I would like a word with the good people at the sign making shop of the Texas Department of Transportation. Because in my mind I think they have an issue with a tiny thing I call “proper emphasis.”
For those of us living around Canyon Lake, we’ve been subjected to the joy of road construction, which has resulted in an increase in road cursing. First we all were mad because it seemed like all they were doing was tearing up the roads and making them much worse. Since, as drivers, we clearly knew more about road construction than anyone, we all filled up our neighborhood complaint boards with our own opinions about how our tax dollars were being used to destroy our vehicle alignments.
Then, when the layers of asphalt were being applied, we were all irritated because we live in an area with not a lot of road options. If you missed the pilot car that led your side of the road down the single lane, you could be waiting for what felt like half of your adult life for your turn to go.
For those of us with ice cream in the back seat, it was a precarious time.
But for me and our daughter Mireya, our biggest beef was this one particular sign they had up during construction. You’ve seen it a million times around here. It’s the one that reads “Obey Warning Signs. State Law.”
First of all, this seems a little weird to me. Aren’t we supposed to obey all the signs the state tosses up on the side of the road? Are speed limit signs just suggestions? How about stop signs? Or yield signs? (Okay, yield signs have always been a little suspicious as far as signs go, what with the upside-down triangle-ness, but we give them the benefit of the doubt.)
Secondly, aren’t warnings literally things you are supposed to obey? For example, if someone sees a sign that says “Warning Dead End” don’t they take it seriously? Are there people who see that sign and think “I’ll bet it’s not really a dead end, let’s just gun it?”
But the biggest problem we had with the sign was that the words along the bottom, the words “State Law,” were the biggest ones on the sign, much bigger than “Observe Warning Signs.” Does that make sense? If we are insisting people do things, isn’t that more important than the fact that it’s the law? Isn’t everything on a highway sign the law in some way, shape or form? Why do we even need to point that out?
I’m sure the fact there is even a sign that says pay attention to signs is a sign of bigger
problems than one little column like this one can address. However, if anyone has a friend in the state’s sign department, we’d appreciate if you’d make a call. After all, if we’re going to be waiting in a line while our ice cream melts, we should at least have signs with the right emphasis.