Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Does someone in New Haven's Dept. of Traffic & Parking Have a Sense of Humor?

I am always impressed with those bloggers who seem to carry their cameras around, snapping photos of cool bikes and cyclists they encounter along their way. I am not one of these people; I'm lucky to remember my keys daily, forget a 'real' camera as well. So when I come upon a scene I so wish I could document, sometimes I just need to pull out my cheapy mobile phone and capture the image, however fuzzy and grainy it may be!

Today I came upon such a scene....

First, a wee bit on introduction. Up until this spring, New Haven had regularly scheduled street-sweeping. Posted along blocks were permanent signs letting folks know that in certain months, there would be no parking on this side of the street on this particular block 'each alternate Wednesday' or whatever the case may be, and it changes from block to block so one constantly needs to checks signs and dates. The city was always suddenly incredibly efficient on these street-sweeping days-- you would see a police car with a line of tow trucks behind it making loops around neighborhoods, ready to tow away any errant parker. It is difficult to meet a car-owning Elm City resident who hadn't gotten towed one time or another since the street-sweeping days can easily sneak up on you.

However, hit by a winter filled with snow that cost the city a lot to plow, the street sweeping signs this spring suddenly disappeared, in what I can only assume a cost-saving move for the Department of Traffic and Parking or the DOT or whichever city agency is in charge of maintaining our streets. Instead of twice monthly, regularly scheduled street sweeping, these temporary "No Parking" cardboard signs announcing sweeping tomorrow will appear randomly (or at least randomly in my mind) taped to trees and sign poles. As a cyclist, one big bummer of the cutback in street sweeping is the huge amounts of broken glass I am constantly dodging while riding throughout the city-- piles of green, white, and red shards waiting to puncture my tires, remaining for days, weeks, months (?)... I do wonder, too, about the employee whose job it is to drive around neighborhoods hanging signs and just what his/her wage may be for this act.

So today, while riding home from work, I passed this and had to turn around to get a fuzzy snap with my non-fancy camera phone:

So does someone in New Haven's Department of Traffic and Parking have a sense of humor? Is s/he a bike lover or hater? Or was someone trying to send the message that it is time to get rid of your car, get yourself a bike, and forever free you from worrying about which side of the street you park on?
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Check out, too, this post by Let's Go Ride a Bike discussing women and bikes. You may recognize a comment by a certain bakfiets-riding mama.

11 comments:

Jennifer said...

Very funny! Any chance we can see a photo of the bakfiets with streamers and red die valve caps?

MamaVee said...

that's really funny. so permament too.

I think I was never towed!!! lucky me.

sara said...

@Jennifer-- Oh yes, that will be upcoming in another post talking about some upgrades we made to our bikes. Stayed tuned! They look sweet.

Terra said...

There are some great other blogs about being lycra free, and wearing normal clothes while riding a bike - and even looking STYLISH. they are so cool. i got lost in some of them for hours one night. I'll share later. gotta head to bed.

Terra said...

here it is:
a list of 50 of some of the good ones:

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/features/top-50-cycling-blogs/

Jennifer said...

yipee!

Andrea said...

Hilarious (I think!) And great comments on the other blog...so glad I was your inspiration for the baks! You'd be horrified to know how many dozens of miles I'm driving every day to ferry kids back and forth to camps and daycares! And I haven't been on my own bike once this summer.

sara said...

@ Terra-- I read quite a few of those blogs. I am a BIG fan of Dottie & Trisha at Let's Go Ride a Bike

@ Andrea-- You are ABSOLUTELY responsible for our introduction to the bakfiets & we are forever grateful. So you may be driving a lot, but your commitment to living lightly on the earth is sooooo impressive & unmatched to anyone else I know.

Jen said...

That is too funny! Great pic!

Trisha said...

What luck that you happened to have your camera that day -- great shot! Add me to the list of those who would love to see a pic of your Bakfiets all kitted out...

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