landscaping on that spot only two or three years ago that was now being torn up again. The price of progress, I suppose.

The new sign is one of those fancy electronic pixel boards that can scroll text, blink on and off, simulate fireworks, and do all kinds of other cool effects. Unfortunately it’s only half the size of the old sign, making the glowing letters difficult to read from across the intersection. And even with the letters that small you still wouldn’t be able to fit in as much text as before.

This doesn’t look like it’s going to be a problem, though, since all the new sign has said since it went online a month ago is… ‘Happy New Year!’ Then the date. And the time. And the temperature. Then ‘Happy New Year!’ again.

I suppose we should just be grateful that it isn't blinking '12:00'.

It’s ok though, ‘cause you can still read the handy local event information on the rental sign that they now have parked right next to the new sign.


1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize that there were still footpaths in Milton that they hadn't built houses on....