Friday, April 27, 2007

Signs of the times

Spring is in the air. Earthmovers move about, digging up random patches of land. Signs spring out of the ground. And the citizens of Winona Lake all wonder: What are they doing now?

Most of what I'm noticing these days has to do with the further construction of the bike path/greenway. And, I'm sorry to say, there are several parts of it that look either poorly thought-out, or downright unfriendly.

Winona Lake is acquiring a sad history of unfriendly signs; for many years, there were signs all over the place stating that "This Park is for the Use of the Village at Winona Patrons Only" ...which was offputting, to say the least, given that we'd been here longer than the Village, and it was previously just a public lawn. Those signs, fortunately are gone. More creative, I thought, were the ones stating "Parking in designated spaces only" ...with a notable absence of designated spaces nearby. But some, I can only look at in wonder, and ask, "What were they thinking?"

Take this one, for example:

This is, I must stress, on the lawn of the bike shop. Neither Nancy nor Rob were in at the moment, so I couldn't ask what was going on there, but I can't imagine they're pleased about it. No bikes! At a bike shop! If you want to say, "This is not the bike path you are seeking" then it would be better to put an arrow towards said bike path. Banning bicycles from that street isn't the answer. I might note that there's a similar sign right across the street. The deep irony there is that in about a week, they're going to be running a number of criterium-style bicycle races right down that very street!

Here's one that's just confusing, even a bit dangerous:

Use crosswalk? I don't see a crosswalk. There's a semicircular sidewalk, did they mean that? Are bikes supposed to go on the narrow sidewalk? If a cyclist makes that assumption, then there's trouble once s/he gets to the next sign:

Routing bicycle traffic down that little passageway looks like a recipe for disaster, especially given the two sets of double doors that open right into it. I can only hope that some future painted lines help clarify that cyclists should go on the asphalt; otherwise, there are going to be some painful accidents and probable lawsuits.

Here, though, is one that I agree with:

The bike route ends here. It was supposed to continue on for several miles, all the way to the other end of Warsaw. But Warsaw seems to have dropped that ball. So: Winona Lake: Kudos to you, in spite of the signs. Warsaw: get crackin', ya slackers!


Carolina Kerr said...

Careful! You're getting caught up in community involvement, and who knows where that might lead you! Did you get contaminated by my news blog, perhaps? This sounds like something I might post if it were Castilleja de Guzmán instead of Winona Lake.

Jonadab said...

Library-related blogs are constantly posting pictures of less-than-friendly signs in libraries, but these signs you posted are much better (err, worse). They're not just unfriendly: they're also confusing. It's almost as if they were designed by a committee.