Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New colors

OK, this has nothing to do with teaching, but I have nothing better to do, plus I'm curious ...

Walking home today, I noticed that Chicago has color-coded the no-parking signs tied to trees for the week of street cleaning. Red equals no parking on Tuesday. Yellow, no parking on Wednesday. Green, Thursday. For as long as I remember, they've been orange.

Seems like a terrible waste of money, doesn't it?

First, of all, there's the added cost of the color. Or maybe that price doesn't change? The signs have to be printed on some color, so maybe the different colors don't affect cost.

More importantly, though, what's always bothered me about this system is the cost of having people walk up and down each street in the city, once to put up the signs, and then again to take them down.

So, I'm curious ...

Is this system cheaper than putting up permanent signs, maybe one or two per block, that say something like "no parking on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month"? We already have plenty of other signs and posts, so there shouldn't be too much extra cost in that.

It seems that every city I've ever visited has some sort of permanent signs up on each block. Signs that don't get ruined in the weather, that won't fall off and disappear, that don't require constant distribution and collection.

And are there other cities out there that actually have people attaching cardboard signs to trees and lamp posts on the day of street cleaning?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This has bothered me, too. It's got to be cheaper in the long run to put up permanent signs.

People might get confused by the "fourth Thursday" business, but that would work to the city's advantage, right? More tickets!

FYI, though, the ink charge would be the same. The orange and black are 2-color signs, just like these.
--Jenska

A said...

I know that in Bucktown?Wicker Park the city has permanent signs that flash when it's a street cleaning day. Seems like it would be cheaper just to stake a few of these signs on each block than having to post cardboard signs every other week. Who knows though.


http://www.flores1stward.com/Services/StreetCleaningSchedule/tabid/103/Default.aspx

Anonymous said...

The deal with the flashing signs in Wicker Park is to let the residents know when the street cleaners have gone by so they don't have to wait until 3 to park. In difficult parking areas it makes sense but it's expensive. I guess for the rest of us it makes more sense for Union City Workers who make $40/hour walk around putting up signs.

Anonymous said...

I've seen some of those guys walking around and your lucky if they are not ex - convicts making $4 an hour. I think the paper signs and the meth heads who put them up are cheaper than the cost of all the steel and concrete it would take to put up thousands of permanent signs.

appopt said...

I don't know, I think every city block has enough existing posts that can accommodate "no parking" signs. And they don't need to be the fancy one with the flashing lights, either.

Anonymous said...

your lucky you get your streets cleaned! if they posted signs they'd have to clean on a regular basis.
those WP flashers have got to be expensive

spacedunce-5 said...

Our streets are cleaned at night regardless of the parking, and our sidewalks are sweeped every morning. By the way, a bachelor's degree is required to be a street cleaner. Must be the population density lol.

appopt said...

Hmmm ... maybe there's a future for me in Taiwan!