So I recently found out that granting an enforceable, reduced-speed school zone sign with the blinking lights in front of my neighborhood’s above ground subterranean school that currently (going on 13 months now) has no identifying signage because it was demolished during a DOT (we think) inspired storm drain operation rests in the hands of … .>drumroll please!< … the school board.
Not the local politician, as the school board wanted me to believe about 5 years ago when I started caring about this situation.
Nor the local police department as the state department of transportation suggested.
Nor the state department of transportation as the local politician suggested.
Nor the department of education as the state legislators wanted us to believe.
Nor the state legislators as the local legislators proposed.
The principal? We get crickets from her on most community issues. Usually it takes a stand-down during a PTA meeting to get her to consider anything out of the box (i.e., requiring independent thought).
Oh, I get it now: the children should build the sign and dig the holes to put the sign’s stakes in. Where in the Dickens is Dickens when you need someone to write about this?
We have “SCHOOL” painted on the road, but no school zone. So what’s the point of the school zone? Why paint the road at all? For the “Alphabet” game? To teach people how to spell “school” when they’re speeding 17 miles over the posted speed limit? No point putting in signs that denote “end of school zone” because … the school zone doesn’t exist.
The painted “SCHOOL” on the road is a mirage. A drug-induced hallucination that only appears when you are wondering why that mound of green with the windows, doors, children out front (oh, I’m sorry — no, that area is now a parking lot, excuse me…) and the school buses are for.
But we have learned that signs have no meaning here. Especially the ones with words. Because we’re multicultural now. That’s right: The Old Dominion, former home of slavery, has determined that a day-glo green pentagon with figures holding bags denotes “SCHOOL” so that our non-English speaking drivers wouldn’t confuse it with the shopping center across the street where people actually do carry bags.
This is bullshit. I am part of a task force appointed by an ambitious first-term republican politician to find ways to make my neighborhood safer for pedestrians. I am one of now three women. We are strong women, but we are reluctant to say anything controversial or continual lest we be considered “nags” or “whiney housewives.” No one has accused us of this, but we feel the vibe.
Don’t worry men… we have our opinions about you.
The other 12 or so members are men. They are mostly decent and good people, but a couple are straight-up blowhards who truly believe their own press.
“I work for elected officials…” one of them says to me.
What the hell does that mean? I breathe to myself.
This one is the chief of the double speak; most of us have fallen for his baiting into drawn-out discussions a couple times so he can bloviate and captivate the mentally defunct in the room but we’re all savvy now. We just let him say his thing, nod, smile and give him an imaginary cup of jell-o with some apple juice and wheel him to his window in the corner. Make sure he has his blanket; it can get cold out there on top of the world.