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February 02, 2009

Fortified Traffic Information

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I suppose I should have noticed it sooner. No doubt the stuff was in place the last time I was in the Los Angeles area. But better late than whenever.

It's the barbed wire. The concertina type, actually. Or as best I can tell when cruising the freeways at 65 miles per hour (lucky me, that day on good old California 60).

And what is all that barbed wire protecting? Those large, green freeway information signs attached to overpasses or cantilevered over the roadway. You know, the ones announcing upcoming exits and that sort of thing.

Apparently the barbed wire was placed to protect the signs from graffiti artists, taggers and other paint spray-can jocks. The signs attached to overpasses have concertina wire along their edges in the manner of a picture frame, making it hazardous to reach across the sign. For those affixed to frames anchored to a post on the side of the road, the post is wrapped with the wire near its top to prevent graffiti guys from getting to the sign.

Small green signs attached to medial barriers and other places tend to be unprotected and are often liberally sprayed.

Apparently Caltrans (the state highway department) hasn't yet gotten word that graffiti represents an important art form and avenue of cultural expression.



posted by Donald at February 2, 2009


Trivia: the official name for a big green sign like you describe is ... Big Green Sign.

Posted by: Peter on February 3, 2009 9:32 AM

Actually, California is going to use some of its bail-out money on a multi-cultural sensitivity project, a special highway to be beautified by spray-paint graffiti artists.

It will be called the Avenue of Cultural Expression.

Posted by: Rick Darby on February 3, 2009 3:57 PM

I have always contended that places where graffiti (or multi-media cultural expression) stays up for a while means its not people by civilized hominids. They are the kind of people who would defecate directly into their own drinking water.

Posted by: ColoradoRight on February 5, 2009 1:36 PM

Graffiti is cyclical in LA. It peaked in the bad years of the early 1990s, then made a comeback after Villaraigosa was elected mayor in 2005. It doesn't seem to be as bad right now as in 2006-2007.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on February 5, 2009 5:19 PM

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