Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Does

The City of Charleston's peninsula is its most historic section, the site of its oldest buildings and its most challenged and challenging thoroughfares. It is geological pranks rather than neglect by the City which more often challenges the surfaces of our paved roadways.

The keyword is "city" for that's what we are, an urban complex of commercial and residential structures the access to which is not always an easy task. We are a very old city, but a fully functioning one and not a museum or theme park. People live and work here and need to connect their lives. Between us and our appointed rounds are slow moving horse drawn carriages which often ignore stop signs and the cars blocked behind them. Ditto for tour busses. We have much needed infrastructure repairs in progress all over town and we have a lot of tourists who are as stuck as the locals by these annoyances.

The new challenge is neither geological nor deferred maintenance, but part of the process of "suburbanization" of Charleston. The city has many new residents who are either unaware of what urban life is about or are simply hard core suburbanites. If they could erect cute little wooden signs reading " 13 MPH " such as found at Kiawah Island, they'd feel more at home.

The favorite scheme of the not-ready-for-peninsula-Charleston set is the speed hump. We used to call them "speed bumps," but they prefer the term "hump," a verb more accurately describing their effect upon orderly transit in our city. This is suburbanization in action. It is a staple of the Nanny Statists, but mostly it's the self-centered who are humping the rest of us. They are usually the squeaky wheel which the City must oil. It's a dunce of a plan which creates additional contempt for traffic control devices. The fool who wants one in front of his house gets what he deserves: frequent squealing of tires from cars slamming on breaks due to poor warning and, of course, the absurdity of the hump being there in the first place.

Check out this useful warning sign in front on the west side of Logan Street just slightly south of Broad. It appears that the same level of intelligence which demanded the installation of the hump also designed the placement of the warning sign. As Mr. Gump says, "Stupid is as stupid does."


Anonymous Mike said...

LOL! Welcome to my world.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Thanks, Mike. We think that the speed humpers would be more comfortable within a gated community where their insulated suburban dreams can play out without cluttering life in our city.

1:10 PM  
Blogger chucker said...

Well, the humps are at least reminders to fasten your seat belt. OR wear a helmet. Maybe we need thicker headliners in our cars?

If you drive the speed limit down Columbus Street, it's QUITE a bouncy ride!

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speed bumps are common in the City of Santa Monica often contributing more to road rage than traffic calming.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

We see the same thing in Charleston. Even careful drivers are angry about getting humped. This is especially annoying when you consider that it comes a the behest of some neighborhood nitwit rather than from prudent policy.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Aside from the Hump Issue (should *never* happen downtown), the car is a lovely match for the house.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Yes, the blue house blends well with the car. It's the yellow in the picture which doesn't fit well.

Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Well, Chuck, we don't know about helmets, but we certainly have some thick heads behind the humps. We've heard that small planes use Columbus Street to get that extra lift for takeoff.

Opposing absurd traffic control schemes here is a bit like defending Wake Island against an amphibious attack.

2:51 AM  

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